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Being COVID-Proof: Four Reasons Why the Data and Analytics Industry Will Weather The COVID Storm

By David Farmer, CEO at Harnham

The economic effects of COVID-19 have been widespread, bringing some industries to a grinding halt and others scrambling to adapt to “the new normal.” One industry that has felt less of a shock, largely thanks to is readiness to adapt, is Data and Analytics.

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In some ways, the turbulent economy has made Data and Analytics more valued than ever. Organizations don’t just want, they NEED to be able to understand their market and its future during these uncertain times. Data and Analytics provides crucial market insights used to forecast financial and industry predictions. It also provides a deeper dive into the customer base, providing an invaluable understanding of customer trends and behaviors.

As a result, the arrival of COVID-19 has led a majority of brands and businesses to keep their Data and Analytics teams running at pre-COVID levels, and some even upping their D&A efforts to navigate through this unchartered territory. This is good news for Data and Analytics professionals on four employment-related fronts:

  • Supply and Demand

As organizations look to shore up their Data and Analytics teams, top talent is a hot commodity. This offers new career opportunities for D&A professionals with organizations competing against each other to lure the best candidates that are now on the market. Organizations with an existing Data and Analytics team will need to ensure team members are happy and not looking to jump ship for greener pastures given that nearly three quarters of respondents to a recent industry survey said they would leave their role for the right opportunity.

  • Contractor Confidence

Even before COVID-19, it wasn’t uncommon for an organization to employ contractors and freelancers to round out their Data and Analytics teams. This trend has continued over the course of 2020. There has been some decline in permanent job offers, opening up new opportunities for contracted work. And while this may intimate a shaky job market, many in the industry find contract work preferable. In a recent survey looking at job security, 81 percent of responding contractors reported feeling more or just as secure in their contract roles than the same period a year ago. This again is a direct correlation to the current importance being placed on Data and Analytics to an organization.

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  • Closing the Gender Gap

The Data and Analytics industry continues to be a leader in offering dynamic, diverse and inclusive workforces. The number of women in data and analytics roles continues to grow with women holding 27 percent of jobs across the industry. Entry-level roles are dominated by women at nearly 2:1, which bodes well for future growth, but, on the downside, is also a key reason for the continuing gender pay gap across the industry. Still, the Data and Analytics industry continues to make strides toward a preferable 50/50 gender split along with a balanced leadership system and equal pay.

  • Remote Work: The “Old” Normal

While the Coronavirus pandemic has left many organizations and industries scrambling to institute a remote work system, it’s been business as usual for many in the Data and Analytics industry. Flexible working across Data and Analytics was instituted long before COVID-19, resulting in a tried and tested system, allowing D&A professionals to seamlessly focus on their jobs and avoid the obstacles and pitfalls that new-to-remote workers continue to face. A flexible work schedule continues to remain a preferred perk across the Data and Analytics industry, as professionals aim to achieve a better work-life balance.

As we remain in the trenches of COVID-19, the Data and Analytics industry continues to push forward and play an integral part in the economic recovery process. The growing reliance on statistics by organizations to help predict future successes, declines and behaviors across industries and markets is as important as it ever has been, if not more, pointing toward a better future for Data and Analytics professionals.

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