Data Analytics

The resilience of data driven organisations in a post-Covid world

20 October 2020 by Heidi Marshall

Behind the technological revolution lies big data and the ability to use this information to react quickly to changing circumstances.


The pandemic has escalated the adoption and ongoing use of technology. Zoom, MS Teams and Skype have been utilised both at a corporate level to hold business meetings, and at a personal level as we connect with family and friends that we otherwise wouldn’t have seen for several months.  And from the prevalence of online shopping to the increased utilisation of streaming services like Netflix and Spotify, technology has kept us connected to each other, entertained and able to continue working. 

Even pre-Covid, McKinsey was reporting in their 2019 Global Survey that companies with the greatest overall growth in revenue and earnings receive a significant proportion of that boost from data and analytics. These organisations were making data a core part of employees’ workflows and mind-sets by educating them as part of a broader effort to build a strong data-driven culture. 

As we start to come through this period, a key lesson is the need for organisations and governments to have access to data analysts. People with the skills to manipulate and analyse data effectively and extract informed insights. Advanced data science is a fundamental component of every industry in the public and private sectors.  

The most resilient businesses in a post-pandemic era, will be those whose operating models are informed by data. This enables objective evaluation of multiple business situations and empowers businesses to be nimble and reactive.

‘Data rich, information poor’ organisations will not be well-placed to transform and react in a post-Covid world. 

Businesses aren’t short of data but being able to rapidly access it and ascertain what’s relevant is more challenging. Several businesses have created the role of Chief Data Officer, representing at Board level, the data-driven strategy. They ensure decision makers have access to clean, consistent, reliable and actionable information. They are supported by teams of Data Analysts, Architects, Governance managers etc. who build simulations and forecasts to better prepare for disruptive events, analyse data that drives organisational strategy, ensure models are fit for purpose and designed and deployed responsibly and ethically etc.

But to be a truly data-driven organisation also involves bringing cross-functional people together to help apply data insight to business operations. This enables the organisation to effect change with a data-driven, people-centric, enterprise-wide approach. McKinsey’s 2019 Global Survey reported education as a key differentiator for high performing organisations. ‘Developing a workforce with both data and analytics knowledge is among the top five challenges to reaching a company’s objectives.’ High performing organisations have seen the value in investing in data education at all levels – executives, managers and those on the front line.  

The rationale behind Corndel’s Levy funded Data Diplomas 

This was the rationale behind devising the Apprenticeship Levy funded Corndel Diplomas in DataFor the Levy to be effective, it must be used to train people to fill skills gaps and organisational needs:  

Corndel’s Data Essentials Diploma (Level 3) is designed for the cross-functional roles and managers / operational teams to be able to understand and use data within their business areas. The Data Essentials Diploma will help organisations to achieve a data-driven culture, leading to:  

  • Evidence-based decision making at all levels through a greater understanding of data 
  • Increased value realised from data analytics projects through a more informed use of outputs 
  • Improved flow of information throughout the organisation through better communication of insights

Upon completion, employees will be highly data literate and have the skills to:  

  • Handle data responsibly and securely 
  • Manipulate data, performing simple ad-hoc analysis 
  • Communicate analysis well to a range of stakeholders 
  • Produce easily understood charts/ visualisations 
  • Work more effectively with data experts in the business 
  • Enable data-driven decision making

The Corndel Data Analytics Diploma (Level 4) trains and upskills people who wish to move into a Data Analyst role, or whose roles would benefit from being able to collate, prepare and analyse large amounts of data and build predictive tools to inform business decisions. They may already work with data as a primary aspect of their role and want to build their skills, or are looking to further their professional development by gaining more advanced technical skills. 

It is ideal for organisations who want:  

  • Improved performance based on predictive, automated insights built in-house; 
  • Robust analysis throughout the organisation through better designed and managed analytics projects; 
  • Increased capacity in centralised highly skilled functions by building more widespread capability for business-as usual data analytics tasks;  
  • Data analysed more safely and securely within organisational infrastructure.

Upon completing the Corndel Data Analytics Diploma, employees will be able to apply data analytics to their day-to-day role and have the skills to:  

  • Understand a range of database technologies; 
  • Effectively use relational databases; 
  • Code with SQL to extract data from relational databases; 
  • Use Python or R to create repeatable processes and perform machine learning; 
  • Apply machine learning techniques including regression, clustering and time series analysis; 
  • Manage data analytics projects end-to-end; 
  • Effectively communicate insights with a range of stakeholders.

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