Talent Retention for Your Data Analytics Function

The significance of data analytics professionals has risen quite dramatically in the last few years. And that has made talent retention key for organizations. However, retaining top data and analytics talent in a competitive job market is easier said than done. Organizations can undermine the power of data and analytics at their peril. And if organizations need to stay relevant and understand the science behind data, they need people with data and analytics experts who can provide them insights for better decision-making. And if data and analytics continue to grow at the rate it has been in the recent past, its expansion will see an exponential rise in the coming time.

The emergence of new technology is one of the reasons for accelerating the process of such global adoption of data and analytics. Organizations now have easier access to massive data, much improved and secure data storage, enhanced data mining, and increased use of data in a whole host of business applications. To make the most of this exponential growth in data, organizations need to hire the right people for their data and analytics business function.

Organizations that choose to go agile and digital now have a business strategy that combines data and analytics. These organizations have developed an edge over their competitors that rely on legacy systems. There are still many companies that cannot extract the most that data and analytics have to offer. And the primary reason for this is the difficulty they have faced in transitioning to a ‘data-driven world’ from a ‘world full of data’.

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However, those companies as well have started prioritizing the integration of data and analytics in their overall business strategy. But, there is still a talent shortage they need to successfully implement that strategy. That is why most organizations find it challenging to hire for data and analytics roles. And talent retention also remains a big challenge. The talent shortage for this role can also be attributed to the existing skills gap. Having said that, the part has also been witness to several modifications and divisions over the years. So, now organizations have different positions and roles defined for various skill sets related to data science and data analytics. Some of these include data analysts, data architects, and data engineers. Also, executive roles in this field are gaining significance. The role of a Chief Data Officer is in high demand these days.

Even with the talent shortage and the challenges they face, many organizations are still not changing their approach to hiring and retaining data and analytics talent. The importance of having a talent strategy that considers measures to attract and retain top talent can’t be overstressed enough.

Global sourcing: Organizations should look beyond their own country and area of operations to find the best talent in data and analytics. This will help them tap into a larger talent pool, eventually taking less time to fill the talent gaps. Organizations should look to countries that are producing more analytics and data professionals. The global approach to finding talent results is more rewarding and can give organizations a fresh perspective on their talent strategy.

Cross-sector search: In addition to the talent shortage, organizations aren’t able to fill talent gaps because they are not looking beyond their sector or industry. Narrowing down the search to just one industry will only give them a handful of options. However, if they widen their search and look across different sectors, they will have more options to choose from. Also, the approach to attracting talent can’t be rigid. They should be flexible regarding experience and background and creative when it comes to identifying skill sets according to their needs. Attracting and retaining talent will be easier for organizations if they consider data and analytics a separate function for businesses, irrespective of the sector or industry.

Remuneration: Data and analytics professionals are in great demand across industries worldwide. And this has had a significant impact on the income of this professional as well. The salary of data and analytics professionals is rising consistently every year. So, for organizations to attract and retain top talent in this field, they need to appreciate this rise in remuneration for these professionals and provide their existing and prospective employees with a salary that’s at least on par with these standards. No matter the rate at which remuneration rises, organizations will have to keep up with the pace to remain competitive.

Clear purpose: An organization’s need to have a clear purpose in mind when it comes to how it would be using data and analytics to fulfil its short-term and long-term business goals. This is where someone with the credentials of a Chief Data Officer can prove the difference. They can bridge the gap between business strategy and data teams. They need to have the technical know-how to keep up with managing a data and analytics team. And at the same time, they should also be inclined towards the business side of things to help an organization make the most of data and analytics for its business objectives. Having a clear purpose is key to attracting and retaining talent. Top talent usually chooses to prefer working with organizations with a clearly defined growth path.


  • How to Attract and Retain Talent for Your Data and Analytics Team | Gartner | Jorgen Heizenberg | 28 October 2021
  • How to attract and retain data analytics talent | Business of Data | DECEMBER 11, 2020

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