One of the biggest challenges facing small and large companies is how to adapt to the rapid change of technology and innovation. The tools, skills, resources, and advantages a company has one year may not be relevant the next. And for precisely this reason, the companies that learn to embrace change are typically the ones that survive.
However, it's impossible to respond to new innovations or trends overnight – especially for larger organizations. In this post, we'll focus on a topic that is near and dear to our hearts at Correlation One: Upskilling.
Upskilling helps organizations on multiple fronts. First, upskilling ensures that employees are kept up-to-speed on the latest skills that organizations both in and outside of your industry are employing. This is a great way to ensure your organization doesn't fall behind competitors. Employee engagement is another great reason to invest in upskilling. In addition to known factors like compensation, autonomy, and the ability to advance within an organization, the ability to learn on-the-job and acquire new marketable skills is also of great value to employees. If new skills can immediately be put into practice by your workforce, that is yet a third key benefit to investing in upskilling.
Data Literacy – The Most Important Skill?
Training and re-training employees takes time (and money). It's an investment. And as with any investment, ROI matters. At Correlation One, we believe that data science, and more broadly data literacy, is the area with the most return-on-investment potential when it comes to upskilling.
According to McKinsey, the demand for data talent exceeds supply by up to 50%. This supply-demand gap has the potential to continue to drive salaries for data scientists unnaturally higher in the short to medium term. The rapid pace of innovation in AI and Machine Learning could also result in current employees fearing being left behind or becoming obsolete.
Data Science Upskilling kills multiple birds with a single stone.
Training & Upskilling To-Date
At the enterprise level, online training platforms don't have the best track record when it comes to retraining and upskilling employees. Udemy for example offers a massive library of $10 high school-, college-, and graduate-level courses that anyone can take from the comfort of their homes. The problem? Most people don't have the discipline or motivation to complete online courses, which is why completion rates hover around 13%.
In addition to low completion rates, in many instances, training content is too far removed from a trainee's industry. Context matters. Someone in quantitative finance taking a Python course that uses weather pattern data will struggle to retain new learning thanks to a lack of context.
At Correlation One, we're developing a training platform in tandem with some of the world's biggest hedge funds and management consultancies to deliver contextualized training modules that are designed to be immediately applied to day-to-day workflows.
Our Co-Chief Scientist (and tenured statistics professor at Harvard University) Natesh Pillai, had this to say:
"Our training platform brings academia to industry and truly is the first of its kind. Our content is designed in such a way to cultivate data literacy and upskill folks in a really short period of time. Instead of watching lectures and videos, our curriculum is built on interaction, and emphasizes learning by doing."