We found that data is becoming more and more important for businesses operating in the midst of the big data revolution. But realising the opportunities of this data glut will require talent with new skills. Businesses say they need workers with a mix of analysis, coding, domain knowledge, communication and soft skills, but those people seem hard to find. So much so that some even refer to them as ‘unicorns’.
Nesta and Universities UK recently launched respective reports on data analytics skills in the UK, and a joint policy briefing setting out changes needed in UK education and skills policy to improve the supply of analytical talent. We showed the benefits of embedding data analytics in businesses, and the ways that companies are doing this through highly skilled workers.
A recent item in the New York Times has catalysed discussion among managers. The article discusses Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, and his rigorous pursuit of data driven management. It also gives the perspective of some Amazon employees’ and their negative take on this work culture.
The American Statistical Association recently published a thorough and thoughtful report, edited by N. J. Horton, setting out guidelines for US undergraduate programs in statistics. I admire and applaud the Horton report for its careful attention to where we are and where we should try to go, and I urge any readers who have not yet seen it to take a serious look - it will repay your attention.
The Alan Turing Institute has marked its first few days of operations with a string of announcements. Andrew Blake (pictured) has been appointed as the Institute’s new director and £10 million of research funding from the Lloyd’s Register Foundation has been confirmed. In addition a research partnership with GCHQ and collaboration with the supercomputer company Cray has also been agreed.
‘Clever girls lack confidence in science and maths’ was the headline from a BBC article published in March. It stated that girls lack the confidence to pursue careers in science and technology, even when their school records are as good as, or better than boys.