DataBoss: Doing Data Differently

Corecom’s inaugural Databoss event took place last month in Leeds. Corecom’s specialist Data recruitment team; Sean Bentley, Aleksandra Taranovskaja, and Morgan Etienne, were pleased to invite Gareth Powell and Hemant Patel to speak about their experiences in Data, and to present solutions to the challenges currently faced by the sector. 

Gareth Powell, Group Data Officer & Partner at Irwin Mitchell, spoke first on the topic of data strategy and the challenges it brings. Gareth emphasised that data strategies cannot be one size fits all. There is an abundance of factors to consider within any business and the challenges are dictated by where in its data journey the business finds itself.  

Gareth spoke about an incident of serious data breach, its ramifications and cost, and how important it is that a data security team is properly resourced.  

Gareth recommended continuously tweaking data strategies as the world of data is ever changing and fast-paced. One of his success stories was developing a data strategy within his first three months at TalkTalk, after which he built a new target operating model to centralise analytics. This helped to build out digital analytics, experimentation, and data science. The company then started building a data platform in Azure that allowed for more advanced capabilities. He mentioned that the data sets they created helped to actually diagnose churn and customer behaviour more accurately. 

Overall, Powell demonstrated that data strategy is a continuous process that requires constant evaluation, whilst emphasising the importance of investing in security. It was a valuable and educational presentation for those passionate about data and the future of data management. 

After a break for pizza and networking, Hemant Patel, Founder and CEO at Anumana, spoke about the development of the next generation of tech talent. As is widely known, the tech sector faces a skills gap and a shortage of talent. Hemant delved into the statistics behind this, highlighting the lack of diversity within technology roles, including that only 26% of tech roles are occupied by women, despite women representing 50% of the workforce as a whole. He also referred to a government paper from 2017 that revealed a gender distribution ratio of 5:1 for male to female candidates at the computer science GCSE level, 7:1 for computer science A Levels, and 7:1 for computer science undergraduate degrees. 

Hemant emphasised that diversity is a significant problem in both academic and technology roles, and that grassroots efforts are needed to address this issue. Additionally, statistics were shared from the Tech Talent Charter report, which highlighted that only 13% of senior roles in tech are held by ethnic minorities and 22% by gender minorities. These numbers further underscored the lack of representation and the need for greater diversity and inclusion in the technology industry. 

Thank you to our speakers for an informative and inspiring event! We look forward to welcoming our data network back to Leeds for the next Databoss event.  

Are you looking for a new role in data? Speak to Sean Bentley about contract opportunities, or Aleksandra Taranovskaja or Morgan Etienne for permanent roles.

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