As published in the Journal business section on 29th October 2015

An economic and work revolution is currently underway which we need to be at the forefront of, according to the most recent Gartner report. By 2018, 45% of the fastest-growing companies will have more smart machines than employees. Moreover, by 2018, more than three million workers globally will be supervised by a “robo-boss.”

With 1.3 billion people working remotely by the end of this year, which is more than 37% of the global workforce and continuing to rise, we can see the boundaries of companies starting to erode and be less constrained by place but extend across country and geographic borders.

This revolution means that we need to rethink the future skills people will need in this new world and the role we all play in corporations, with policy makers needing to take a lead in setting strategy and policy when it comes to skills and education.

One of the skill areas most in demand with an ever-growing gap is being able to analyse the huge amounts of data generated by people, companies, smart cities and sensors among other connected devices we all take for granted today. If we can harness the value within this data the opportunities are endless, but we are simply not producing the people fast enough to be able to help analyse and visualise data at the scale we need to.

At Geek Talent we are one of the companies here in the North East focused on uncovering this hidden insight.

Our primary goal is to generate value from the masses of data generated via

social networks and on the Internet in order to extract the hidden value to help us all make better decisions.

We recently demonstrated some of our work at the innovation event in Newcastle at Venture Fest.

We showcased the power of data visualisation to demonstrate the skills gap which exists between industry and our education system and displayed the skills we should be teaching to help ensure our students are work ready when they leave education and are not left behind in this new global work force. I hope we can generate enough debate and shout loud enough to make a difference over the coming months by getting this actionable data in front of the right people.

Another pertinent visualisation was our career DnA matching service whereby we can show the transferable skills which exist between careers and the most important skills they possess.

We demonstrated how this can help in the example of the steel industry shock with SSI and TATA redundancies to help retrain the affected workers using this method to give the workers the best chance of finding alternative employment should this be required.

Right here in the north East we are partnering with Dynamo north East to refresh their previous research into the north East IT economy, and understand the employment opportunity in order to create more and better jobs for all.

There is a groundswell of interest and support with more focus on these future

digital skills and partnerships are starting to extend between Academia and Industry.

This is demonstrated through the recent work by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in establishing an Open Data conference and other digital initiatives which the Digital Catapult, newcastle University and Sunderland Software City have led.

These are all positive plays for the region as a whole with the aim to shine a light on the innovative work which is happening right here and the opportunity this provides for all businesses – whether or not they consider themselves to be digital.

Every business can generate significantly more value for themselves and others if they could unlock this value in data if only they had enough of the right skills.

Another positive for the region is the formation of a Dynamo Data work stream to bring together innovative companies and universities to uncover the amazing work happening in our region with the primary objective of shouting to the rest of the world that the north East of England can become a hub for data research and analysis.

We hope everyone will join us on this mission and help to future-proof the north East in this evolving digital world.

If you are a data analyst, company, organisation, institution specialising in this area – we want to involve you in our collaborations. Drop us a line via dynamo. or tweet us at @dynamonortheast.

Dominic Murphy MD Geek Talent

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