This piece first appeared in CIO.
Can you even remember the last time any part of your organization measured success without data? If you can, it might be uncomfortable to recall. As today’s marketplace standardizes modern business intelligence, and as self-service continues to move the power to perform analytics from the hands of the few to the many, it comes as no surprise that data skills and literacy are now considered fundamental for scaling the enterprise.
Data-driven organizations everywhere are racing to hire industry analysts, and yet they’re finding themselves up against what seems to be a mission-critical talent gap—right now there are more than 60,000 data analytics jobs listed on Indeed.com but more than 40% of managers reporting having difficulty hiring analytical talent, according to a recent MIT study. In 2011, the global business consultancy McKinsey predicted a shortage of as many as 1.5 million analytics managers by 2018.
The good news is data-driven people are everywhere. Not only are people becoming more data curious and literate in their everyday lives and workplace, there’s also a significant uptick in broader analytics education that complement a variety of curriculums, degrees, and already active careers. There are almost 2500 analytics programs offered in 705 colleges in the U.S., and over half of those programs were newly created since 2010, according to recent study conducted by Tableau. The world is starting to see an emergence of the data boomers— an analytics and insights-savvy generation—ready and excited to transform the workplace.
The new data generation has developed a core competency in analytics as part of their general education and evolving career skills. They will pursue or already have jobs in many different sectors like business, science, manufacturing, and retail. They will work in every field and in every department, not just in centralized analytics or business intelligence teams. And they are hungry to use their data skills to make an impact. Here are five ways today’s organizations can harness and unlock the potential of the data generation.