Analytics Education = Out with the Old, In with the New

Having spent the last 5 years talking about analytics here in the Philippines, it seems we are finally at a place where a significant percentage of leaders and decision-makers are now aware that they need a good analytics strategy for their business to succeed.

Now that we are finally at point where people in power get, we have another challenge. Just because they get it doesn’t mean they know how to enable it.

In fact most of our current solutions to educate and train when it comes to analytics seems to be a bit old fashioned. Analytics evolves much faster then traditional education models can keep up with.

In fact, most people learn analytics on the job. Some attend public trainings. A few receive practical experience while in school. Very few learn in vocational or apprentice like programs.

Almost all the training is done in person, with an expert teaching in a classroom setting.

Most of the training is done by talking theory and doing some exercises on mock data.

Due to data privacy issues, few companies allow employees to get up skill training while using their own data and towards solving real business problems.

To compound the challenge, there are a precious few analytics experts to go around to meet the surging demand for analytics education and training.

When I do the math… 500,000 Filipinos need analytics training in the next 5 years to ensure we can deal with the wave of digital transformation the world in undergoing.

So now what?

It’s easy to say online training is the solution. And it is part. But just filming a training and reshowing it loses a lot of the impact. When learners aren’t engaged they struggle to absorb most of the content.

So live online classes that have an interactive ability are key.

Harnessing the power of YouTube and looking at things like TED talks give us some ideas.

Formal corporate trainings can be supplemented and eventually superseded by meet-up groups and more informal learning sessions.

Formal education has to transition more from the class room and to on the job.

Right now, students spend 90% of their time in classroom and less then 10% on the job working with real data solving real problems. Many schools struggle with educating on analytics topics because they don’t have qualified professors.

Lets flip that around. Let the subject matter experts working in the field do more of the education in the workplace.

That’s just three ideas; Interactive Analytics Talks, Optimizing Meet Up Groups and much more dynamic On the Job training.

What else can we do to shot for the moon?

Dr. Data_Analytics in the Philippines

Analytics Training – DMAIPH offers a wide range of analytics centric training solutions for professionals and students via public, in-house, on-site, and academic settings. We tailor each training event to meet the unique needs of the audience. If you need empowerment and skills enhancement to optimize the use of analytics in your organization, we are here to help. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to set up a free consultation to learn which of our DMAIPH analytics training solutions is best for you.

The Analytics Puzzle for Higher Education in the Philippines

When you look at the picture on the box of puzzle pieces, you generally think it won’t be so hard to fit all the pieces together. But then when you lay out all the pieces and connect them one by one it can often feel like a sense of this is a lot harder then I thought.

In many way, that’s how I feel about efforts to date regarding the teaching of Data Science and Analytics in the Philippines. The end product is clear, just about all the 2,000+ HIEs across the Philippines offering some level of DSA education to a wide range of students.

Everyone agrees that we need more education to meet both the high current demand and the expected huge future demand for DSA talent for both domestic and global consumption. We have seen a lot of awesome initiatives popping up trying to train educators to teach DSA subjects and have seen a number of industry-academe partnerships. CHED has even set aside significant resources to promote the training of faculty and the incentive to offer DSA programs.

So things are going well, but when you look at the simple math of how many educators need to be training in the very near future, some like me get a little concerned. Current programs train a few dozen here and maybe a few hundred there, bit by bit. But if you need thousands then current efforts are just going to come up short.

What we need is a unified front. Bringing together all the interested parties, many of whom are already working on this issue, is the only way to get to critical mass. By my estimation we should be looking at training 5,000 educators in the next 3 years. And a one week overview is just the start. To really become adept at teaching DSA, educators need an apprenticeship that lasts months to really learn the tools of the trade like data storytelling, business intelligence and predictive analytics.

And that is just the faculty… when you think about the 100,000s of students who need to taught DSA, you start to see that this puzzle is gonna take a lot more effort to complete then it may have looked like at first.

So thats where I am at now… both evangelizing and empowering. Raising awareness of what the puzzle looks like when solved and why we need to solve. And empowering to build collaborations to connect the pieces faster then each puzzle expert can work on their own.

And that is exactly why I started Augment BPO.

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Augment BPO. The Augment BPO Data Science and Analytics Advocacy Project (Augment BPO) is empowering BPO Companies, Executives, and Workers in the Philippines to prepare for and address the clear and present danger posed by Artificial Intelligence Chatbots (AI Chatbots) to BPO revenue growth and jobs through Data Science and Analytics strategy planning, awareness building and upskill training.

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DMAIPH Analytics Education – Facilitating a mastery of the fundamentals of analytics is what DMAIPH does best. As a key parnter of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation’s Project DARE initative, DMAIPH champions the use of using data. All across the world, companies are scrambling to hire analytics talent to optimize the big data they have in their businesses. We can empower students and their instructors with the knowledge they need to prepare for careers in data science and analytics. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can set a guest lecturer date, On-the-Job Training experience or other analytics education solution specifically tailored to your needs.

Q18: Can you please talk about recent developments in higher education on how to train more analysts?

The past couple of years have seen some remarkable developments in higher education in regards to analytics. Just a few years ago there were only a handful of colleges and universities in the U.S. that offered any kind of degree in something akin to data science. However, now you can find dozens of schools offering graduate degrees in analytics and/or data science. These changes in higher ed were preceded by several vocational schools and certificate programs. All in, if you do a google search on data science or analytics degree program you will get 100’s of schools in your results.

Besides the U.S., I have seen a few program in the UK and several in India getting more into analytics education. In the Philippines several schools have already started implementing the CHED (Commission on Higher Education) memo requiring schools to offer a business analytics elective series of classes. We have come a long way in a short time, but what is best for you?

If you are thinking about getting some formal education you will need to determine where you are currently with your analytics skills and where you want to be long term. Because of the crazy growth in the field, it can be pretty hard to tell what is the best bang for your buck.

Without pointing to any specific institution or program, I can give you some broad difference to consider. In a latter blog I will actually review some of the best programs and talk about them in on my blog site.

So here are the differences as I see them:

  1. Accidental Analysts. People who are doing a lot of analytics and have for some time, but have no formal training in analytics. These are accidental analysts who still make up a huge % of people doing analytics every day. For people at this level, going back to school full time to get a formal degree is not generally an option. For people in this bracket short term training programs and certifications in specific tools are the best bet to stay on the cutting edge.
  2. Legitimate Data Scientists. Few and far between, people with both the academic credentials and the business experience to do significant data science generally look upwards to getting a masters or even doctorate in a specialized field from a top school. There are a lot of programs out there to do that, but they tend to be pretty expensive and difficult to get into.
  3. Aspiring Data Scientists. If you are still young in your career and/or not finished with college you can consider getting your undergraduate degree in a related field and then progressing on to post graduate work. This is a recent development that poses an opportunity to those just starting out. In the near future these kinds of analysts will replace the accidental analysts for the most part. That is if there are ever enough.
  4. Part Time Analysts. People who do analytics or are part of a data science team, but have already established a career path in a different discipline. For those like you, training programs and certifications abound. It is pretty easy to find one that fits your unique situation and give you the added data muscle you need in your job.
  5. Managers of Analysts. If you are not really the one doing the heavy data lifting, but have team members that do. You need to be able to understand them, but not all the things they do, then you might be looking for a more generalist overview of analytics. Trying to optimize your analytics business culture and lead big data projects are skills you might want to improve on. There are training programs popping up for this need as well.

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So where does this take higher education? Some schools and programs are very broad based and offer generalist solutions. Others are quite specific and are geared to producing specialists. Knowing which education option is best for you is the challenge.

Higher Education across the globe is evolving to incorporate more analytics and data science into its curriculums. The need is there and is growing at a break neck pace. Where we are now is lights years from where we were two years ago, but where we need to be is far down the road.

More on that next blog post. In the meantime, if you are trying to figure out how to up your analytics game, drop me a note and I’d be happy to help you figure out what path you should take.

Fundamentals of Business Analytics > Taking A Big Step Towards Implementation

Working on a training power point for a week long Fundamentals of Business Analytics class I will be teaching in two weeks.

A full week of training on business analytics is a new challenge and will serve as a precursor to a full blown semester long class. The audience here is made up of faculty who will be teaching classes as prescribed by the 2013 CHED Memo on infusing business analytics into the business administration curriculum.

I will break the class down into 5 section, each covering some of the course and learning objectives outlined in the memo.Here are the topics:

Day One: Introduction to Business Analytics

Day Two: Big Data & Data Warehousing

Day Three: The Three Type of Analytics   (Descriptive, Predictive & Prescriptive)

Day Four: Business Intelligence, Data   Visualization & Business Dashboards

Day Five: Analytics & Decision-Making

Whether you dream of being an analyst, aspire to be a better analyst or hope to surround yourself with people skilled in analytics, you have to strive to be different.

You have to look at data as having the answers and analytics as the key to determining which answers are the ones you need.

Working from this starting point, we will build a knowledge base that will give us a solid grasp of the Fundamentals of Business Analytics (FBA).

That is the core message I will inpart on the audience as no amount of skills based training along will make a successful analyst. You have to have a context to work within and that will be the biggest challenge of all, as the students will not have any experience at all.

Looking forward to seeing how this goes… its a laboratory for testing out how to train the trainer to train analysts out of a population of 3rd year college students.

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Training Analysts: And The Tasks Keep Getting Bigger

Wrote this over two years ago… its still relevant!

When I first came to the Philippines in 2012 to set up an analytics training business I was ahead of my time. No one was really talking about analytics and most people didnt really get what I was trying to do.

I saw  a huge opportunity to be at the forefront of a shift in services that would propel the Philippines forward as a place where analytics outsourcing would be successful.

After a few years of doing seminars, speaking engagements and training manily to build awareness, things are really start pick up steam.

Attendance is way up in our public training offerings, I am getting invited to more and more schools and companies are starting to really look for analytics training to both enhance their own decision-making as well as exploring offering analytics as a service.

This goes hand in hand with a memo by CHED (Commission on Higher Education) published two years ago that schools are now trying to figure out how to implement.

I have worked with a few schools already by doing a one day overview of how to meet some of the course objectives outlined in this memo, and now I am looking to expand that to a five day training. Here is what it might look like.

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This five day training will need to be eventually expanded into a semester/trimester long class.

Which is precisely what I had in mind when I did my very first Introduction to Analyitics training back in May 2012.

And now that dozens of schools need this, so my tasks keep getting bigger. I couldn’t be happier.

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Analytics Education – Facilitating a mastery of the fundamentals of analytics is what DMAIPH does best. As a key parnter of the Data Science Philippines Meetup Group, DMAIPH champions the use of using data. All across the world, companies are scrambling to hire analytics talent to optimize the big data they have in their businesses. We can empower students and their instructors with the knowledge they need to prepare for careers in analytics. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can set a guest lecturer date, On-the-Job Training experience or other analytics education solution specifically tailored to your needs.

Implementing the CHED Memo on Business Analytics > How DMAIPH Can Help

In 2013, the Commission for Higher Education (CHED), the governing body for Higher Education in the Philippines, published a memorandum requiring accredited colleges and universities to establish a Business Analytics Specialization Program for Business Admin and IT students.

The objectives of the business analytics specialization track aims to provide Filipino students the skills needed for different forms of Analytics namely, Descriptive, Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics. This track enables students to identify opportunities and implement or enact solutions for which these analytics can be used to solve business problems to aid intelligence and informed business decision-making.

One of the analytics training solutions that DMAIPH offers, is partnering with schools  on curriculum and instruction enhancement.  We are also more than willing to meet with you to explore possibilities of collaboration.

The key areas DMAIPH can assist with are as follows:

  1. Consultation with Key School Administration Decision Makers
  2. Initial Faculty Training via a 1-Day hands on workshop
  3. Building Student Awareness by speaking at student events
  4. Guest Speaking in classrooms and academic events
  5. OJT Opportunities with DMAI and out partner companies
  6. Fresh Grad Training for analysts looking to start their career
  7. Provide a textbook for business analytics based on the CHED memo

DMAIPH is adapt at providing staff and students with an overview of the current trends in business analytics that drives today’s businesses, as well as providing an understanding on data management techniques that can help organizations achieve their business goals and address operational challenges.

The need for more analysts and professionals with analytics training in the Philippines continues to quicken at an amazing rate. On any given day you can see over 2,000 analyst jobs posted on jobstreet.com

The demand of analytics talent in the Philippines far outweighs the demand. Even with specialized tracks like the Fundamentals of Business Analytics starting up over the Philippines, more needs to be done.

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DMAIPH is uniquely positioned to help schools deliver on CHED’s memo and help supply the demand Filipino businesses, BPOs and Call Centers are asking for.

We have been doing analytics training, consulting and outsourcing in the Philippines since May 2012. In addition, DMAIPH has helped over two dozen companies bring more analytics into their business and have trained over 100 batches of analytics trainees.

Analytics Education – Facilitating a mastery of the fundamentals of analytics is what DMAIPH does best. As a key parnter of the Data Science Philippines Meetup Group, DMAIPH champions the use of using data. All across the world, companies are scrambling to hire analytics talent to optimize the big data they have in their businesses. We can empower students and their instructors with the knowledge they need to prepare for careers in analytics. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can set a guest lecturer date, On-the-Job Training experience or other analytics education solution specifically tailored to your needs.

What Kind Of Analyst Do You Want To Be?

“The main part of intellectual education is not the acquisition of facts but learning how to make facts live.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

An ANALYST is a person who analyzes and is skilled in analysis. Business Analysts (BA) are required to find, analyze and report business data to support business optimization.

The job functions of an analyst very greatly from business to business and even within each business job functions can vary from analyst to analyst. However at their core, you will find that just about anyone with analyst in the title has several things in common.

Based on the book, the Accidental Analyst, four character traits that most analysts have are:

  • PASSION for helping people solve real problems
  • KNOWLEDGE of the business being analyzed
  • EXPOSURE to thinking analytically and problem solving tools
  • EXPERIENCE using data to solve problems

In addition most analysts have certain personality types:

  • reflective
  • intuitive
  • deep-thinkers
  • and able to make quick judgments

These findings show a consistency across analysts no matter if their focus in on reporting, analysis and/or research, if they are working with small structured data sets or volumes of unstructured big data or if they are actively working to optimize the business or just providing information.

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Per CHED some of the analytics jobs graduates of the program should be ready for:

  • Jr. Business Analyst
  • Operations Assistant
  • (Web) Site Analyst
  • Marketing Officer
  • Jr. Operations Analyst
  • Financial Analyst
  • Supply Chain Analyst
  • Human Resources Associate
  • Training Associate
  • Administrative Associate
  • Accounting Analyst
  • Quality Assurance Analyst
  • Facilities Associate
  • Planning/Budget Analyst
  • Insurance Analyst
  • Social Media Analyst
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Customer Service Rep
  • Finance Analyst
  • Accounts Payable Analyst
  • Travel Analyst
  • Expense Analyst
  • General Accounting Analyst

This list is hardly exhaustive. On a typical day on jobstreet.com you will see hundreds of job titles that includes analyst in the title.

So I guess the next question to ask is, “What kind of analytics and analyst jobs interest you the most? ”

The Fundamental of Business Analytics – Business Analytics is the application of talent, technology and technique on business data for the purpose of extracting insights and discovering opportunities. DMAIPH specializes in empowering organizations, schools, and businesses with a mastery of the fundamentals of business analytics. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to find out how you can strengthen your business analytics fundamentals.

Why We Need Business Analysts! > The Philippines Is Quickly Becoming A Hub For Analytics

Most business leaders know that they need more analytics based decision making in their operations, however few have figured out how to obtain it as analytics software or engaging high priced consultants doesn’t suffice.

Businesses are challenged with endless streams of data of immense volume, variety and velocity coming from global marketplaces and from a multitude of social media platforms that didn’t exist until recently.

Per CHED, Business analytics is essentially about:

  • providing better insights;
  • particularly from extensive use of operational data stored in transactional systems;
  • statistical and quantitative analyses;
  • explanatory and predictive modeling;
  • facts-based management;
  • to drive decision-making for optimal results

Dictionary.com defines insight as “an instance of apprehending the true nature of a thing, especially through intuitive understanding.” Business Analytics allows a business to get the cause of something, to find an explanation or a reason that something has happened.

BA is also very useful to understand who, where, why, how and in what way customers interact with the business. BA lets us know who the customers are based on demographic breakdowns like age, sex, education level, etc. BA tells us how much of what product is bought, where the product is bought from, how often it is bought. And BA brings us insights into why the product was bought.

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Business analytics has long been used to understand things like which sales person is the most successful or which market is the most profitable by looking at the operational data stored in the transactional systems of that business.

Just about every business has at least some basic way of calculating profit, validating inventory and measuring success. These transactional data points are generally housed in a data storage system that can be accessed to view reports. This is the core of business analytics.

BA gets a lot more insightful when business decision-makers have the ability to look at statistical and quantitative analysis of that data. Often this is not only done by the decision-makers, but by analysts who can dedicate more time to discovering, investigating and analyzing the data.

Businesses that are able to employ even more advanced analytics by using data models. In the hands of a good analyst, models allow one to quickly and easily adjust the analysis based on using different variables. Building models is especially important when working with large data sets or what’s called Big Data. Models also let analysts not only look backwards at what has happened, but allows analysts to look into the future.

When you look at any successful business, odds are that they have solid business analytics in place. The leadership team is generally provided with reports that allow a fact-based management of the business. As opposed to businesses that are run based on intuition or gut feel, businesses that invest in analytics generally make better decisions.

In the hypercompetitive global market of today, even the smallest and most simple businesses need some level of business analytics to be able to make smart choices to optimize results and be successful.

Training Opportunity To Train the Teachers Who Teach Business Analytics

The more I sink my teeth into the CHED memo, I find more and more business opportunites.

CHED is requiring that all faculty members should posses the educational qualifications, professional experience, and teaching ability for the successful conduct of the program.

Requirements include:

  1. At least a bachelor’s degree holder
  2. At least 2 years experience in the field of specialization that will be taught by the faculty or has undergone specializes training in Business Analytics from reputable institutions and has some experience in the required field of specialization.
  3. Industry practitioners and entrepreneurs in knowledge-based enterprises and services even without a master’s degree will be allowed to team teach with a designated faculty member. Industry practitioners will be allowed to each with a designated faculty member.
  4. Industry associations and companies wihc are engaged in service knowledge enterprise and services practically in IT education and business analytics should provide opportunities for faculty development to improve their teaching skills and upgrade course materials as well as continuing education for professional growth and research. It is strongly suggested that and HEI should at least have one industry partner with a MOA to ensure technology transfer, faculty training and OJT placements.
  5. Top academic institutions should invite knowledgeable speakers and professors to conduct seminars and training programs on the Business Analytics to help enhance the ideas of the faculty training on Business Analytics.

Just coming up with training materials and doing workshops alone is one thing DMAI will be launching soon to meet this need.

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Looking More Closely At The CHED Memorandum on Business Analytics

Looking closer at the course description for the Fundamentals of Business Analytics course published by CHED in 2013. Amazing how closely it matches to the Intro to Analytics training i have been doing since 2012 when I founded BPO Elite.

The course provides students with an overview of the current trends in business analytics that drives today’s businesses. The course will provide understanding on data management techniques that can help and organization to achieve its business goals and address operational challenges.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Define business requirements.
  2. Verify correctness of the contents of the data architecture.
  3. Describe where to look for data in an organization and create required reports.
  4. Understand data management concepts and criticality of data availability in order to make reliable business decisions.
  5. Demonstrate understanding of business intelligence including the importance of data gathering, data storing, data analyzing and accessing data.
  6. Understanding the functions and data access constraints of various departments within an organization and identify reports that are crucial for intelligent decision-making
  7. Work on various analytics tools available in the market for various business functions.
  8. Participate actively in business discussions with various departments and create common reports or specific/unique reports with regard to predictive and prescriptive analytics.

I think the biggest areas that I can add to my approach and highlight in my book is the reporting piece. How to create a report and make it a living document is something a lot harder then most people think.

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Analytics Education – Facilitating a mastery of the fundamentals of analytics is what DMAIPH does best. As a key parnter of the Data Science Philippines Meetup Group, DMAIPH champions the use of using data. All across the world, companies are scrambling to hire analytics talent to optimize the big data they have in their businesses. We can empower students and their instructors with the knowledge they need to prepare for careers in analytics. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can set a guest lecturer date, On-the-Job Training experience or other analytics education solution specifically tailored to your needs.