OPINION // Why Your Analytics Job Is Heading Offshore In 2015 Posted at 0:00, Tue, 9 December 2014 in Industry Insights

If you’re letting your analytics career steer itself, chances are you may be in for a rude shock in 2015. The trend towards offshoring continues and the trend towards productivity and efficiency will accelerate in 2015. So get behind it or risk losing out.

I’ve been saying it for years but data and analytics has one of the highest spreads between top talent and mediocrity. 2015 will see that gap widen even more and I’m expecting more commoditisation of analytic talent.

Who’s going to take your job?
Even though Chinese national educational statistics are published somewhat in arrears, the most recent data shows that China alone was expecting more than 125,000 PhD graduates in 2011. That’s a 250% increase on the previous year and represents more graduates in that year than the US has extant PhD holders.

Education is fast becoming the yardstick by which developing countries measure their progress. Even though the US still leads the world for quality of education, the BRIC economies are undoubtedly world leaders for quantity – and the gap is widening. Just look at the graph (FIG. 1 above) which I have taken from a Nature article. Even though this data is old it shows a trend which is continuing.

Further to this, while PhDs in humanities, arts and other non-science disciplines have remained relatively constant it’s the sciences which are contributing most of the growth. Check out the following graph as just one illustration of this. The second graph (FIG. 2 above) comes from the US-based National Science Foundation and is US-specific but it’s symptomatic of a worldwide trend.

Why will you lose out?
“So what?” I hear you asking. Well the basic reality is that if you’re an analytics professional who gets their daily instructions by email, your days are numbered. Developing economies have the work ethic, intellectual horsepower and sheer weight of numbers to take your job offshore in 2015. You can sit back and say that analytic skills are in demand and you’ll be right.

Just remember, though, that the analytics careers of the future are engaged, dynamic, proactive and insightful. They’re not building models or developing code in a dark room. If you’re that person, you may hang onto your role next year and even the year after but before too long you’ll become commoditised and your role will go to someone much cheaper and with much less of a sense of entitlement than you have.

Help! What can I do?
It’s time for you to move your career out of the dark recesses of a large business and into the spotlight of a role that relies on your intellect and commercial relevance. Don’t wait for the next role to be served up to you. Get out there and mix with your peers and see how other businesses use data. Meet people. Join meet ups like the R Users Group of Melbourne.

Or you could talk to a recruiter that thrives on analytics, like MitchelLake.