In this episode, Jason Foster talks with Rachel Keane of DigData, and Jean Panagamuwa of Capital One, about how important it is to build diversity in an organisation.
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For more on this topic, read our whitepaper Assembling Your Analytics Dream Team.
Having a diverse workforce helps offer multiple alternative solutions to business problems, and better represents diverse groups of people in society.
[02:46] Breaking down misconceptions about data officers
[05:01] Challenges faced to make organisations more diverse
[08:59] Hire diverse employees to “connect the dots” in the organisation
[20:14] Key groups of young people with regards to their expertise
[24:52] Convenience brought about by pandemic in connecting with young people
Significant diversity among employees addresses problems which can be critical to data management. One of these is a huge skills shortage in data; and these skills are vital in every organisation.
Data is the main means of interpreting the current standing of the business, which make the data management skills of an employee the priority. Another issue could be the application of skills gained from hands-on experience within the organisation. Practical learning is not usually offered in universities, as schools don’t provide apprenticeships. A major response to this is to create opportunities, free training and open up eligibility as a preparation for corporate work.
Conflicts between recruiting employees that possess basic skills for data management and selecting a workforce with advantageous skills is also a setback in diversity. Arriving into a relevant interpretation of data is necessary, but finding the right people that have seemingly useful capabilities must also be taken into consideration.
Business organisations nowadays actively seek to have a diverse workforce. Having employees from different walks of life gives a lot of scope for ideas for the company to thrive. A variety of insights gives multiple alternative solutions to any business problems at hand.
A team that has the same interests and backgrounds, will typically raise similar suggestions that might not be quite as helpful in arriving with a strategic plan. Businesses need different points of views upon an issue within their premises; varying perspectives brings advantages. And indeed better represents society – which stands for the different groups of people within target markets.
This diversity also provides different skills, which are needed beyond just data analysis. Organisations need employees that are good at working with numbers and statistics, they need creative employees that are strong communicators – as much for how they deliver their work as how they arrive at an effective approach to business problems. Businesses also need employees who are not only efficient in interpreting data, but also in presenting it in digital formats.
As universities don’t usually provide work experience as well as lectures before entering the corporate world, it’s commendable that Inspira and Capital One provide this type of training on data management for young people.
It gives them a background in how to interpret data for organisations, and how to use data as a foothold in making business decisions. This opens up their eligibility as they enter the corporate world. It’s also a channel to break the misconceptions about data management, such as interpreting data requires immense mathematical skills. Of course, basic mathematical skills are important but it does not necessarily require one to be good in numbers. The list of misconceptions goes on that needs to be broken in the minds of future data officers. Using the internet as a “one-click away” connection with youth for this cause is a positive effect of the pandemic in some respects.
Building diversity inside organisations might not be easy, but it definitely brings benefits. A diverse workforce better represents society with varying insights and interests. This provides multiple alternative solutions to business problems at hand, from different perspectives. Training young people as future data leaders provides them eligibility and advantage that serves as preparation for their future work life.