Making effective use of information to solve business challenges has always been central to success. In 1913, insights derived from the systematic measurement of the time taken to add each component to a car led Henry Ford to transform the automotive industry — more than halving the cost to the consumer and creating the automated assembly line in the process.
Today, the sheer volume and complexity of information available makes identifying and acting on such transformative insights harder than ever. More data has been produced in the last two years than in the entire previous history of the human race. Information is collected from every interaction and process happening today, and less than 0.5% of it is ever used at all. We have entered the age of data.
This has spawned an entirely new discipline dedicated to solving business challenges through interrogation of company, market and societal data: data science. Businesses across the globe are seeking to use data science insights to increase productivity, eliminate inefficiencies and reduce costs. This has led UK businesses to invest over £12bn in improving analytics capabilities in 2017.
Getting the most out of all of this data isn’t just a question of having the right technology and infrastructure either. It’s about having the skills to use this infrastructure to derive meaningful insights and the aptitude to use these insights to solve problems. Demand for these skills is projected to create over 300,000 new jobs by 2020.
The challenge is that these skills aren’t very prevalent. Data science is a relatively new discipline, and requires a broader range of experience than just statistical mathematics. Structured education routes aren’t readily available — and while there are fantastic off-the-shelf short courses by the likes of Udacity, Cisco and Cloudera — even when packaged together, they aren’t designed to introduce people into the discipline and to produce well-rounded, skilled data scientists.
The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy creates opportunities to change this and provide purpose-built educational routes into data science.
That is exactly why the Data Fellowship has been created in partnership by international digital education business, Decoded, and Corndel, the leading work-based education company.
The Data Fellowship is a structured 18-month technical development programme designed to take people from a variety of backgrounds and roles and give them a comprehensive suite of data science skills. The programme content has been designed by our in-house team of data scientists alongside the Data Analyst level 4 Apprenticeship Standard, meaning it is built specifically to not just meet the requirements of the Apprenticeship Standard, but deliver a high-calibre learning experience to transform talented people from a range of disciplines into skilled data scientists.