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IIAnalytics Blog: Using an Analytics Approach to Find Analytics Talent


Greta Roberts, CEO, Talent Analytics, Corp.
12 June 2012

As the discipline of analytics grows and becomes more complex, it becomes more critical to understan the people who are well suited to this sophisticated challenge. True Analytics Professionals (that go beyond spreadsheet work, standard BI reporting tools and ad-hoc SQL queries) will want to fill their teams with, and be surrounded by, other Analytics Professionals who can engage in similarly sophisticated analytics.In addition to mathematical models and computers, the real component driving innovation in analytics work is the analyst him or herself. Arguably, the person operating the keyboard is more important than all other factors combined. Though much has been written about data models and computing infrastructures, little is known to date about what drives the people behind the keyboards to do what they do. It is already difficult to find great Analytics talent. As the war for analytics talent escalates, business will need to move beyond reliance on experience and other standard demographic information to access other talent inside their organizations as well as recent college graduates with little or no experience.

One approach to finding Analytic Talent able to rise to the levels necessary is to utilize traditional methods of hiring and recruiting. Alternatively, we, the Analytics Community, have a wonderful opportunity to utilize our own discipline to find Analytics Talent using an analytics approach. This analytics-approach can help our industry understand the traits of Analytical Talent, and perhaps even predict, performance in an Analytical role.

To that end, IIA Faculty Members (Jack Phillips, Bob Morison, Bill Franks and Greta Roberts) are embarking on an important Research Study to use analytics to understand Analytics Talent. This Study has been designed to examine a variety of factors about Analytics Professionals. We want to learn what makes them tick and to gain insight into how they vary within this broad professional category.

In addition to usual demographic questions, the Study includes a series of questions about the worker themselves; specifically, their ambitions and behaviors. Everything asked is value neutral and intended only to learn about the people doing this work. Our experience shows that questions beyond traditional demographics are important because they lend insight into the workers themselves vs. meta-data about the workers. We hypothesize these metrics may have more predictive power than education, experience and other more traditional metrics. Results of the Study will be published through IIA upon completion of the study targeted to be by end of this year.

If you’d like to help demonstrate the ability to utilize an analytics approach to find analytics professionals and help analytics move forward as an industry feel free to broadly circulate the following link to the Study. It’s open to both Analytics Managers as well as Analytics Professionals. We look forward to sharing the results with you through IIA.

Originally published by International Institute for Analytics.

Greta Roberts is a Faculty Member of the IIA and CEO of Talent Analytics, Corp. Follow her on twitter @GretaRoberts.




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