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In this episode, Jason discusses the ripple effect of the pandemic, the new challenges of inflation, cost of living crises and likely recession and how data leaders can prepare their organisations in a way that helps them survive and thrive. .

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One big message

While the pandemic and more recent events in Ukraine have had a major effect on the economy over recent years, experts have now warned that we have yet to see the full extent of its economic impact which is predicted to put many countries into a recession. 

As a data leader, you are in a unique position to implement strategies that can help ease the pressure on your organisation.

[00:10] The economic effect of the pandemic

[03:41] What data leaders can do to soften the impact of potential budget cuts on the team

[03:50] Focus on building a brand

[05:23] Iterate and scale appropriately

[06:23] Repeatability and automation

[08:45] Actually utilising what you have built

[10:30] Zeroing in on high value activities

[12:56] Conclusion

 

Current state of the economy

Even though the UK isn’t in a recession at the moment, there are some events which signal that one is probably on the way. The Bank of England very recently has raised the interest rates to try and curb soaring prices. They also warn that the UK will fall into recession at the end of this year, 2022, and it expects the economy to continue shrinking through the end of the year and keep shrinking until the end of 2023.

In addition, the GDP of the UK had fallen 2.2% between January and March, the largest contraction within a quarter that the Office of National Statistics had seen since the records began in 1955.

There is a similar situation in countries across the world.

 

Events outside the pandemic

Even though most of the world has moved on from the pandemic there is still residual pressure as entire industries struggle to recover. Added to this are other events around the world such as the war in Ukraine, rising tensions and increased gas prices which are making it increasingly difficult to live and plan forward. 

 

What governments are doing:

Governments around the world are well aware that there has been a shift in the economic market with world leaders scrambling to find ways to avoid a recession. This includes:

  • President Biden, writing off $330 billion in student debt for the USA
  • Chancellor Olaf Schultz of Germany announcing 10 billion in tax relief packages
  • Prime Minister, Sana Marion subsidising work travel by €142,000,000
  • $73 billion by Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore to help businesses pivot and keep workers employed

While countries and governments put strategies in place to protect their economies, ordinary organisations and their business and data leaders need to get themselves in a positive position to trade through these challenges and thrive if they can.

 

What data leaders can do ahead of and during a recession

Data leaders should be considering the measures they can put in place to protect against these challenges, to thrive while others may struggle. Think about the B.I.R.T.H measures below to help get ahead:

  • Brand
    A strong brand will increase employee value proposition and attract quality candidates to your data department both internally and externally. You can increase your brand awareness by speaking at events, networking, writing professional papers, having a social media presence and joining professional groups. The more brand awareness there is of you and your data department, the easier it will be to attract the right talent and opportunities towards you.

 

  • Reiterate by scaling appropriately and streamlining
    During a recession, all eyes are on the budget. This doesn’t mean that you need to dial everything back completely as you still want your business to flourish and grow even in a struggling economy. By scaling appropriately yo06u need to focus on creating relevant minimum viable products and doing all the testing while scaling according to your budget and the needs of the business. There is no point in going all in on a project if there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding it.

 

  • Repeatability and adoption
    It can be exciting to play around with different models and stretch the limits of your data knowledge which is fantastic when you have the budget to do so. However, creating models and processes that can be reused in different situations is a great way to help save expenses if the budget needs to be tightened up.

 

  • Leveraging technology
    Make sure you’ve got all of the brilliant functionality and features that exist within that technology being used in some way so that you’re getting the most out of the technology that you invested in. Use the features, use the functions that can help support you through this time.

 

  • High value focus
    Having a high value focus means to zero in on the things that will really push the needle forward and drive results in the business without deviation. This is a large reason why some of the best businesses were built during recessions, because they focused on value and kept their systems lean which was conducive to scaling rapidly. 

 

Conclusion

Even though a recession may be imminent, there are still many things you can do as a data leader to prepare your team to thrive. Some of the most innovative and successful organisations were born out of challenging economic times and you are able to create a unique and leading data capability with the measures shown here.

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