Developing tomorrow’s analytic talent


I speak with executives in every industry – in companies big and small – and they all have the same challenge: They’re overwhelmed with data. The problem? There’s a huge gap between the amount of data they possess and the number of employees who can analyze it. This lack of people power is causing companies to miss out on critical opportunities that are hidden in all that data.

Easy fix, right? Just hire more data experts. But those same executives tell me they have a hard time finding and retaining that valuable talent. My answer is, look to our universities.

Hire more college graduates

Do you hire for experience or potential? There are arguments for both, but I see future dividends in developing the analytical minds of the millennial generation. This effort must begin well before graduation day, and I’m excited to be part of the SAS team taking action to tackle this problem. We’re creating a talent pool to fill these jobs – and that will help SAS customers and partners succeed.

I recently attended Analytics Day at Oklahoma State University, an event I’ve attended for several years. Generating interest in technology careers is always my goal. It’s something I’m passionate about – I want every student to have the opportunity to become an analytics expert.

That’s a goal shared by all of us at SAS, and we’ve been working toward it for a long time. More than seven years ago, SAS and North Carolina State University launched the first analytics master’s degree. That was before the demand for graduates with big data skills increased dramatically. With such an upturn in the demand, we will expand our outreach.

SAS® Analytics U helps anyone become an expert

Our latest initiative to attract more talent is SAS Analytics U. SAS Analytics U is open to professors, students and academic researchers. Access to free SAS software paves the way for anyone to become an analytic expert. And a vibrant online community encourages collaboration with other SAS users. All of this support helps develop the deep analytical talent that companies are looking for.

Online courses also serve as an important instrument in creating more talent. SAS’ upcoming online and massive open online courses (MOOCs) will be open to anyone who wants to learn SAS programming, prepare for certification, increase marketability and enhance skills.

Analytics boot camp

The best and the brightest hate to be bored, so when SAS hires college graduates we put them through a rigorous, 12-week Technology Enablement Academy designed to immerse participants in core SAS technologies. Together with seasoned mentors, they immediately build a network based on relationships with two-way communication. The knowledge sharing benefits customers, employees and SAS. These new hires are quickly assigned to customer projects, solving challenges and testing the limits of their knowledge. We’ve seen these graduates have an immediate impact. They’re valued team members, not just the new kids on the block.

Between SAS Analytics U, our online courses and academic communities, we’re doing everything we can to help students get real-world technology and analytics experience. So get ready – soon you’ll be meeting the next generation of analytics leaders.


About Author

Fritz Lehman

Executive Vice President & Chief Customer Officer

Fritz Lehman is passionate about customer care. As Chief Customer Officer, he leads a division of more than 2,000 employees dedicated to ensuring customer satisfaction and providing seamless customer support. Topics that interest him include excellence in leadership, fostering trust and building great teams.

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  1. Pingback: Helping the academic community build an analytics army - The Corner Office

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