Forget the ice bucket challenge - so last year. Even the mannequin is over now the England team has adopted it. The one you want to do in 2017 is the 3k.
What is it? Perhaps the most difficult thing the data industry has to do - attract an incremental 3,000 new candidates to enter the data and analytics industry every year. Depending on where you work now, that will either seem like an impossibly high target or a laughably small ambition. For the big four - Google, Facebook, Apple, eBay - there are probably that many candidates for every job on offer.
But that is not where the real issue with sustainable recruitment lies. Consider the mid-market B2B brand or an under-funded charity. They desperately need what an analyst or data cruncher could do for them, but are likely to be able to offer far less than those global, "tax efficient" entities can put on the table (and without the free breakfasts and in-house baristas you find at those digital titans).
If we are being honest, however, not every data practitioner or analyst is a genius or even close. Nor do they need to be since 80% of the benefit of adopting data and analytics comes at the bottom of the curve, starting to enable new processes and answer essential questions - the low-hanging fruit of popular conception. That does not need a PhD or data scientist, only an enthusiam for data and a belief in its transformative power.
To equip any business with the basic capability to process and analyse data, run business intelligence reports and analytics, and sort customer (and prospect) data into operational segments and actionable selections, you need to be getting two or three junior staff on board every year who can do the grunt work, build their skills, learn the busunless and its sector and want to get on to the next level of challenges in year two. Recruit, train, repeat.
At a highly-enjoyable industry get together this evening, that great supporter and advocate of all things data and analytics, Iain Lovatt, laid down the 3k challenge. He is on board to examine what needs to happen - and where - to get that stream of candidates interested and enthused about what our industry has to offer. He can't do it alone, but one Spartan can change the course of a battle. If you want to join in and work out a genuine plan for how to make it happen, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org. And let's make this happen together in the interests of everybody.