Let me tackle this question in two parts. The history major in me demands we look at how we got to where we are now before we talk too much about where we are going.
To start, both the appreciation for and the use of analytics has grown tremendously over the past few years. When I first started thinking about setting up a business in the Philippines back in 2011, hardly anyone knew much about analytics. Big banks, large call centers, multinational corporations and only the top schools were even talking the concept.
It was a challenge to fill my initial training classes due to lack of general awareness. Even at industry events and conferences it was rare to hear much about the idea of using data to drive business decisions.
Doing a search on the top job board in the Philippines back in 2012 for the jobs with analyst in the title netted about 1,000 job postings on any given day. The average salary was some here around 30,000 PHP a month. It was a challenge to find good talent and those who could do analytics were all gainfully employed.
It wasn’t until 2013 that I stated seeing other analytics training options and those were just ones being done by IBM to meet the CHED (Commission on Higher Education) requiring the implementation of a six class elective tract in business analytics. The was accompanied by the launching of Analytica, and IBM backed effort to push the Philippines towards being more a viable option for analytics outsourcing.
At this time a job search for analyst would bring back about 1,500 jobs. Salaries were starting to rise for analysts as well with the market average getting closer to 50,000 PHP. Still not a lot of public training or analytics centric organizations around then.
About the same time I started getting invited to schools on a regular basis to lecture about analytics to IT, CompSci and Management students. For the most part they had no idea of the career opportunities out there for those with analytics talent. I consulted with several schools on how to implement the CHED memo and how to prepare their students for analytics careers.
In 2014, an analyst job search was yielding closer 2,000 open jobs. The average salary climbed north of 50,000 Pesos for an experience analyst. I did a lot more trainings, being able to routinely fill a class of people hungry to learn more about analytics and how it could help them in their jobs.
The most in demand analytics skills up to this point where many centered on management reporting, production analysis and workforce management. Most analysts used some kind on proprietary database to store data and did just about all their analysis in Excel.
By 2015, analytics was finally in the mainstream. Job posting now routinely called for specific skills sets in programming languages and business intelligence tools. Multiple organizations made up of analytics professionals started coming together. The number of jobs open hit 2,500 on any given day and salaries for really good analysts hit 70,000 PHP a year. By this time, many outsourcing companies focused on setting up team of analysts to offer analytics as an outsourcing option. Big data jobs and even data scientist positions started showing up in large numbers.
So here, we are now in early 2016. The sky is the limit when it comes to Filipinos with analytics talent being able to enjoy good career growth and make substantial salaries. The schools are now starting to churn out talent with analytics careers in mind. Things look great on the supply side of analytics talent and the market growth opportunity for businesses offering analytics is huge.
An additional complexity in the analytics world is the vast number of tools out there to gather, store, analyze and present data. Although IBM is by far the biggest player in training people, they are not the universal solution when it comes to the methodologies and technologies people use every day.
The biggest challenge today is that the demand for analytic talent dwarves the actual current and near term talent supply. The global need for not just analysts, but also data scientists has quickened to a point where catching up for the Philippines seems almost impossible.
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