Analytics is expected to be the most sought-after skill by employers in 2015, as companies want their employees to not only make sense of all the information available to them, but to use it to make smarter business decisions.
People analytics, business data analytics, and digital risk analysis have emerged as some of the hottest skills in demand for 2015, given the new types of job roles created due to the influence of big data.
For human resources professionals, the number one skill to possess is "people analytics", found a new report by CTPartners. It also established a leading role for a "chief digital officer" (CDO) to partner across the company's functions.
"With the richness of data and analytics tools at hand today, companies are able to develop more meaningful information about their most valuable asset, their human capital," said the report.
As a result, the CDO is expected to play a bigger role, in harnessing all this data, and use it to measure HR performance on employee engagement, development, recruitment, retention, work efficiency, compensation, and talent ROI.
The report attributed this rise in demand for analytical skills to a proliferation of new job descriptions, borne out of the influence of big data.
"Businesses are looking for leaders who can not only understand the massive amounts of information available to them, but also identify the threats and opportunities that come as a result of this evolving landscape."
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In the operations function, "business data analytics" is expected to be the most valuable skill, with companies looking to synthesise the data from customer interactions, supply chain feedback, and other sources.
In the area of risk management, skills for "digital risk analysis" comes out on top.
"Chief digital officers will have to partner with business units to balance business needs with potential digital risks, while leading the development of new systems of assessment and control," the report said.
"Personalisation skills" emerges as the most important in the field of customer relationship management. Companies are likely to demand CDOs to map the knowledge from customer behaviour analytics into targeted, timely, customer engagement and marketing strategies, using technologies like personalised messaging and cellular geolocation.
“The challenge for companies in Asia is to continue to fast-track digital innovation and have business leaders with skills and savvy to pull together all the data being generated, in a way that helps their companies remain competitive in this digital age," said Kathryn Yap, managing director at CTPartners.
This need to remain competitive, she said, drives the growing demand for digital leadership skills.