The Current Analytics Talent Landscape in the Philippines – Updated

Updated on 10/26/16

Something I was working on for a potential client, that I thought interesting enough to share.

Here are some of the common characteristics of the three types of analytics talent you will find in the Philippines. Keep in mind that analytics is still a fairly very new concept in the Philippines, but I am convinced its primed for continued growth.

From my experience the analytics talent in the Philippines can be broken into three groups.

  1. Fresh Grads
  2. Entry Level Analysts
  3. Experienced Analysts

For the sake of comparison, I will speak mainly of analytics generalist positions like business analysts and operations analysts. More niche analytics jobs like financial analysts or quality analysts often come from different backgrounds then the bulk of the analytics talent I have worked with.

The first group of analysts are fresh grads. By and large they come from programs like IT, ComSci, Marketing, Business and other related courses. The ones with technical degrees all have some coding skills, know a few programming languages, are very comfortable with Excel and Access and have a general theoretical knowledge of databases, data warehouses and how big data is collected, stored and managed. Generally the business and marketing grads, have less technical skill, but are better prepared for the communication and data sharing side of analytics.

There are several thousand of these graduates entering the workforce every year, but a small % of them are really prepared for analyst careers. Several schools have launched Business Analytics elective tracts, but they are just getting started.

Most fresh grads with analytics talent find jobs in retail or in call centers, many as tech support or IT staff. The ones that do end up with the word analyst in the title are actually more like data encoders or just run reports.  They do very little actual analysis.

From this pool, the English and communications requirements of many analyst jobs screen out 75% of the applicants. Fresh grads who start in analyst roles make salaries of between 10-20,000 PHP a month.

The second group of analysts comes the way most people have become analysts… accidentally. They have very similar educational experiences to the fresh grad batch, but started as a CSR or IT or Tech Support and rose above their peers to take on more complex duties.

These analysts find ways to add value to their reports, or have a propensity to solve hard problems or have a tech skill that really stands out. They are promoted to entry level analyst jobs where they are generally used with business lines to do metrics and KPI reporting, assist with process improvement initiatives.

They start to become very skilled, but generally in only 1-2 applications. Their talent is very concentrated and they are not generally pushed to do more. Whether it be working with certain BI or analytics tools, CRMs or other applications, they become very proficient end users but rarely learn the concepts that allow them to move easily between companies. They generally make salaries of about 20-30,000 PHP a month.

However, that doesn’t stop them from hopping around quite a bit. The severe talent shortage for analysts in Metro Manila see a lot of analysts with 1-2 years under their belt get pirated and over a 5-6 year period you see they working for 3-4 companies, each time chasing more money. And rarely does this make them a better analysts as they have a lot of knowledge about a few things, but have not really mastered a competency in anything.

IMG_1310

The only training they receive is in-house training on new systems that is generally rolled out from abroad/above. This is one of the biggest difference between analysts in the US and India versus the Philippines. There is little investment in the analyst to grow. There is no encouragement to innovate they get bored pretty quickly which is why they are so susceptible to jump for a little more money.

Based on my observations, maybe 20% of this pool of thousands stick with the same company and rise up to be an experienced analyst in their original company. And you find the ones who stick are generally employed by US, Indian and European BPOs. They make about 25,000 and up PHP a month.

The final group, the more experience analysts are a rare breed. They have the skill similar to what you would expect from an Indian or US analysts with 5 years of experience. They have mastered a couple of disciplines (apps, systems, dbases, etc) and have carved out a good niche. They get paid at least 30-40,000 PHP a month and are firmly established with their employers.

They don’t hop for more money and they tend to be pretty loyal. The best way to pry them away is to offer them something new and different to play with. When you appeal to their curiosity, then they will consider hoping for more money. This is the play the HP, IBM, Google, Citibank, and others who have set up analytics teams are doing. They are trying to entice top talent with both money and new opportunity.

There is also a small, but growing number people in the Philippines who are at the level I was when I left Wells Fargo. Analytics Experts who can offer you a wide range of analytics solutions, understand how complex analytics works and are truly on the cutting edge. A lot of these analysts are now being classified as data scientists. The salaries for these positions can be 50,000 PHP or more a month.

Traditionally data scientist have advanced degrees in statistics, math or some other heavily technical field of study. They generally focus on building models and mining big data using advanced software. They have mastered several coding languages and use predictive and prescriptive modeling techniques. If I had to put a guess on this, there might be a couple thousand true data scientists in the Philippines right now. Hardly enough to go around.

In reality, many of the job postings across the Philippines for data scientists are actually looking for something different. The term is the current hot buzz word and many traditional analyst jobs are being mislabeled as data science jobs. It is very important when hiring someone who has data science in their background to make sure they really have the level of expertise you need.

Bottom line though, if you are looking for someone who is curious, adept at technology, loves solving problems and is data hungry, you can find them in the Philippines.

These thoughts are solely based on my observations and research; I would love to hear others either validate or counter any/all of my conclusions.

If you would like to know about the current state of analytics in the Philippines, please check out my new book, Putting Your Data to Work. The book serves as a guidebook for Filipino professionals to better understand how to get more data in their business. Connect with me and I’ll let you know how to get a copy.

Analytics in the Philippines – The Philippines is at the center of the action when it comes to solutions to the global need for analytics. Blessed with a solid foundation of young, educated and English speaking workforce, companies around the world are look for Filipino analytics talent to fill analytics positions. DMAIPH was set up to facilitate these solutions and bring the talent and the business together. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can help you take advantage of this unique global opportunity.

 

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2 thoughts on “The Current Analytics Talent Landscape in the Philippines – Updated

  1. What are your thoughts on the next steps for high performing analysts? The typical career progression seemingly ends up with a leadership role (Manager, Business Analysis) or specialist (Consultant). Noting the gap between the current skillet vs actual business needs, would you advocate top performers seek leadership roles to mentor up and coming analysts?

  2. That’s an interesting question. Yeah, I think a lot of high performing analysts will get bored once they hit a plateau in a company (like what happened to me). If they don’t go into management, then maybe training or teaching, or most likely they move on to hirer pay and new challenges somewhere else. All these data scientists and high powered analysts that are being sought after, who knows where they will be in 5-10 years. Of the top of my head I can’t think of anything like it.

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