Even though the Analytics landscape is growing increasingly complex, imagining a future of Excel that is very different from the present still seems difficult. With tools like PowerPivot, would VLOOKUP finally be rendered obsolete? And if so, who will claim the “spreadsheet” throne? There’s just too many unanswered questions.
With Szilvia Juhasz facilitating the discussion, we have Oz du Soleil and Rick Grantham sharing their thoughts today. And they will be discussing everything: from the opportunities the field of Analytics presents to the long-existing hurdles that are hurting its adoption.
There are some really interesting insights here. Let’s dig them out!
1 – Economic Opportunity
Szilvia began the session by referring to a study performed by McKinsey. According to this study, demand for deep analytical talent in US could be as much as 60% greater than the projected supply by 2018. This presents a wonderful opportunity for data geeks to stay on top of their game.
Rick believes that some people are naturally better able to adopt the skillset Analytics professionals should have. The faces of such people light up with it’s time to crunch data and convert it into an action plan. It points towards a certain type of personality. And either one has it or one doesn’t. Oz and Szilvia seconded his opinion. Moreover, Szilvia mentioned that if one doesn’t have that type of a personality, they still need to attain a basic level of understanding of analytics to perform their job competently.
2 – Competitive Advantage
Rick emphasized on the quote which states that the only competitive advantage you have is how you use your data. Other business maneuvers, like building a new factory or targeting a new geography, can be replicated by your competitors. But they don’t have access to your data. Hence, you should use it wisely.
In the same vein, Oz pointed out that there are many companies out there where using data is not a priority. And there is not much that can be done about it except for respecting it.
3 – Transformation
Oz and Szilvia discussed how the culture long formed by founders of a company can hinder adoption of technology. With technology delivering productivity which was unimagined several years ago, such resistance to its acceptance doesn’t come at no cost. It is important to not think about technology as a threat but rather something which facilitates everyday business.
Our experts also agreed on redundancies and layoffs (albeit at a small scale) as being a part of the problem with the introduction of new technology.
4 – The New Technology
Oz mentioned how as a data analyst he felt a pressure to adopt VBA programming and learn pivot tables in depth. But the same cannot be said about PowerPivot yet. Szilvia mentioned how training people on new technologies is still a challenge task since many people only have the most basic understanding of tools that have been around for decades.
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