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Corndel and Imperial College Business School – Developing data skills and talent

In response to unprecedented demand, Corndel has teamed up with Imperial College Business School to create professional apprenticeships that organisations can utilise to increase their capabilities in data management, leadership and technology.
corndel-and-imperial-college-business-school--developing-data-skills-and-talent

The need for data skills 

Corndel has delivered data literacy and analysis skills for many years, developing a rigorous and effective programme of educational opportunities for businesses working to evolve their data capabilities. To accelerate the results of these programmes and increase the reach, Corndel created a new partnership with Imperial College Business School that would provide transformative skills development right across organisations from junior to senior employees in both technical and non-technical roles. 

“Our partnership with Imperial College Business School began in 2021 with the launch of the executive development programme,” said Morgan Hamilton-Griffin, marketing director, Corndel. “The post-graduate level equivalent apprenticeship equips learners with the skills and knowledge required to become effective business leaders and improve performance through entrepreneurial leadership.” 

Fully funded through the apprenticeship levy – equating to £14,000 investment in personal development – the leadership aspect of the course has a diverse view and includes areas on systems management to empathetic leadership training. It is catered to those with five or more years of experience with the drive to build upon strategic and commercial skills needed for leadership success. 

“There is a need to embed data skills and understandings across an organisation and to have newly-trained staff acting as champions of data, businesses can drive through changes and new possibilities without having to employ individuals in fully technical data roles,” said “Hamilton-Griffin.  

There is a common conversation had with businesses about overreliance on the central data team – often leaving traditional digital and transformation projects unable to reach their potential – and how upskilling data literacy across the board is a necessity. 

New potentials 

The three courses work in tandem to achieve goals that will benefit the expansion and growth of data skills and culture within an organisation. They are currently aimed at people working with different forms of data on a day-to-day basis and are looking to improve their data skills in a way that can benefit the wider department and those in more technical data focused roles, both within central data teams and data stewards across an organisation. 

“For those taking the data driven professional course, it empowers professionals to drive the 21st century data-first business attitude and thrive in a new data economy,” said Hamilton-Griffin. “It increases confidence, autonomy and transforms the way people work.” 

One participant in the data driven course from an HR background explained how the programme “allowed her to try new things and improve on processes that could demonstrate her team’s value to the business by being a data lead.” 

“We go to great lengths to demystify data,” said Hamilton-Griffin. “We want to show the impact it has for marketing, finance, operations, procurement or HR and demonstrate that having these vital business skills improves staff capabilities, but also stops businesses being left behind in the wave of changes that are coming. You need people within those departments that can understand the data needs and uses for their own internal departments as well as the wider business – it’s a complex undertaking and unfortunately does not have an overnight fix.” 

Of course, being able to provide someone with the opportunity to go on a long-term educational journey is vastly different to the more stereotypical two-day-long classroom flash course training scheme that often only cover the basics. Businesses need to identify the value in their staff and invest in their abilities and future capabilities for data office longevity. 

“Telling somebody that they need to work on data literacy when they are in a marketing or HR role seems at odds to what their own business priorities are,” said Hamilton-Griffin. “It needs to be easily explained why they should prioritise something data-driven and do a 14-month-long course on data. Regularly, they don’t consider themselves to be a data person, which is a harder pitch internally. It is a problem a lot of companies’ face, but campaigns and tools provided to employers through these training programmes can tackle the internal recruitment problem.” 

Frequently, DataIQ members repeat conversations about the struggle of getting someone that is not a data professional to realise the importance of data in their own role. Few people head into the corporate world with the aim of becoming a data professional, but then when they start to experience the day-to-day working of their department, it becomes clear that data is driving the decisions and possibilities. Therefore, the need for these courses is great and growing as organisations attempt to identify where data upskilling is needed, by whom and for what purpose.

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