Download your copy of our insight paperIn these times of great technological change, unlocking the power of Business Intelligence (BI) is vital to the strategic decision-making process of any organisation. Download our latest insight paper which features top tips on increasing your BI capability along with case studies from leading Business Intelligence experts operating in different sectors. Download
04 Sep 2020
Will the office exist in a post Covid-19 world?It’s fair to say that the world of work has changed forever as we enter a new era of remote working. But what is the sentiment to remote working amongst the professional working population now?The cost and time savings of not having to commute every day are hard to dismiss and as lockdown eases, employee expectations are bound to have changed when it comes to the ‘return to the office’.So, how many days in the office do working professionals really want - given their varied individual experiences over the past few months? Over 70% of professionals now want to work in the office less than two days per weekStanton House’s recent poll, taken by over 600 professionals, reveals that a large majority (72%) would prefer to work two days or less per week in the office going forward. Less than a third (29%) would prefer to work three days or more per week in the office and only 4% would like to go back to four days plus per week.One to two days in the office comes out on top, with over half, (54%) voting for this as their preference and 18% say they would prefer to work from home 100% of the time. These findings suggest that while some crave the return to an office environment the vast majority have come to the conclusion that they will never want to work in the office five days per week, ever again. 43% more men than women want to work remotely 100% of the timeInterestingly, when comparing sentiment to remote working between gender, our poll reveals that a higher proportion of men (20%) would prefer to work remotely all of the time - compared to only 14% of women – that’s a 43% increase. The opposite is true for one to two days in the office, where a higher proportion of women (58%) voted for this as their preference - compared to 51% of men.Our poll cements what we already know - that organisations will be required to rethink their approach to remote, agile, and flexible working - putting People and Culture teams, front and centre, to design and drive this change. But have employers really seen clear benefits from this forced change to a homeworking environment and how committed are they to expanding and extending remote working, organisation-wide, for the long term? Will new HR policies align to the consensus revealed by our poll, or indeed go even further and flex to the individual?Employers realise the benefits of remote working Many of the business leaders I speak to tell me, that they have had their eyes opened to the benefits of remote working, not least the tremendous cost savings that can be achieved with reduced real estate needs.Not including utilities, security and maintenance the rent per seat in the UK can range from *£150 to £1500 per month, depending on location and the amenities available. London’s West End tips the scales, where it can cost **£207 annually just to put your laptop down on a desk.If you consider the floor space some large corporates take in the expensive high-rise buildings in Canary Wharf and The City of London for example, these cost savings can amount to millions. There can be no doubt that employers across the country will be modelling different scenarios with reduced office space. Leadership teams within organisations, both large and small, will be debating not if, but how much and to what extent, their workforce will continue working remotely in the long-term.Just a few of the companies that have already announced intent to expand work-from-home in the UK include Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Thomson Reuters, Vodafone, HSBC, Twitter, Facebook and Unilever. “We’ve proven we can operate with no footprint….I see a future where part of every week, certainly part of every month, a lot of our employees will be at home.” James Gorman, Morgan Stanley, CEOHowever, this commitment to expand remote working it is not just to save costs on office space. Most leaders I speak to tell me they have experienced increased productivity, better collaboration and teamwork, increased employee engagement and a significant reduction in absenteeism - dispelling the many concerns and misconceptions to homeworking pre-Covid-19. Having the right, secure technology and communication channels has been critical to achieving this, however, as has having managers, who don’t revert to micromanagement amidst uncertainty, but are able to trust and enable their teams.Training needs have also been highlighted and identified, particularly for middle management, where resilience, adaptability and agility are often cited as key competencies which are lacking. Additionally, the spotlight on employee wellbeing has only magnified through this crisis as has the continued importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The challenge for employers right nowAs many employers once again pivot their people, processes and systems from full remote working, to a hybrid (office/home) working environment, maintaining the benefits gained amidst lockdown and addressing the technology and talent issues identified will be critical to lasting innovation and growth. The ramifications of getting the technology, talent or operating model wrong will be catastrophic for the competitiveness of any business as we enter this new era of work. Employers now need to ask themselves - do they have the internal expertise needed to design, implement and sustain the huge culture shift that is required? And if big corporate offices are a thing of the past where and how will people come together to collaborate? How do individuals continue to nurture the ‘social equity’ they’ve built over the years with colleagues and customers - remotely? Can we ever really replicate the benefits of socialising after work, the corridor conversations and meeting someone face-to-face? The critical questions many business leaders and HR professionals are now trying to answer now are:1. How do we once again pivot our people, processes and systems from full remote working, to a hybrid (office/home) working environment?2. Do we have the right / secure technology and communication channels to support a hybrid (office/home) working model?3. How do we maintain the benefits gained from remote working amidst Covid-19? 4. How do we tackle the tech and training needs identified and truly enable our manager population? 5. How will we evolve our employee value proposition (EVP) to attract and retain the best talent, now that flexible and remote working is the ‘new norm’?6. What are the ramifications of getting any of these considerations wrong? *Instant Offices UK Commercial Market Summary 2019 ** Instant Offices Get in touchIf you need help finding talent with the necessary expertise to transform your business for the new era of remote working, please get in touch. About the pollThe poll was posted to Stanton House’s company LinkedIn network of over 25,000 followers. The poll was live for 1 week from the 27th June 2020 to the 4th July 2020. 611 people voted answering the question: “How many days in the office would you prefer to work per week?”
21 Jul 2020
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is becoming increasingly prevalent in the Finance Transformation space as an effective way of optimising repetitive processes and enhancing Finance functions by unlocking true ‘human value'.But how do you identify exactly where to use intelligent automation to make Finance operations more efficient? How do you build on and optimise what’s already been implemented?We’ve partnered with embracent, leading experts in intelligent automation, to provvide use cases which demonstrate where RPA has been applied to real life situations. Our insight paper includes a case study on Stanton House’s own Finance function. Download your copy and let us know if and how you plan to invest in intelligent automation to transform your Finance function. Download
20 Jul 2020
Increasing Business Intelligence capabilityIn these times of great technological change and ongoing economic uncertainty, unlocking the power of Business Intelligence (BI) is vital to the strategic decision-making process of any organisation. But despite countless ways to collect information and connect people, the world has become more fragmented than ever before, and it’s holding businesses back.Data analytics provides accurate analysis and interpretation of business-wide internal, and macroeconomic external data, to the right people at the right time, equipping leaders with much needed foresight in these unprecedented times.As such, organisations, both large and small, are increasingly preoccupied with growing their overall BI capability. They are investing in talent with these skills, enabling employees to use self-serve data analysis tools and seeking ways to improve the accessibility of data to help a greater proportion of the workforce.Moving to the cloudTraditionally, business intelligence is delivered by Business Analysts using on-premises data warehouse solutions. This process can be slow with some Analysts spending the majority of their time extracting, moving and combining data instead of conducting analysis.That’s why many organisations are now creating data analytics platforms in the cloud, with accessible tools that can be used by people across different business functions across the entire organisation, instead of just a select few.Another endeavour which seeks to increase the overall BI capability of an organisation is the creation of a Business Intelligence Centre of Excellence (CoE).Establishing a Business Intelligence Centre of ExcellenceEstablishing a Business Intelligence CoE is a proven approach to achieving a strategic, cohesive, enterprise-wide BI environment. The CoE is an internal group that provides services and oversight to the various departments within an organisation and guides BI initiatives to achieve common strategic objectives i.e. service improvement, efficiency gains, cost savings, revenue growth etc. The overriding goal is to increase the BI maturity level of the organisation as a whole, to derive more value, more quickly from data insights and enable strategic decision-making at the highest level.Business Intelligence maturity levels according to GartnerIn 2015, Gartner published their much-sited maturity model giving leaders a yardstick to understand how effectively a BI or data function is supporting enterprise level goals. The model asserts that there are five BI maturity levels:Maturity level 1: UnawareAccording to Gartner at this level the company has no information infrastructure and there is only ad hoc BI. Departments have not developed formal processes or practices and workers try to gather information with the random applications they happen to have at their disposal, predominately spreadsheets in Excel. Maturity level 2: OpportunisticAt this level there are BI and analytics projects in the organisation, but business units carry them out individually to optimise a process of their own or to make unit-specific decisions. Employees use data integration tools, databases and analytics platforms. They disseminate information via reports, ad hoc queries and dashboards.Maturity level 3: StandardsAt the third level there is coordination between people, processes and technologies across the organisation. A champion for BI and analytics emerges and there are process and IT managers who oversee projects across multiple business processes (instead of one process) that need to share analysis and decisions. Technology standards start to emerge, including standards for information infrastructure, data warehouses and BI platforms.Gartner proposes that at this level most organisations implement a BI Competency Center (BICC) or BI Center of excellence (CoE) consisting of business users, IT professionals and analysts to share expertise and improve consistency for specific applications or uses of information. Maturity level 4: EnterpriseAt the fourth level, BI is sponsored by the senior management. A second feature is that the organisation has linked multiple processes to its revenue and other goals and defined a framework of performance metrics through which processes and action towards those goals are evaluated. Gartner says that these metrics guide the implementation of enterprise strategy. Thirdly, BI applications support cross-functional or enterprise-wide decision-making processes meaning they are not limited to individual functions or processes. Gartner says that at this level, everyone from analysts to managers and senior executives, uses the same BI and analytics systems. Maturity level 5: TransformativeAt this fifth maturity level, BI and analytics are run by business and IT functions together and are supported and governed at the highest level of the organisation. The CEO sponsors the BI program or if not, the position of Chief Analytics or Data Officer has been established.Information, analytics and the whole BI system are regarded as vital for implementing the enterprise strategy. BI is used actively to increase sales, productivity and customer satisfaction and to decrease costs. The performance metrics framework is now complete and covers also partners and customers. The organisation uses decision processes like decision simulations which incorporate best practices in decision-making and optimisation technologies. Top tips for establishing a BI Centre of ExcellenceSo, when it comes to establishing a Business Intelligence CoE, to increase the BI maturity level of an organisation, what are the key considerations and actions? We spoke with a range of Directors and ‘Heads of’ Business Intelligence who have implemented a BI Centre of Excellence across a variety of companies, industries, and global remits. It was relatively clear to spot the patterns in what they believed, joint with human elements of creating a technical solution, would be the ‘key tips’ to think about – these can be grouped into three headings:Talent Planning Change Management Interestingly, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the key challenges were all about people and changing behaviours. Every leader that we spoke with was clear that if you get the talent right, the tech can look after itself, it’s then about how you make it part of the company’s DNA. Once consolidated, the top tips for building an effective BI CoE were:Talent:1. Deeply evaluate the skills of the BI team to focus training and hiring activities. A high performing, highly skilled team is essential. Find and balance the technical skills, project discipline and ability to evangelise within the business. 2. Do not underestimate how time to hire can derail a programme. A clear people roadmap will prevent long delays.3. Prioritise training for end users to realise real value from the CoE. Planning:1. Obtain a clear business mandate before anything else. 2. Ensure that you can support ongoing business requests (within reason) during the implementation of the BI solution / CoE.3. Spend time understanding the balance between centralised and localised BI activities.4. Always work with trusted information with consistent definitions and known data sources.5. Automate high-frequency, labour intensive regular report generation. 6. Clearly demonstrate value add through meaningful KPIs. Take time to determine ROI and to prove the tangible and intangible value of the CoE but don’t wait until the end to deliver value. Incremental wins support engagement and business take up. Change Management:1. Fix data issues at the source so users don't waste time manually adjusting or correcting data while generating insights.2. Create a demand management forum to prioritise non-project related information required by executive stakeholders.3. Do not scrimp on Change Management or under-estimate the extent of business change required. Keeping users and the business community engaged from kick off and up to date with what the CoE is doing is the single most important success factor.4. Identify and train Super users within the business community to act as ‘change agents’ and promote the value of the CoE.5. Spread the data culture of data analysis from the CoE across the organisation. Executive support is critical in making this happen.6. Become an unashamed evangelist for self-service analytics. Run events to bring users together, demystify BI technology and identify first adopters.7. Use engagement analysts to collaboratively work with different departments to help them self-serve. • Integrate the BI / Analytics function into any enterprise-wide transformation. We hope there is something in here that will support you in your progression through Gartner’s well-trodden path. Share your insightsIf you need help finding top BI talent to provide the insights you need to transform your business please get in touch. We’d also love to hear from leaders on how you are increasing your BI capability in these challenging times.
09 Jun 2020
As a recruiter for technical leadership roles across Asia, I spend my days and nights speaking with people from different backgrounds, with diverse demographics and life experiences.I am especially passionate about representing the many senior women that are making a splash in the notoriously male dominated world of technology; understanding what has helped or hindered their careers and taking these learnings to the employers I help.Employers are addressing gender imbalance, but more needs to be doneFor any organisation to transform, innovate and grow it is vital that their workforce is representative of their customers, clients, and the communities they serve. And gender is of course, just one aspect of this.When it comes to attracting and developing tech talent in Asia, organisations are making strides to add more women to their upper echelons. Employers who understand the competitive advantage they stand to gain by having more diversity in their workforce, are actively pursuing and embedding more inclusive talent attraction and retention strategies. The biggest reason is that they stand to be the major beneficiaries. According to a McKinsey & Co report about 43% of entry-level positions in Asian companies are occupied by women, but at the C-suite and senior-management levels, this drops to 25% in Singapore and as low as 4% in Japan. This is a huge loss of untapped talent. Although more women in tech are starting to make their mark, there is still more work to be done and it’s up to employers to showcase their commitment to women across their business. One woman I spoke to recently who holds a senior technical role based in Singapore in a global organisation commented that: ‘in my experience women’s views in the organisations I have worked for in Asia are not taken seriously as “expert” and they are sometimes valued less than their male counterparts, despite their ability and often exceptional backgrounds.’ Who’s helping women up-skill? There are some fantastic organisations in Asia that encourage women into technology and provide tailored training programs. Cloud Seeders, in Singapore, is an AWS backed program providing women with a structured and guided approach to learning a diverse set of cloud and digital skills as well as working on the confidence levels of their members.She Loves Data, another organisation founded in Singapore, equip women with data science and data analytics skills and in turn partners with banks and other businesses to bring women back into the work place and into technology. So, what should employers be doing more of? Partnering with expert and specialist recruiters and organisations such as Cloud Seeders and She Loves Data to tap into new talent poolsShowcasing their commitment to diversity and inclusion in recruitment materials and throughout the hiring processPromoting flexible working policies internally and externally Training leaders and hiring managers on how to mitigate unconscious bias in the selection processFostering a culture of inclusion, community and conversation amongst employees once they joinProviding unique and transparent career progression and development opportunities At Stanton House, we are driven by the belief that diversity and inclusion is inextricably linked to business performance and employee engagement and retention. We are passionate about unlocking potential at the individual, team and leadership levels to drive high performance through inclusive practices.I’d love to hear your opinions and thoughts on this topic. Please get in touch.
05 Mar 2020
We are excited to announce our new office opening in Singapore. The opening of our second office in the Asia Pacific region will strengthen our offering across Technology and Transformation, providing organisations with the best senior talent from around the world. Ross Ellingham, Stanton House’s Managing Director, Asia Pacific says: ‘We are thrilled to put our flag down in Singapore. Laura Taylor has joined Stanton House to build and lead our Technology and Transformation team here. Laura brings market experience, intelligence and a chance to build a team that aligns with our core values and passion for always putting the customer as our priority.’
20 Feb 2020
By now you may have heard the news that Dominic Cummings, the Chief Special Advisor to our Prime Minister has called for Data Scientists and Software Developers to help them reshape the UK state. No small task I might add and while it reads as slightly satirical, we have something to say about it. Posted in a personal blog last week, Cummings called for ‘an unusual set of people with different skills and backgrounds to work in Downing Street with the best officials, some as spads [special advisors] and perhaps some as officials’. He expressed a strong preference for those with STEM experience to fix historic issues in government to which he refers to as profound problems that sit at the core of how the British state makes decisions. Citing Brexit and recent changes to legislation, Cummings spoke of a huge amount of low-hanging fruit lying on the street in the intersection of Data Science, AI and cognitive technologies that could be used to improve policy and project management. Sticking to a very brief, brief – the Chief Special Advisor has offered ‘a rough set of categories’; Data scientists and software developersEconomistsPolicy expertsProject managersCommunication expertsJunior researchers one of whom will also be my personal assistantWeirdos and misfits with odd skillsAsking only for applications from those with exceptional academic qualifications from one of the world’s best universities or evidence of doing something that demonstrates equivalent skills, a PhD or MSc, outstanding mathematical skills and experiences of using analytical skills – I can’t help but question their understanding of Data Science as Data Scientists cannot be categorised, especially not in this manner. We recently produced a white paper to determine what the Ideal Data Scientist looked like and interviewed more than 1,000 professionals in the space to help us get there. Not only did we discover that there was no such thing as an ‘ideal’ Data Scientist but we also discovered, there were several debates being had over the salary, experience, education, age and location of the ‘ideal’ professional. Taking Education as an example, 50% of hiring managers believe a Data Scientist should have at least one PhD and 46% believe they should have no degree education at all, rather, being self-taught with practical and hands-on experience. This means that from a recruitment perspective, Data Scientists are tremendously hard to find and a very specific list of requirements including a PhD in my opinion, is not likely to produce the right pool of candidates – especially not when placed alongside weirdos and misfits with odd skills. Please follow the link below for access to the paper but in the meantime, I’d love to hear your opinion – do you think Cummings is on the right track with his hiring efforts? Download our white paper
07 Jan 2020
Head of Technology £80,000 - £90,000 per annum London Programme Requirements Lead £525 - £600 per day Edinburgh Senior HR Business Partner £90,000 - £95,000 per annum Berkshire Finance Business Partner £60,000 - £70,000 per annum + 10% bonus London Regulatory Reporting Accountant Up to £50,000 per annum + benefits Berkshire Business Analyst £40,000 - £50,000 per annum London A wider selection of current vacancies can be viewed on our opportunities page or get in touch for a confidential discussion about how Stanton House can help you hire great people or assist with your own career goals.
02 Jan 2020
The team recently attended the Future of Cyber Security Europe and were wowed by some of the incredible talks, demonstrations and conversations had on the day. Looking back through some of their material, I was particularly fascinated by the predictions laid out for the year ahead which included the likes of Fake News, Cyber Hygiene’s and Global Warming. It was a talk by Richard Parlour that stood out for me, currently the Chairman of the EU Task Force on Cyber Security Policy for the Financial Sector he had some really interesting ideas of what the next year might have in store for the industry – and some were quite surprising. His Cyber Security Global Predictions for 2020 included; 1. Global Warming, Cyber Cold War Cooling2. Internet’s move apart3. Local social media shutdowns 4. Fake News 2.0 5. CNI, Cyber Attacks Grow6. High-profile companies at greater risk7. Lobbying to change GDPR8. Cyber hygiene 9. Battle over liability 10. More local laws Richard’s 2020 Technology Predictions also including targeted ransomware, multichannel phishing, mobile malware attacks – specifically on banks, cyber insurance on the up, more internet of things with an increase in risk, 5G skyrockets data volumes, speed trumps security for DevOps and we might just see a rethink of the Cloud. I was really surprised to see the likes of #WagathaChristie (also known as Coleen Rooney) and Fake News discussed at the conference as predictions for 2020 as the two terms coined by the mainstream media aren’t often associated with Cyber Security but the link was fascinating. Essentially, what started as a slogan for the US presidency has now been seen in elections across the world including India and most recently, the UK and we can easily apply the same rule to a rise in phishing scams. My predictions for 2020 aren’t too dissimilar to Richard’s, rather, I am less concerned with the social media shutdowns we have seen in Africa and parts of Asia and really focused on individual companies and their pain points – Cyber hygiene playing a massive role in this alongside an education around the Insider Threat. I am really keen to work with companies in 2020 to bring their Cyber Security up to date and this isn’t going to happen through a change to GDPR policy but rather, a compliance to current regulations – focusing on data quality, education and consultative advice to bring an awareness to professionals who sit outside of the sector. I think in 2020 we’ll be seeing more simulated breaches, gamified hacking scenarios and augmented reality demonstrations to show organisations what could happen if a breach was to occur. I think we will definitely see an increased awareness as a result of password clean ups and a resentment towards ‘Fake News’ but, I think we’ll see Technology and Cyber Security collide even more to bring the landscape to life. What do you think we'll see in 2020?
23 Dec 2019
Data as we know has the capacity to change the world. Not just change the way we do things, see things or interpret things but make the unthinkable possible. We have now reached a stage in our technical evolution where we have a comprehensive understanding of data and how it can impact our everyday lives but isn’t it time we started using it for good? I don’t mean good as in creating conversions or good as in building Sophia 2.0 I mean good as in using data to create genuine change, for the better. Clive Humby stated in 2006, ‘Data is the new oil’ and The Economist followed in his footsteps just two years ago when they wrote ‘The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data’. Data is ‘officially’ the most valuable resource in the world, surely we can find a more valuable place for it than business? I recently attended the Big Data LDN conference and heard a really fascinating talk by a company called TIBCO. They were discussing how data and AI can help reduce homelessness, prevent hunting and even help us go green by monitoring rain-fall in certain parts of the world. This really got me thinking about how I talk about data every day. We either talk from a business perspective about GDPR and regulations we have in place to protect our data or we speak to businesses hiring a new data team to monetise their vision. This was a completely fresh concept for me – using data for good and it’s made me really want to learn more about the social responsibility, of data. I’d like to hear from you – do you use data for good or have you come across a company that has? I would love to hear about your experiences with ‘responsible data’ and how together, we could enhance the cause.
25 Nov 2019
With an increased awareness in the protection and abuse of our personal data, it’s now commonplace to find the words ‘ethical’ and ‘moral’ thrown into everyday conversations about data but, while we need to be having this conversation, do we all understand what it means? The debate about ethics is vital. As technology professionals we carry a responsibility to not just protect the data we come into contact with but also reassure the professionals, consumers and spectators that sit outside of the industry – that we’re the good guys. But, what I find fascinating is not perhaps the debate itself but rather, the disparity in definitions of ‘Ethical Data’ and how drastically they can differ. I started thinking about this almost a year ago when we produced our first tech-focused white paper on the Human Face of Data Science. It was an interview with former Data Science lead at NASA, Adi Andrei who really got me thinking about this human side of data, not just the humans effected by poor use of data but how the philosophy of it can have a huge impact on society. He spoke about the fear-factor of data and how implications of roles being replaced with robots does nothing to help our economy, instead it produces resentment to innovation and leaves professionals questioning their survivability in a modern age. Adi suggested that we as professionals have a responsibility to promote technology as an empowering tool and not a debilitating one. He also spoke about the responsibility he has as a Data Scientist to work solely with ‘ethical companies’. This means not working with organisations who abuse the data you waive the rights to or who abuse your behavioural traits and translate them into profit. While this seems like a simple explanation of ‘Ethical Data’ some people have very different definitions. Some for instance believe that by simply delving into this data, without using it, is unethical as it abuses the privacy of its owner but I’m not sure I agree with this one. For me, that’s the magic of data, being able to delve into the behavioural habits behind spending and the psychology behind clicks to come up with the answers to a whole host of things - but this doesn't mean it has to be abused. I agree with Adi that we all have a responsibility to be ethical, righteous and sensitive with the data that falls in our laps but that shouldn't have to restrict us. I attended Big Data LDN this week and was wowed by some of the incredible technology and tools on display – a giant Pac Man amongst other things – but the thing that really blew my mind was a company called TIBCO which through analytic insights is able to monitor Lewis Hamilton as he is driving. The behaviours and decisions behind the manoeuvres in order to present him with different ways to drive faster, push harder and be better. This for me was magic but others may deem it as unethical. I’d like to hear your thoughts on ‘Ethical Data’ – what does it mean to you?
18 Nov 2019