Image credits: Codelco
News Article

Training Staff in Data Analytics and AI Should Be a Priority

By Jan Hogewoning | Mon, 08/03/2020 - 15:09

The pandemic has accelerated dependency on digital channels for internal communication and to offer services to clients. Another wave that is approaching is data-driven business decision-making, which has already been implemented in various forms at many companies in Mexico. Mexican tech consultancies like Manzara are equipping clients with the tools and know-how to use the information generated through their own business activities, as well as data available in the market, to their advantage. The Mexican government recently launched a platform named datamexico, which aims to bring together data resources for public use. The move is a step in the right direction, but a lot of work remains to be done. Read more about the state of data availability in Mexico in our interview with BigData Mexico.

A US study conducted by Netwrix this June tracked the changes in companies’ tech priorities. Among 937 professionals, Netwrix found that the pressure to upgrade company IT skills was spurring investment in IT staff training. The number of CIOs and IT directors, ZDNET writes, that are looking to invest in IT education in their own company has almost double since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, from 20 percent to 38 percent. As a result of hiring freezes, educating staff already employed has become a more attractive option, ZDNET states. One of the severe problems in Mexico is that many companies do not have an actual CIO. Often, IT departments do not have someone drawing out a plan on how technology will be integrated to boost business performance of the company, and how HR should be adjusted accordingly.

A report published this July by the Bipartisan Research Center, a US Congress research arm, concluded that "closing the AI talent gap requires a targeted approach to training, recruiting, and retaining skilled workers. This AI talent should ideally have a multidisciplinary skill set that includes ethics." The first step in approaching data-driven businesses is to have a company plan that recognizes the lack of skill and puts forward steps that have to be taken. The same report also stated that the need for more recruitment and internal training on AI is "spanning almost all industries as businesses seek to leverage the strengths of AI.” Data-driven business and artificial intelligence are becoming mainstream in any industry.

AI and data science programs are increasingly offered at universities. One example is Colegio Nacional de Educación Professional Tecnica (CONALEP), which announced last month that it is was planning to launch a new degree of ‘Data Science and Artificial Intelligence’ this fall. CONALEP institutions are applied sciences universities that are located in different states of the countres.

Thankfully, your employees do not need to take time off to attend university courses. Apart from part-time university courses, there are many online resources that can offer certification. “There are many free or low-cost resources available from the world's leading universities that cover many key aspects of AI, machine learning, deep learning and natural language processing,” says ZDNET. ZDNET suggests several courses here.

Artificial intelligence is increasingly encroaching human roles in companies. To see some of these concerns, read our article on the implications of these technologies on the Mexican workforce.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Mexico Business News, Forbes, Bipartisan Policy, datamexico, zdnet
Photo by:   Codelco
Jan Hogewoning Jan Hogewoning Journalist and Industry Analyst