Monday, 23 July 2018 15:40

New Data School for data scientists launches in Australia

By
Data School Australia head coach Craig Dewar Data School Australia head coach Craig Dewar

A new training college for data analysts and scientists has launched in Sydney with the opening of a local branch of the London Data School founded in 2015.

The team responsible for the UK-based Data School — which has provided a consistent source of Data Analytics talent to over 30 customers in Europe and beyond — have brought the same training programs to Sydney in collaboration with analytics and technology consultancy MIP Australia, a Tableau and Alteryx partner.

Headquartered in the Sydney suburb of Pyrmont, the Data School Australia will offer attendees a paid, two-year immersive learning and workplace secondment experience in data analytics. The Data School consultants will receive a broad range of training from industry experts and practitioners from MIP.

Formal learning, which will enable the trainees to graduate with industry certifications in Tableau Server, Tableau Desktop and Alteryx, will be augmented by placements in the financial services, retail and media markets.

And consultants will have the opportunity to work on projects involving large and complex data sets alongside seasoned industry professionals – and to develop the "soft skills" necessary to succeed in the data analytics sector, including project approach and design and client and stakeholder management.

According to research from the Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia, workers with high data literacy can enjoy significant financial rewards.

Analytics professionals, including data scientists, are employed across all industries and earn a median salary of $130,000 compared to the Australian average median salary of $84,000.

But Deloitte Access Economics predicts Australians with big data skills will earn almost $20,000 more on average over the next four years than they do today.

The Data School Australia head coach, Craig Dewar, says the focus of the program is to turn trainees into “brilliant data analysts/scientists with the skills and experience to forge a lucrative career in this exciting sphere”.

“Our school will look for prospective trainees who have a passion for data and a desire to learn,” Dewar says.

“They don’t need to have a particular degree or background.  We’re excited to play a role in developing and boosting Australia’s digital skills capability.”

According to research house Gartner, 80% of organisations will struggle to roll out data literacy competency programs within the next two years, as they realise their extreme deficiency in this space.

Right now, the use of data to drive decision-making remains limited to a small group of people. Highly trained analysts comb through large data stores and create meaningful reports that are shared with senior managers but for the majority of workers, such a resource remains out of reach.

The Committee of Economic Development of Australia’s 2018 Economic and Political Overview report states that the data explosion is changing Australia’s economy and both the public and private sectors need to do more to capitalise on opportunities.  

And McKinsey & Company estimates the benefits of rapid advances in data and analytics could add $220 billion to the Australian economy.

Dewar says recent years have seen exponential take-up of the Tableau and Alteryx data analytics programs in Australia and addressing local skill shortages around these technologies is a priority for the Sydney data school.

The Data School Australia will run three intakes a year — in April, August and December — with the first cohort of students set to commence in August.

For further information on the new data school click here.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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