Collision, a New Way to Close Your Talent Gap?

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Business leaders keep sharing their experience, of struggling to find the analysts they need. Despite agencies like MBN performing well, you get the clear impression that there’s much more demand than supply. It certainly feels that way for Heads of Insight or Analytics who urgently need to grow their teams. This seems just as true here in Scotland as in London, Cardiff or throughout the UK, Europe and beyond.

There is Data Science talent out there

So, you might be as surprised as I was, to discover that there are actually 11 Masters level courses in “Data Science” alone (just across Scottish Universities). When The Data Lab shared that stat with me, I was even more convinced that business and academia need to get closer.

But that’s not the only concern we hear from recruiting data science leaders in large businesses.

As well as hearing about challenges recruiting and retaining data scientists, recruiters are frustrated that even good candidates don’t have the skills they will actually need. Another symptom, of the separation that has grown between universities and commerce, may be insufficient training in the skills graduates will need ‘on the job’. Many an analytics leader has complained about lack of communication skills, planning, ability to prioritize or manage stakeholders to achieve action on insights.

But businesses and universities aren’t talking

Universities are not to blame. When MBN visit, talking with students and lecturers, we hear about the lack of commercial interest. It sounds like experienced business leaders would be welcomed. Those willing to share the reality of a job, as an analyst or data scientist. Educating students on both career options and other skills they will need to succeed in commercial analytics careers. But, somehow, the bridges are not being built to encourage such dialogue.

So, let’s do that, with Data Talent Scotland

Partnering with Data Lab & WeAreTheFuture, MBN is bringing you the first Data Talent Scotland event. Called a ‘collider event’, it’s an opportunity for students, academics, industry experts and Scottish businesses to come together. The idea is to encourage a community of those interested in data science. It’s about providing useful content and sufficient time for conversation. We aim to help students and recruiting managers understand each other better and both benefit from the experience.

The first such event is happening on 16 March in Edinburgh and I am delighted that so many local universities and business leaders are going to be there.

What to expect if you choose to collide

Here’s a list of who’s joining the conversation at Data Talent Scotland:

  • 150+ MSc students in Data Science courses from around Scotland
  • 11 universities representing 15 Data science courses
  • 50 employers based in Scotland
  • 100+ general admission for those interested in a career in data
  • Exhibition stands from industry and academia
  • Keynotes and panel discussions from industry and academic leaders
  • Workshops focused on those other skills analysts need & employment

I hope you’ll agree that sounds useful. As well as everyone increasing their understanding, through content and conversations, it’s a great opportunity to meet some of the top talent in the area. You might just meet students or existing analysts who would be just the right fit for your firm. At the very least, it’s an opportunity to raise the profile of your business to attract data science talent in future.

Reasons your business would benefit

We recognize that a day out of the office is a big commitment, but consider these potential benefits from attending:

  • Access to the largest data science ‘talent pool’ yet brought together in one Scottish event (pitch your roles);
  • Access to the academic leads of 15 Data Science courses in Scottish universities (explain what you need);
  • Relevant workshops with content to bridge the divides between academia & what businesses need (learn from industry experts);
  • Professional Development, find out the Data Science training that could also be available for you or your team (continue to learn).

Rather than continuing to suffer from the distance between academia and business, come along and experience the Data Talent that Scotland has to offer.

You can book your place here.