WHILE THERE SEEMS TO BE ADVOCATES OF BOTH FORMAL AND INFORMAL EDUCATION IN THE DATA SCIENCE COMMUNITY, WHAT DOES THE GENERAL HIRING LANDSCAPE SUGGEST?
We may be living unique lives, but there are a few common experiences that tie most of us together. While the instinctive response seems to be what the Covid-19 pandemic has left in its trail, a less grim example would be the chain of events that mark a few decades of our lives – school -> college -> job
While most of these remain unchanged, there has been a growing clamour to rethink education systems as we know it; to one, that both shields learners from the negative effects of new technologies in the workplace, as well as reskills them to prepare for new cross-functional roles that will inevitably be created as a result.
While one way of addressing this talent and labour market issue would be to enrol and improve the quality of education, upskilling in silo would be a more efficient way of achieving this without burdening the formal education system across the world.
Tied to lifelong learning, upskilling through relevant certification is increasingly becoming an accepted norm. But the field of data science is faced with a critical question – can its vast universe be merely acquired through self-study?
While there seems to be advocates of both formal and informal education in the data science community, what does the general hiring landscape suggest?
While IT services company CSS Corp places an ‘inestimable value’ on a formal academic background, LinkedIn admittedly hires candidates based on skill sets alone, and not necessarily on their educational background.
As the demand for data science jobs keeps growing, the supply of meritorious candidates is not keeping pace. Market research firm Gartner highlights that just 20 percent of employees currently have the abilities required to succeed in their current and future job roles. In another recent survey, an average of 43 percent of young people said that they were confident that they will need to retrain and have the ability to do so.
As revealed in the Future of Jobs Report 2018 released by the World Economic Forum, ubiquitous high-speed mobile Internet, artificial intelligence, widespread adoption of big data analytics, and cloud technology are only some of the drivers of change that could lead to demand for new skills and create the need for continuous learning for entire workforce, irrespective of their industry or domain.
As uncertain as it could get, the entire world of work has taken a hit with COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses across many sectors have been urged to now operate remotely and quickly adapt to the new ways of working. The role of leaders has become most critical, they have to help the organizations and the entire workforce navigate through this uncertainty looming around the whole ecosystem.
To be able to navigate the complexities of the business ecosystem at present and in the future, as it gets more uncertain, leaders of today and tomorrow have to follow the mantra of ‘Learn, Unlearn & Relearn’.
The need to learn, unlearn & relearn
The metaphor, ‘Change is the only constant’, is as real as it could get in the era of industry 4.0. The onus thus, comes on the business and HR leaders to invest in continuous development of their workforce and ensure that they are always up to date with the in-demand skills.
Anurag Bansal, Senior Director and Business Head, HUGHES Global Education shared, “In recent times, businesses across the globe are increasingly facing complex problems due to rapid changes in technology, disruptions happening through innovation, turbulent market conditions and changing consumer behavior. During such uncertainty, especially, given the complexities COVID-19 pandemic has led to, it is very important to have leaders at the helm who can steer their companies to success in these scenarios.”
As the demand for data science jobs keeps growing, the supply of meritorious candidates is not keeping pace. According to a study we conducted in 2019, around 97,000 data science positions were available to be filled that year alone. It is a travesty then that despite the demand, companies face a lot of challenges when hiring for these positions, and CSS Corp is no different.
However, despite the struggle, the company has managed to attract and retain a significant portion of this talent. Credited largely to its stringent and unique hiring practices, CSS Corp has overcome the challenge of sourcing that small proportion of data scientists dispersed across the nation.
“Being a new-age digital services provider in the B2B space, we pick candidates who have that extra slant for AI, analytics, and automation, instead of the usual coding or testing skills,” says Brijesh Balakrishnan, SVP & Delivery Head – Digital Engineering Services and GIS, at CSS Corp. “In short, we map a career for those who have the inner thrust to learn and grow,” he adds.
So who would be the ideal candidate for a data science position at CSS Corp?
“We look for candidates with a knack for thinking logically and analytically toward solving business problems,” says Balakrishnan. “It’s about fresh thinking, not clichéd answers. An ideal candidate would be one who balances technical forte with soft-skills, right attitude, and personality in a team setting,” he adds.
Over the past few weeks, the coronavirus outbreak has made us realise how interconnected the whole world is. With an increasing number of cases of the deadly illness raising fears of a global pandemic among people, the impact of the shutdown across the world has started to hit the tech industry of the country.
At the time of writing, there have been more than 400,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with more than 21,000 deaths; along with more than 140 countries and territories have reported coronavirus cases, and the international stock market has witnessed the biggest dip since 2008.
While we are talking about the reeling impact of the virus on human life, the massive disruption in the analytics industry is also worth mentioning. According to Pravin Rao, Nasscom vice-chairman, also the COO of Infosys, the IT sector is going to see some indirect impact with the sudden outbreak of this global pandemic — COVID-19. In fact, economists have estimated that this virus outbreak could potentially reduce the global GDP by almost 0.3%.
This coronavirus outbreak is acting as a reality check of the fragility in the systems of doing business and the uncertainty associated with it. It has already caused significant disruption throughout the tech industry, with huge tech conferences and trade shows cancelled and companies expecting to miss their revenue forecasts. Additionally, the virus is shaking up business and consumer behaviour on a massive scale.
CSS Corp, new-age IT services and technology Support Company, today announced that it has been recognized as a ‘Leader’ in NelsonHall’s Cognitive Customer Experience (CX) Services NEAT 2020 report in the CX improvement capability market segment.
The report analyzed and evaluated the performance of 14 global CX service providers, against a two-axis dynamic metric on their ability to meet future client requirements and deliver immediate benefits.
CSS Corp harnesses the power of cognitive technologies, intelligent automation, data analytics, and deep learning to power its world-class CX services.
The company stands tall as a distinguished industry player in combining technical innovation with strategic delivery excellence to drive successful business outcomes in CX operations for its global clients across industries.
NelsonHall’s report recognizes the unique combination of CSS Corp’s home-grown cognitive platforms and services that empower their customers to tremendously accelerate growth and profitability, provide delightful customer experiences, and eliminate unnecessary effort by leveraging cutting-edge technology interventions.
“Today, clients expect service providers to leverage emerging technologies for simplifying their CX operations and delivering tangible business outcomes. CSS Corp’s ability to proactively address these demands has made us one of the most recognized global service providers in the industry. Our robust strategy and expertise in cognitive technologies to streamline CX operations, has not only created positive business transformation and overall customer delight for our clients but also led to huge strides towards pioneering the next wave of disruptive technologies. We are glad to have been recognized as a ‘Leader’ by NelsonHall in their flagship report. It is yet another testament to our state-of-the-art technical innovation and CX services in managing large-scale operations for our customers in the burgeoning CX ecosystem”, said Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer at CSS Corp.
“In a competitive environment, continuously moving up the CX benchmark, CSS Corp has strong capabilities to predict and pre-empt technical support issues. Its position as a Leader in cognitive CX services NEAT 2020 for CX improvement is a testament to its deep IT and digital expertise to augment agents with proprietary cognitive tools and models and enhance live interactions by bringing additional value to the customer conversation”, said Ivan Kotzev, Lead Analyst at NelsonHall.
CSS Corp is enabling leading mapping companies to accelerate POI extraction from geotagged images through AI-ML led automation
While navigating using a mobile device, we often select a source and a destination that are well-known and frequently visited places, such as hotels, apartment complexes, tourist attractions, corporate offices, etc. In mapping parlance, these places are called points of interest (POI). Most location-based applications and services need accurate POI data to serve their users effectively. Among several ways to capture POI data, extracting it from geotagged images is one of the most popular. Geotagged images contain geographical metadata like latitude, longitude, and place names, etc.
However, mapping companies often find it challenging to get detailed POI data generated from geotagged images accurately. Fierce competition in this field has created a demand for high quality and freshness of POI data. It necessitates using efficient processes that bring reality to the maps in real-time or as soon as possible.
A leading mapping and location data platform provider was under immense pressure to scale their services and capture the market share rapidly. A critical component of their services was seamless POI extraction from field-collected geotagged images while maintaining quality and accuracy benchmarks. Done manually, this process can be tedious and time-consuming. CSS Corp was able to support them through rapid deployment of trained resources at scale, empowered with an assisted automation approach, that accelerated the time-to-market for their services. It leveraged its proprietary Geo.Intelli system which uses artificial intelligence for automated extraction of POI data from geotagged images, resulting in faster and efficient processing.
Geo.Intelli is a smart GIS system that automates the geotag extraction for POI location from images and leverages NLP to check the completeness of POI or address name. Its AI-ML based APIs automatically extract the relevant data from images, perform a quality check on images, and reject images that are blurred, non-geocoded, or in invalid format. To ensure high accuracy, the system automatically cross-validates the extracted data with reference source data like area, city, latitude, longitude, and ZIP Code. It also allows for multiple POI addition from a single image.
Bengaluru, Karnataka, India: CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology support company, today announced that it has won the Gold Stevie Award in the ‘Contact Center & Customer Service Outsourcing Provider of the Year 2020’ category at the 14th Annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service. The awards were presented to honorees during a gala banquet on Friday, February 28 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV.
CSS Corp was awarded for emerging as the premier outsourcing services provider at the awards. Over the last few years, CSS Corp has been investing heavily in enhancing its capabilities as an end-to-end managed CX services provider, leveraging best-of-breed technologies, and has become a strategic partner of choice for global brands with its business transformation-themed services. Leveraging new age technologies like AI, automation, analytics and augmented-reality, CSS Corp has transformed customer support from an effort-led to an intelligence-led ecosystem. Customers of CSS Corp have been realizing tangible outcomes through CSS Corp’s differentiated outcome-based and gain sharing models which have helped them in their transformation journey.
Speaking on the occasion, Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, CSS Corp said, “global outsourcing brands look for partners that can synergistically bring together best-in-class technology, operational and people expertise, and flexible business models, to drive outcomes for them. I believe over the past few years, CSS Corp has positioned itself as a leader in partnering with reputed organizations and driving outcome-focused CX transformation for them. We are extremely proud to win the Gold Stevie award as the world’s leading outsourcing service provider while surpassing some of the industry’s biggest names at the awards. This award is a testament to our continued pursuit of service excellence driven by our values of customer centricity, deep tech innovation and spirit of partnership with our customers.”
CSS Corp’s presence as a global leader in providing exceptional customer service has grown over the past two decades. It has built a world-class delivery ecosystem through digitally-infused operations, and an award-winning talent development platform. The company drives B2C and B2B customer experience and technical support services. In the last 2 years, CSS Corp has emerged as the industry’s most awarded mid-tier global services company with over 35 international awards.
The Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service are the world’s top honors for customer service, contact center, business development and sales professionals. More than 2,600 nominations from organizations in 48 nations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were evaluated in this year’s competition. Winners were determined by the average scores of more than 180 professionals worldwide on seven specialized judging committees.
There’s nothing inherently masculine about cloud computing, data analytics or artificial intelligence (AI). Computers are also androgynous by nature. However, the tech sector remains heavily dominated by men, especially in the senior positions. What’s more appalling is that despite women’s participation in tech continues to be a favorite topic at every technology forum and organizations getting serious about diversity and inclusion in the last one decade, women are massively underrepresented in top management jobs. And that’s why it’s time to revisit the women in tech narrative in 2020 and beyond.
In a recent report McKinsey researchers observe, how gender imbalances emerge from as early as the first promotion point where women account for 48% of entry-level hires but only 38% of first-level managers, with a clear knock-on effect for equality in higher positions.
This naturally explains why the overall number of women in top management roles is still painfully low. Today only 5% of CEOs of major corporations in the US are women. In India too, female representation on boards increased by just 4.3 percentage points to 15.2% in 2019 from 2014, as per the latest CS Gender 3000 report by the Credit Suisse Research Institute (CSRI). This is however significantly below the global average of 20.6%. India also has the third-lowest rank in the Asia Pacific with regard to female chief executive officer (CEO) representation (2%), as well as other ranks such as CTO, CIO and CFO.
Diversity makes good business sense
However, studies have time and again proved that diversity in leadership makes good business sense. As a Harvard Business School report mentions, having women on the board results better acquisition and investment decisions and in less aggressive risk-taking, yielding benefits for shareholders. As Sasikala Mahesh, Head of Delivery (India) at ThoughtWorks suggests, “Women are naturally empathetic and can contextually apply emotional intelligence to manage people effectively. This also explains why women leaders across the world have demonstrated their abilities to build a safe, open and conducive work environment.”
Jie Chen, an associate professor in Finance at Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds, UK, and his co-authors mention in the report, “One benefit of having female directors on the board is a greater diversity of viewpoints, which is purported to improve the quality of board deliberations, especially when complex issues are involved, because different perspectives can increase the amount of information available.”