Just this week, Jeremy Hunt acknowledged the NHS winter crisis as the “worst ever” so I thought it’d be topical to discuss how Big Data can be utilised in healthcare.
Since the NHS began in 1948, increased life expectancy and population has caused financial pressure, with the costs continuing to rise. Exacerbating the situation is an increase in the prevalence of chronic disease and of course the current flu season, which NHS England has described as the worst in years.
Other sectors are already adopting and taking advantage of the Big Data revolution, putting predictive analytics to good use. Retailers can create targeted advertising campaigns and utility suppliers can predict demand spikes, so in theory there is no reason as to why predictive analytics can’t be utilised to reduce waiting times, improve disease management and predict patient flows through the NHS.
NHS Scotland started to adopt electronic health records in 2011, which has increased the availability of digitised data in recent years, translating into substantial savings;
The above findings from NHS Scotland are a strong indicative of the improvements that big data analytics can bring, however, there are some barriers to big data usage. Not just in terms of recruiting people with the right skillset, but also the IT infrastructure for data storage and access. GDPR will also enforce new data regulations, coming into place during May 2018, meaning a stricter overall governance of the sharing of data, hampering the flow of data within the organisation.
The benefits are clear, and in the case of NHS Scotland they are proven. The NHS needs to embrace a more objective and data driven approach, and this will involve a leap of faith, a change of culture, and financial input.
Get in touch to find out more.
A new year always brings a sense of excitement along with the aura of a fresh start. Here at RP Analytics, we have moved into our brand new google-esque office along with Dominos Pizza to celebrate.
January has given us a chance to assess the market and where it seems to be heading, with that in mind I would like to point out what to expect in the mobile app space!
According to the Mobile Apps report, 2017 was a volatile year to say the least.
The good? 57% of consumers time using digital media is now spent in apps. The bad? Users aren’t downloading apps anymore. In fact, a majority of users (51%) don’t even download one measly app a month.
Suspect, right? But then, in January of 2018, Apple announced that iOS developers made $26.5 billion in 2017 – a sales increase of 30% from 2016.
That’s more than the annual revenues of big players like Starbucks or McDonald’s. Download Tinder or buy a Big Mac? I know, tough decision.
Something to consider is the meteoric rise of blockchain powered cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, it seemed like everyone wanted to get in on the blockchain bandwagon action towards the end of 2017 and we don’t expect 2018 to be any different. One problem, it is yet to be determined if blockchain is right for an app, rather than a traditional SQL database.
Then there’s the challenge of synchronizing transaction records among disparate mobile users. My advice? Invest in Electroneum, this is the first crypto to provide a mobile mining app and its British ;)
What else? 5G IS COMING. 5g is the godfather of wireless networking and is going to be sixty times faster than 4g!
The cloud is back… cloud apps will account for 89% of total mobile traffic in 2018. Storing data in the cloud is great for everyone involved – from users who are mindful of storage space and memory usage on their mobile phone, to businesses who want to keep their confidential data away from prying eyes and in a secure, centralized location.
What Are Your Trends?
I have told you a few of key trends, what about yours? Anything I have missed out on? Be sure to leave us a comment below or reach out to us on social media to let us know!
So, it’s January, you’ve been contemplating the idea of a new challenge for several months now. You quite like the idea of new job responsibilities, a new company, fresh faces around you etc. and have finally decided it’s the right time to begin that slightly daunting, but at the same time exciting, job search. You need to update your CV and make sure that the key information regarding your skills and experiences is in there for employers to see, but that really is just the start of it…
As you compile your list of tasks that need completing, you quickly have the realisation that this process is going to involve a lot more effort than you first imagined, you’re not sure if you can be bothered with the hassle and the chances of you landing that life changing, dream job starts to slip away.
This is the reason why you need to get in touch with an RP Analytics recruitment consultant.
Experts in your market!
We recruit data analytics, digital and software development professionals on a daily basis, it’s our job! It’s our responsibility to stay in regular contact with all the local candidates and clients so that we are constantly aware of the changes happening. We know who is leaving what company, how you will stand the best chance of getting an interview, what businesses are on the up and similarly, which businesses may not be doing so well. Candidates are often surprised by how many relevant businesses there are that match their skill set and job preferences in the local area – it’s our job to educate you on this.
Clients engage with us because they are searching for a specific type of professional and skills set, we will therefore never put you forward for an opportunity that you are not relevant for. On the flip side of this, you’ll get the guidance and honesty around what roles your skills and experience would suit and where these opportunities can be found, as well as how you stack up against your competition. This can help to refine your job search and any areas of your current skills you might want to focus on developing.
Interview hints and tips
Whilst it’s true that hiring managers interviewing techniques can vary, all interview preparation can benefit from the same fundamental hints and tips. Interviewing can be especially daunting, particularly if it’s for your dream job! RP Analytics consultants meet with each client and go through their interviewing process in detail, often consulting on best practices, this puts us in a perfect position to ensure you’re fully prepped going in to your interview. That extremely powerful insider knowledge is something not to be underestimated!
Your very own, FREE, biggest fan!
Your consultant will promote you to the fullest! You’re both in the same process, working together towards the end goal… landing you your dream job. We’ll identify the key skills, experiences, interpersonal skills etc. that make you relevant for the role and ensure we make these clear to the client whenever we discuss you with them to give you the very best chance.
Lastly, don’t forget that all of this is FREE! You will most likely even get a free coffee (or other drinks are available) out of us too!
All that we ask in return is for an honest and trusting partnership so that we can successfully work together during your time spent job seeking.
So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch today!
With industries facing into the big questions around diversity in the work place, especially regarding the gender pay gap, I thought I'd take a look to understand just how this looks in the technology market.
A study in 2017 showed that almost 20% of technology companies in London have NO women at a senior level. 20%!!! But why is that? No longer can companies hide behind the, frankly, old fashioned ideas that women aren't ambitious or that they'll all have children and take time out. Regardless of how you feel about that (you may agree) surely tech companies have overcome some of the "traditional" reasons. Believe me when I say I know some very ambitious women and plenty who have chosen to share or cut short maternity leave as they want to get back to work. Just typing this paragraph is making me question why our industry has this issue and looking around our office it's a similar picture.
Is it down to the potential pay gap? A report conducted by Mercer explains that the pay gap in tech companies is higher than in other industries - men earn, on average, 25% more than women in the same role (the national average is 18%). So yes, this could be a factor but at most levels of seniority this is less of a problem. The statistics behind these numbers is staggering and mind boggling at the same time. It just doesn't make sense.
Computer Weekly's Most Influential Woman in UK IT 2017 (see what they did there?) Sherry Coutu believes the root cause is a lack of roles models in technology and that this goes all the way back to our schools. Despite [schools and colleges] being incentivised to encourage girls into STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) it's still a predominately male environment. Sherry acknowledges the "cultural bias" that implies boys are better than girls at these subjects, but replies "you and I know that to be rubbish!"
So how do we start addressing this issue? Well, obviously the government will have targets to hit, your business may also have a clear diversity strategy, but there's something that you, dear reader, can do.
Be That Role Model!
Booking.com has just partnered with two universities to offer a monetary incentive to women looking to get into tech careers. Can you do something similar but earlier? Get out to your local schools and talk to them. Get involved where you can, provide guidance or sponsorship, offer work experience. As a business leader or employer, it is you who can address this problem and make a real difference.
Not sure where to start? Give me a call or join the conversation below.
It's fair to say that marketing teams and departments are regularly seen as being creative, head in the clouds types with more interest in new innovations and ideas than truly understanding the customer needs, ethics and engaging with them on their terms. But this isn't an accurate depiction of modern day marketing, or at least it shouldn't be any more. Data is becoming a critical tool when planning campaigns, who to target, how did it perform, what leads did it create, how did it impact our brand, these are all questions that the data collected can help with. But will this be possible when GDPR comes into place this year?
Questions are already been asked about how prepared marketers are. How will you be using your customer data? Steve Forde, director of online product and marketing at ITV, admits it involves “a lot of contractual and legal work”, but points out marketers are the only people “representing the consumer, the marketing side of things and the opportunity”. His key insight, applicable to all companies, is: “If we can’t easily explain to [customers] what we’re doing with their data, then we shouldn’t be doing it”. Sounds simple right? So how are a company like Tesco, who actively use the data they collect to offer targeted deals and access to their extended range of services, going to ensure compliance with 16 million Clubcard data? They will need to check how they asked for permission to use our data, and if it wasn't done in a way that is now GDPR compliant they will have to ask again.
Can you imagine the work involved? And the associated cost?
If you were contacted and decided you didn't want them to use your information, they'd have 28 days to change the permissions and cease all communications (in the post and at till point). And that's just one company. Sainsbury currently have over 19 million users!!! See the list below for the Top 10 UK loyalty programmes for an idea of the number of users involved
Considering the potential fines under GDPR, the squeeze on consumer spending and the uncertainty around the UK economy, marketers are really going to be much more accountable for managing tightening budgets and being as efficient as they can be with their activity. Which is why a strong, GDPR compliant source of data is the critical component of your 2018 (and beyond) marketing plans. Maybe rather than have that flashy new TV advert, you should be spending your money elsewhere?
Get in touch and join the conversation.
We are rapidly approaching the time of year when we reflect on the challenges and successes of the last 12 months and start to look to the future. It's easy to look backwards and work out what we would have done differently, what surprised us and what we enjoyed, but can we really predict what will come?
With advances in technology we are getting better at predicting the weather, share price changes, and even the winner of Strictly Come Dancing (my money's on Joe), but can we accurately predict what the technological advances will be? If you can cast your mind back 10 years, could you have accurately predicted a world where the power of your voice lets you ask the internet a question but at the same time spend more time sending text messages? Where you can order a taxi using an app that tells you where the nearest one is or stay in someone's home when it's not a Bed and Breakfast? How about using your watch to pay for goods with a virtual currency? Below are a few of the things that we take for granted that simply didn't exist 10 years ago.
Sometimes it feels like advances in technology have slowed compared to the past - granted the leaps made in the 20th century were enormous - but it really isn't slowing, it's just that we are becoming more accustomed to change. How many of you reading this are really comfortable about the prospect of driverless cars? I'm not always good being the passenger in a "normal" car, so how will I cope knowing that no one is actually driving? And in 10 years will I remember my apprehension? No.
Although we can't predict the future (I'm still waiting for my hoverboard as predicted in Back to the Future 2 in 1989) through the use of insights we can look at trends and patterns to give a feel for the direction of change. One such insight in the world of digital marketing is around voice. With the advances in voice recognition software such as Alexa, Cortana, Siri and Google's Home, we are able to ask a question, check our diary and even order a pizza! A recent study indicates that 20% of Google searches are already being done by voice with predictions of this hitting 30% in the next 2 years. So how can this be used to help market your brand?
Burger King have already used an online advert to trigger a voice search on your computer, granted with mixed reactions, but we're likely to see more big brands utilising similar methods. The next time you're watching a clip on You Tube or listening to a playlist on Spotify, that advert that you can't click away from might just start offering you a chance to order a takeaway, pre-order the movie you're watching the trailer for or open up a webchat window for that loan company - the possibilities are endless with video being another big trend for 2018. You'll also need to start thinking about your SEO. Most voice searches are conversational ("Where's the nearest coffee shop?" over "Coffee Shops") so simple keywords won't be enough to get your website to the top of the results list, how can you influence this? If you have a customer service or sales department, you'll already have scripts that are followed by a person OR a chatbot, this is a good place to start. Get these key phrases added to increase your chances of being the one result. A recent study by BrightEdge showed that 62% of marketers haven't even started thinking about this, with only 3% actually implementing any changes, a worrying number as you risk being left in the dark ages.
So, hopefully, you can see that although I can't predict the future yet, through the use of good insights we are able to chart the markets’ direction and influence future changes. What's your biggest prediction for 2018? Join the conversation and get in touch below.
‘Your skills and qualifications are excellent; however, you do not have enough hands-on experience for this role. Therefore, I regret to inform you that we have chosen to hire a candidate who has more experience in this area.’ This is a response that is far too familiar for graduates applying for analytic roles. How can you gain experience if you have never been given the chance to gain that all important experience?
The simple answer is, you can’t.
Graduates are leaving university and entering into the job hunt cattle market. Fresh faced with a degree in hand and ready to earn their first ‘proper’ job, they are fighting to secure employment and you really should consider them. They are a risk to companies but a risk that you will not regret.
Graduates are willing to take a lower salary. They haven’t yet got the all-important commercial experience and therefore this makes them more affordable. Their salary isn’t to be exploited however. In return you will provide graduates with experience and training that is vital in moving forward in their career. Offer a graduate a salary that is competitive within their industry and you won’t go far wrong.
Millennials and multitasking go hand in hand. If you want somebody that can do multiple things at once then you cannot go wrong with a recent graduate. Writing assignments whilst checking twitter, finding the correct Instagram filter, sending snapchats, listening to friends, reading lecture notes and watching TV, they have perfected the art to a T.
Stick to Deadlines
With strict penalties for late submission, deadlines must be achieved. With assignments due for multiple lecturers they have adopted a methodical approach to working and plan their workloads to ensure the deadline is met. Apply that to the work place and you will have an employee that will work very efficiently.
Most graduates that are younger won’t have commitments that prevent flexibility, such as children. They won’t have to take time off because of end of year assemblies and they don’t have a strict afterschool activity rota to stick to. This is great for any employer. If you need extra manpower in the office to complete a certain project or to get through a busy time; graduates are more likely to volunteer their time simply because they can. Employees that are able to commit to overtime are a great asset to have within a team.
Question Existing Processes
Nothing is more refreshing that a new set of eyes to look at existing processes. Graduates are perfect for this. Looking at systems you already use, they will be quick to ask ‘why’. Whether they are totally outdated or just need a little tweaking, a new graduate employee will be sure to highlight this.
Having not known a time when technology wasn’t used every day, graduates are very clued up on this area of a business. This is important as you will not waste time covering the basics with them. If anything, they may teach you a thing or two.
Here at RP Analytics, we make graduate recruitment easy, affordable and valuable. We only introduce you to the top 5% of all graduates. We do it all for you. We screen, test, brief and reference all our graduates before you see the end product; a graduate that wants to work for you and add value to your business. Get in touch and I can introduce you to a graduate that will contribute to your business in endless ways.
Likewise, if you are a graduate and would like to work with me to help secure your next opportunity, get in touch!
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, last week delivered the Budget in which he pledged to secure Britain's position as a world leader in technology and innovation. Amongst the tech spending highlights he announced £75m for AI, which although a step in the right direction, Darren Roos, president of the cloud division of technology company SAP, stated it may not be sufficient.
At present, according to the OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard, the UK accounted for just 1.9% of AI-related patent applications from 2010 to 2015, with research suggesting 70% of AI technological development is happening in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China.
Anyhow, the AI funding announced by the Treasury is aimed at removing barriers to AI development, increasing the number of new PhD students in the field to 200 each year and supporting tech start-ups. At present a new tech start-up is registered in the UK at a rate of 1 of every 60-minutes and Phillip Hammond wants to halve that rate to 1 every 30-minutes. Additionally, a further £100m has been pledged to support 8,000 new computer science teachers, tripling the current figures to 12,000 alongside a new National Centre for Computing.
The vast investment being pledged to AI, clearly demonstrates we are now living in the Digital Revolution in which the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines is ever increasing. AI algorithms play an increasingly large role in modern society, though usually not labelled “AI”, from Siri and Cortana to email spam filters and social media features such as Snapchats facial filters.
From a business perspective, AI can make decisions autonomously without any human involvement, and has huge potential to bring accuracy, efficiencies, cost savings and speed to a whole range of formerly human activities and to provide entirely new insights into market and customer behaviour. Thus, it is evident that AI has the capability to transform businesses and the services and products they offer.
However, with technological advances and more perplexed AI focuses such as driverless cars and even battlefield robots, arises the question, where do we draw the line? For example - A self-driving car carrying a family of four on a rural lane spots a bouncing ball ahead. As the vehicle approaches a child runs out to retrieve the ball. Should the car risk its passengers’ lives by swerving to the side—where the edge of the road meets a steep cliff? Or should the car continue on its path, ensuring its passengers’ safety at the child’s expense?
There is no doubt that AI has numerous business-related benefits, but with the likes of Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates openly expressing concerns about AI and some clear ethical considerations, where do you think we should draw the line?
Last week Ryan Anderson (Big Data recruitment specialist), Ben Fisher (Business Analyst recruitment specialist) and myself (Business Intelligence recruitment specialist) had the pleasure of attending the Big Data LDN 2017 event. It was a great couple of days with many different data analytics vendors exhibiting, in fact we were surprised by just how many new names (to us) that there were… It really is no wonder that companies struggle to select the most relevant and beneficial products for them is it.
There was a real buzz around the place, data analytics professionals from all over the UK and beyond attended, from graduate/ junior data analysts, to Heads of BI, CTOs and entrepreneurs, it really was an excellent sign of an industry with such a huge part to play in the future. There were key note speakers, smaller talks on specific stands and a lot of general chat between people all over the event, sharing experiences and ideas in the quest to solve real life problems.
One topic that was prevalent throughout the event was the Internet of Things (IoT) and the value that IoT data holds.
For those who maybe don’t know, IoT is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enable these objects to connect and exchange data.
We’ve known about Big Data now for some time, but a very interesting comment I heard was; “IoT is the use case for Big Data we’ve all been waiting for”. With the number of devices that are generating this data rapidly growing, the digital universe is expanding at a phenomenal pace.
It’s estimated that there will be more than 20x the connected devices per person on the entire planet by 2020, anything from 50 billion up to over 200 billion IoT devices*, that’s an enormous amount of data being generated. The real challenge here is getting to the data and generating the real value. Another term that was mentioned several times is:
Dark Data: This is the data that is captured, stored and never touched! It’s estimated that on average, between 80-90% of data in organisation’s data repositories is dark data, crazy!
To truly gain the Insights from your data, you must ensure you build a strong and successful IoT strategy, and this is achieved by a correct delivery architecture. IE how the data is collected, managed and maintained but maybe most importantly, how value will be created from your IoT data. To do this, you must ensure that everybody across your organisation has access to the data and is able to explore the data and uncover those unknown insights that can lead to true innovation!
To conclude, it was a brilliant event with many of the industry’s leading professionals sharing their knowledge and thoughts, and one thing it did reiterate is that 2018 is set to be yet another ground-breaking year for the Data Analytics industry.
If you, your company or someone you know is interested in knowing more or wants to join in the conversation, get in touch.
*Source: Gartner, IDC and Cisco.
*Source: Qlik Tech International AB.
A few of our highlights from the event
If he was, I’m pretty sure he would have got to the right answer a lot quicker than he did with the lightbulb.
The impact data analysis actually has on enterprises of all sizes has been well documented in recent years to show the benefits an organisation will receive; the ability to better evidence their decision making, pinpoint areas to cut costs, and drive profits. Large international corporations have been taking advantage of the benefits business analytics provides for so long. However, this is a completely different story when it comes to Start Ups and SMEs. Figures from a recent poll found that 56% of SMEs rarely or infrequently check their business’s data, while 3% have never looked at it at all.
Data Analysis is a big advantage for Start Ups and SMEs as it actively promotes growth which is the prime objective for most. Business Analytics when used correctly will help uncover hidden opportunities, identify trends, patterns and problem areas. In the UK last year, there was over 650,000 new Start Ups which shows how vital it is for those companies to take risks in their quest for growth. Analysing the numbers can help to reduce against these risks, and ensure they will provide some ROI and not bring down the company.
All foundations for a Start Up’s success are built around their idea or product. Unfortunately figures show that up to 50% of Start Up’s cease trading after 5 years. Accepting these figures is never easy if you’re a founder of a Start Up, but your chances of survival can be increased if you’re willing to accept these numbers and take time in understanding the market, products, customers, and data analytics. Taking advantage of free tools such as Google Analytics is vital in the early stages as this will allow a company to look at engagement metrics and feedback from users.
The main reason behind Start Ups and SMEs not taking advantage of data analytics tools is commonly down to the cost. Another common reason is simply down to the fact that they are occupied by other tasks. It’s obviously not going to be feasible for any smaller businesses to bring in a whole data analysis team in like larger companies are able to do, but appreciating the value that data provides, and allocating time accordingly can you give you insightful information . Analytics can help benefit Start Ups and SMEs in 3 ways.
1. The Initial Stage:
At the beginning of your business journey you are still in the discovery mode. The analytics strategy you have in place should allow you to make sure that you are tracking your current activities against your goals. So, if you were testing whether customers will use services provided through your website, you should be tracking the following metrics: Visits, Unique number of visitors, engagement of visitors and final conversion.
2. The Growth Stage:
This is the period when analytics can now become a lot of fun and be the true driver of your strategy. Agility is the key here. Think, test, implement and analyse your ideas quickly to see what works and what does not. It’s a great way to test out your hypothesis before rolling it out, try out variations in processes/customer journeys; you will only be limited by your own intent and imagination at this stage.
3. The Matured Stage:
You should now be in a position where you are using analytics to prescribe actions rather than to justify them. You will use your analytical capabilities to create a competitive advantage over others who can’t extract knowledge from their data, or act as quickly upon it. Make sure you don’t get left behind as the power and benefits of using analytics is growing more and more each year.
We at RP Analytics work with Start Ups and SMEs to advise and support them on how to use analytics as a day to day tool. So please get in touch with us today if you require analytical professionals to support your business or get in touch with us if you just simply need some advice on what analytics can do for you.
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