So Just How Many Filipino Data Scientists Are There Anyway?

One Question I have been asking myself for awhile is just how many Filipino Data Scientists are there anyway?

I ask this  question because based on my observations of job postings and job titles and industry buzz, there are way more data scientist jobs open here in the Philippines then there are actual data scientists to fill them.

And I’m not even trying to separate the “true” data scientists with the “quasi” data scientists that are doing data science but without all the pre-requisites required.

Lumping everyone together into one number, I wonder what it is. An educated guess would be a few hundred at best. Yet, there are literally 1000 job postings out there right now for data scientist.

This speaks to a fundamental lack of awareness across the country as to what truly a data scientist is and what they do. But that’s for another blogpost.

Right now Im simply going to do some research, survey my network and try and come up with a best guess on exactly how many data scientists there currently are here in the Philippines.

Please feel free to contribute to the conversation… its not going to be easy to get a universally acceptable answer without a lot of discourse first.

Let the hunt for a unicorn head count begin!

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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.

Where’s the Analytics? The Analytics Challenges of Malls in Metro Manila

I spend a lot of time in malls when I’m in Metro Manila.

Business meetings at coffee shops.

Staff meetings at restaurants.

Getting exercise why walking to hit my FitBit goal.

I see a lot of movies.

And I am not alone.

Malls are where everyone goes. To beat the heat, to meet up with friends, to conduct business, and of course to shop and eat.

Given that I spend so much time in malls, I think a lot about the analytics that can take place behind the scenes.

Or in many cases, the apparent lack of analytics.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love the Philippines.

The heart and spirit of the Filipino people is the primary reason I set up a business here.

But I do sometimes wonder, how much better things could be in my adopted home if there was more widespread use of analytics in decision-making.

The malls are full of great examples of decisions that are pretty much done without much data analysis.

At least that is how it appears to me.

So in this series of blog posts I will discuss several topics that come to my mind when being in a mall in Metro Manila and how I would go about using analytics to investigate my observations.

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.

My Take Aways for the Big Data Conference 2016

Had a blast at the Big Data Conference at Enderun College yesterday. Lots of things to discuss in upcoming blogs, but here are a few takeaways that I notated.

There is a strong hunger for a national umbrella organization for analytics, big data and data science.

Engagement at the C-Level of Filipino companies outside the IT-BPO sector to eliminate the biggest adoption roadblock.

Restart of the Government, Industry and Academia collaboration on analytics needs to happen.

More hands on experiential learning for both students and faculty involving the industry.

Both traditional training and certification models as well as mentoring and self-guided training opportunities.

The speed and consistency of the internet is a huge threat.

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Advocacy for fixing culture before spending on costly technology and high priced talent.

Conversion of up to 70% of Customer Facing BPO Workers to doing analytics and data science as a hedge against automation and political decisions.

Im convinced that a lot of good can come out of the conference as the analytics and data  science industry is at about the same point the call center industry was 10 years ago.

However, given the global demand for data savvy talent and the exponential proliferation  of data, we need todo in 3-5 years what the BPO industry did in 10.

More to come!

News & Events- DMAIPH is a highly engaged leader, sponsor and participant in analytics events across the U.S. and the Philippines. As an Analytics Champion I write, blog, speak and lecture about analytics in a wide variety of forums. I authored several publications on analytics including my latest book, Putting Your Data to Work. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to learn more about where I will be talking about analytics next.

Can Analytics Help a Sari Sari Store?

I had this interesting conversation earlier about analytics.

I started explaining to the person I was sitting next to what I do and he asked can analytics really help any business?

Of course I said yes.

He asked even a Sari Sari store?

For those of you who don’t know much about Sari Sari stores, let me tell you a bit about them.

By far the most common form of self-employment in the Philippines are small, family operated convenience stores. Called Sari-Sari stores, there are an estimated 1 million Sari Sari stores across the Philippines. Per wikipedia, this counts for an estimated 30% of all retail sales in the Philippines.

Sari-Sari, which is Tagalog for variety, are an important economic and social pieces of just about every Filipino community. Most are privately run, family owned and are operated from the front of the owners house.

Commodities are displayed behind a large mesh screen to both allow customers to see what is available and to prevent shoplifting. The most common goods sold are candy, snacks and other non-perishable food items. Cigarettes and mobile phone cards are also popular items for sale. Household needs like soap, detergent and cleaning supplies are also common. Some stores have small refrigerators to offer cold drinks like soda and beer.

Sari-sari stores generally have higher prices when compared to supermarkets which is a tradeoff for proximity to their customers. It is also common to buy single units of a product versus an entire package as paying more to meet a quick need is valued over planning and budgeting bulk purchase over the long term.

Some Sari Sari stores also offer credit to neighbors. Micro lending of this scale is wide spread and generally done under the rule that if the credit is not repaid, the store owner will report this to the local government officials.

Some Sari Sari stores barter goods and services with farmer, fishermen and other businesses.

Most Sari Sari store proprietors buy their goods at supermarkets then mark up the prices for resale (on the average 20%). In some areas, businessmen make act a middle man offering bulk products to the Sari Sari store.

It is my belief that most Sari Sari stores can benefit from a simple strategic business plan and some very basic analytics.

My understanding is that Sari Sari stores operate on a very tactical level with little long term planning and operate with little market awareness.

If I ever to consult with the owner of a Sari Sari store, my initial approach would be to develop a business strategy plan and build a basic analytics process to gather data and provide a proof of concept.

This approach would be broken into the following steps:

  1. Business Strategy Assessment – How do they conduct business?
  2. Competitive Landscape – Who do they compete with?
  3. Demographic Profile – Who are their customers?
  4. Market Assessment – How much upside is in their market?
  5. Inventory Analysis – How to they optimize inventory?
  6. Facilities Assessment – Are they getting the most of their location?
  7. Risk & Security Assessment – What risks do they face?

I will flesh out each of these steps in upcoming blog posts.

Once I have complied data from these 7 steps, I can develop a business strategy plan unique to the individual Sari Sari store.

After my presentation of the business plan, I can make a determination if they Sari Sari store will enter Phase Two of the plan.

I would work with the proprietor store for a set period of time in a consulting role to determine viability of operations and if they meet our program standards (detailed later in this document).

In addition to offering a consulting solution, through my company, I can also offer additional services including cash management, accounting, marketing, inventory and fulfillment assistance, and other solutions as they arise.

Its my experience that the busiest Sari Sari stores offer something unique. Some might have an ice cream maker, or a special dish they prepare, or some have home baked goods. Regardless, they generally have something that sets them apart from a store that just offers traditional goods.

So, the final piece of my involvement would be cross selling our unique products to Sari Sari stores in need of a unique product to build their business around.

After that consultation, I would expect that three things would happen:

  1. the Sari Sari store proprietor would have a better grasp of a strategic business strategy.
  2. the Sari Sari store would increase profits and
  3. the Sari Sari store would expand its customer base and build up loyalty with existing customers.

So, to get back to the question… how can analytics help a Sari Sari store?

By applying some lessons from the corporate world.

Dr. Data_Analytics in the Philippines

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.

 

Q4: Can you please describe the current state of analytics in the Philippines? – Part 1

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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HR & Recruitment 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.

The recruitment and retention of top talent is the biggest challenge facing just about every organization. You really have to Think Through The Box to come up with winning solutions to effectively attract, retain and manage talent in the Philippines today. DMAIPH is a leading expert in empowering HR & Recruitment teams with analytics techniques to optimize their talent acquisition and management processes.

Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to learn how to get more analytics in your HR & Recruitment process so you can rise to the top in the ever quickening demand for top talent.

Excellent Leaders Are Constantly Pursuing Excellence

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/nature-authentic-leadership-ben-stewart

Here is an excellent conclusion to a blog post about the nature of authentic leadership…

‘Effective leadership can be an elusive goal with no clear path to direct success.  There are, however, many techniques and practices that are consistently utilized to reach this goal.  It begins with personal responsibility and leadership of oneself.  Before anyone has a chance at leading others,  he or she must take ownership of their thoughts, actions, and beliefs.

Possessing a keen insight into human behavior and thought is also critical.  This includes motivating, retaining, and resolving conflicts among the team.  It is unfortunate today that so many leaders become consumed with the ends that they forget the means.  While the bottom line is most often analyzed and how a leader is judged by superiors, it is the responsibility of the leader to ensure that the team respects its members and is passionate for pursuing excellence.  Neglecting this will bring discouragement and cause a serious threat to whatever goal is being pursued.

Leaders must always incorporate the human aspect into their decisions.  In its essence, leadership is about influence.  For a leader to maximize and improve whatever situation they encounter, requires going beyond spreadsheets and routines.  Taking a genuine interest for the team will include a common respect and appreciation for every individual.  Although this is a cumbersome and lengthy process, leadership will prove abundantly more effective.”

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The need for personal responsibility is most important when times are tough. If you are under pressure, its hard to lead others if your are not comfortable leading yourself.

Knowing how people think, and why they do what they do is a key point of success. Leaders who often try to spend time in their subordinates shoes are much more successful.

Pursing excellence needs to be a top motivator for any leader in DMAIPH. To be effective when it comes to working with me you need to understand the power of your influence and comprehend how it is perceived… so that you can get everyone else to follow along on that pursuit to excellence.

Analytics Leadership – DMAIPH specializes in arming the Data-Driven Leader with the tools and techniques they need to build and empower an analytics centric organization. Analytics leadership requires a mastery of not just analytics skill, but also of nurturing an analytics culture. We have guided thousands of Filipino professionals to become better analytics leaders.

Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to discuss a uniquely tailored strategy to ensure you are the top of your game when it comes to Analytics Leadership.

To Strive For Operational Excellence

Analytics is key for any organization to be able to strive for operational excellence and succeed.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/operational-excellence-manifesto-joseph-paris

Came across this blog post on LinkedIn talking about operational excellence. The author provided 5 pieces in the flow of a continual cycle of operational excellence:

  1. Strategic Clarity – Clarify the business model and sources of competitive advantage for each business line
  2. Culture of Excellence – Instill a philosophy of relentless passion for operational improvement
  3. Advantaged Architecture & Process – Design operational architecture, processes and production system to create competitive advantage
  4. Well-Orchestrated Journey – Disaggregate journey into a sequence of digestible pieces driven by real change leaders
  5. Superior Alignment & Execution – Align organization with objectives and reinforce with superior execution

Looking at how we put these ideas into action, here is what I hope the DMAI team can do.

We can continue to look at each business line to make sure its running optimally. Often we focus our energy just on what’s broken, and rarely focus on what’s working. We lost track of the fact that just because its working, doesn’t mean it’s optimal.

We can demand more from people. Allowing mediocrity to become the norm is a sure sign we have lost our passion to improve ourselves and our business.

We can document more. We can share the documentation more. We can use the documentation as a living, evolving part of the business that will keep things innovative and forward looking.

We can set tactical goals. We can reward ourselves to celebrate these successes. And we can use these successes to springboard us to the next tactical goal as we string together success after success towards out ultimate strategic goal. Be the name brand in analytics here in the Philippines.

operational excellence

We can constantly promote, motivate and empower each other to strive towards operational excellence and never accept operational mediocrity.

We can all get behind the core values of the company, behind our strategic vision and more in unison in our never ending pursuit of operational excellence.

Analytics is the application of using data and analysis to discover patterns in data. DMAIPH specializes in empowering and enabling leaders, managers, professionals and students with a mastery of analytics fundamentals. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to find out what we can do to help you acquire the analytics mastery you and your organization need to be successful in today’s data-driven global marketplace.

Lesson 9 – January 2013 – New Beginnings

139Ortigas, Metro Manila, Philippines

January 2013 got off to a great start. I set up a training, had a partnership with an events management company set up one in February, I filmed my first promotional video, and we had an official kick off party launch. I looked back at all the lessons I had learned in 2012 and focused in on two key ones; better marketing partnerships and charging more for the trainings.

There are so many important elements to a good marketing campaign. I learned a lot during my time with Wells, but hadn’t done a great job of them up till now. One thing was we needed a video. Something with me talking about analytics in away that gave people a chance to both better understand the topic and walk way feeling that I’m the best person to teach them about it. After some miscues we finally got it right. Another lesson is to have another voice be the one talking me up. We partnered with an events management company to get me in the media and put some polish on things. I guested on a number of TV and Radio shows and we started to sponsor more high profile events.

The next thing to do was reload the staff. At the end of 2012, I was down to one staff and no trainees. I decided to go all in with hiring more staff to help with the marketing and get our message out much broader then before. And with the media exposure we had content, we just needed to get it in front of as many people as possible. Based on the data available, I knew that our best bet was to train young professionals who could pay 3000 PHP for the training and then refer friends and co-workers. So that was the heart of our plan.

At the end of the month I was exactly where I wanted to be, the business had every sign of taking off and reaching the heights I had in mind.

Analytics Tool > KD Nuggets > http://www.kdnuggets.com/

Analytics Concept > Cost Benefit Analysis > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost%E2%80%93benefit_analysis

YouTube Resource > http://youtu.be/A0rFj0WVqDQ

My Analytics Story – My passion is solving problems by bringing together the best talent, cutting edge technology and tried and true methodologies. DMAIPH is all about empowering people towards better Decision-Making through the use Analytics and business Intelligence. This is what I do best. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly for a free consultation about getting more analytics into your career and your business.

13 Months in the Philippines – Lesson 8 – December 2012 – Holidays in the Philippines

IMG_1114 Kalookan, Metro Manila, Philippines

As 2012 came to a close, things really started to slow down. I took full advantage of this to prepare of a big launch of DMAI in January. We didn’t go home for the holidays, and ended up just staying in Makati to enjoy Christmas and New Years. And boy was it memorable.

The Winter Holidays in the US start with Thanksgiving. That’s when the malls have huge sales and you start seeing Christmas lights and hearing Christmas music in the malls. However in the Philippines that starts in September. So, but December I was pretty fatigued from hearing and seeing the Christmas cheer and looking forward to finally seeing the day come and pass.

There were a couple of additional interesting lessons I learned. From the period between Christmas and just after New Years, all movies show in Manila are Filipino made films. No Hollywood blockbusters or international films. It’s both good and bad, it allows Filipinos to relish in their own productions and guarantees viewing for films that might otherwise be missed. However, they are of course all in Tagalog. I went to one and got some of it, its was a romantic comedy so most of the jokes don’t need translation, but boy wouldn’t it be nice if they had subtitles.

The other one that really stands out is the fireworks. In the US we do fireworks in a big way on July 4th. There are also some on New Years or Veterans Day or Memorial in places, but fireworks really cant be enjoyed when its cold so for the most is just Independence Day. In the Philippines in Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Years Day. Staying on the 10th floor of a corner condo in Makati I could see fireworks all around from Pasay to Manila to Makati. Big and Small. It was amazing. And after the smoke was so thick it was like fog. It was truly amazing.

From an analytics standpoint I took away a couple of things. Know your holidays. For example, if you are an American company doing business in the Philippines know the holidays so you can keep your people happy. The second is that someone needs to do some analysis on the lost revenue of just showing Filipino films. They still make good money, but it has to be tough on the cinemas to sacrifice profit for art over a two-week period where everyone is at the malls.

Analytics Tool > Enchantment > http://www.guykawasaki.com/enchantment/

Analytics Concept > Business Partnership > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_partnership

YouTube Resource > http://youtu.be/f66naHGTsFU

My Analytics Story – My passion is solving problems by bringing together the best talent, cutting edge technology and tried and true methodologies. DMAIPH is all about empowering people towards better Decision-Making through the use Analytics and business Intelligence. This is what I do best. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly for a free consultation about getting more analytics into your career and your business.