Train Your Employees in Data Analytics Using E-Learning Platforms
As information and computer technologies have proliferated, so has the need for experts who can optimise and operate these technologies. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the field of data analytics. A recent jobs report published by the World Economic Forum stated that over a 5-year period (2015-2020) technological disruptions world-wide would result in the loss of some white-collar jobs (like office administration), and a spike in others (like data science). These predictions are borne out by a meteoric surge in demand for data scientists that has far outstripped the current supply.
As S Anand, Gramener’s CEO and Chief Data Scientist says, there is a “persistent need” for trained people in the field of Data Science. Hiring from colleges is not feasible, because not many colleges have an analytics course to begin with. Hiring laterally from the industry has its challenges as well since it is not easy to find people with the unique combination of skills that is needed in business today. Professionals who wish to learn analytics or augment analytics skill-sets, are forced to put their careers on hold to enrol in one of a handful of courses being offered by universities or degree programs.
Luckily, a viable alternative for analytics-hungry graduates, professionals, and companies has emerged: online learning platforms that specialize in analytics training.
Digital learning platforms, and e-learning more generally, are part of a long-standing tradition of ‘student-led’, computer-centred learning. A critical moment in the history of contemporary e-learning was the introduction of a computer-based training program at the University of Illinois in 1960 named PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operations). By “automating individual instruction”, PLATO facilitated individual-led learning, a mode of instruction that emphasizes, “[S]elf-pacing, mastery before advancement, high-quality materials, tutoring help, prompt feedback, and practice testing”. PLATO innovated interactive features that have become characteristic of e-learning as well as of IT more broadly, such as e-mails, message boards, online-testing, and gaming programs.
Today’s e-learning platforms have successfully operationalised these features, particularly with respect to data analytics training.
In light of the steep and growing ‘supply-demand gap’ mentioned earlier, it is evident that solutions need to be long-term, medium-term, and short-term. Tomorrow’s analysts must be trained today, to ensure long-term supply.
But what about today’s professionals with backgrounds in ‘data science-adjacent’ disciplines like statistics and computer science? Wouldn’t it make sense to build on and upgrade their existing skillsets to ensure medium and short-term supply of data scientists? E-learning platforms are doing just that.
Here are some reasons why online platforms are an effective, viable and time-sensitive way to train future data scientists and analysts.
Features like avatars, points and badges make the learning process immersive such that course work feel less like work, and more like an adventure. Along with leader boards, gamification introduces engagement through the element of competition.
Today’s fast-paced world is in a constant state of technological disruption; one in which big data reigns supreme. Rapid upskilling in data analytics can give individuals and companies the competitive edge they need to succeed. E-learning platforms provide overextended employees and professionals with the most flexible and specialised instruction available on the market, at a pace of their choosing, and regardless of where they’re located.
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