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Previous Analytics Industry Forum Highlights

In light of the 2021 Analytics Industry Forum fast approaching in a few weeks, here is some more information about the previous event in 2020 and what it entailed!


The purpose of this event was to create an overall discussion of the industry, by the industry itself. Best practises, experiences and lessons learned are shared across a multitude of analytics professionals to assist in accelerated growth of analytics knowledge. All participating organizations mutually benefit from discussing analytical skills, talent as well as maturity in the market.


Topics covered in 2020

  • Solving the analytics talent gap in Vancouver

  • Storytelling with data

  • Building a self-serve data culture

  • Six exciting analytics initiatives from local companies as part of the Vancouver Analytics Legends

Participating Organizations

44 participants across 22 organizations, including:

Best Buy, Vancouver Coastal Health, Coast Capital, Rocky Mountaineer, Aritzia, Save on Foods, Earls, MEC, Electronic Arts, Deloitte Consulting, lululemon, and EY Consulting.


The event was steered by a committee of highly experienced industry representatives, in conjunction with Jason Ho, Associate Professor at SFU as well as Desirae Stack, Coordinator at SFU.


The industry panelled steered the group through the discussion topics, creating a list of key takeaways produced by the discussion groups:

  1. Analytics Talent in Vancouver is beginning to mature, but challenges persist in finding both entry level and experienced hires. - Clearly articulate professional career paths for data and analytics professionals with career laddering and leadership training for those who want to move into management - Create career paths for young professionals with industry aligned standardized job titles / descriptions / salary bands, to provide clarity for both the industry and talent - Be more specific (and potentially standardize) the job descriptions and match them with an appropriate level of experience to improve the matching of suitable candidates to opportunities - Create industry wide support and mentorship programs to assist as they work through their career in Vancouver - INSERT LINK HERE TO JOB STANDARDIZATIONS

  2. Successfully building a self-serve data culture - Self serve is not just a 1 time implementation, continuous training & support are required to ensure ongoing success. Ex: dedicated drop in sessions, letting business users get the win while supporting behind the scenes, mechanisms in place to ensure adoption levels maintain, simplicity for users - Self serve works better in some types of organizations / departments than others. Ex: focus on programs to improve overall data literacy as the ability to roll out and adopt solutions is very dependant on business data maturity and skills mix - Put appropriate governance in place. Ex: put in place effective data governance to avoid multiple sources of truth

  3. Keys to success in storytelling with data - Be authentic: let your personality shine through, tell it from your own personal experience - Get to the point: an effective data viz should convey an insight in seconds to the users... keep it simple (stick to 3 basic points), have an effective presentation flow and arc of story - Drive action: ensure you are presenting actionable insights, and not "fun facts"... get clear on the business problem and what actions will be taken - The message is more important than the medium, know your audience and tailor your presentation accordingly (ex: business centric vs tech/data savvy audiences)

After discussing these prominent topics within the analytics industry, the event was wrapped up by a new portion called the Analytics Legends. Six organizations were voted in by their peers to showcase their analytics achievements in this competition. At the end, one organization would be designated as "The Legend". Each organization presented their business problem, analytics solution, and the business impact of this solution.






The title of Analytics Legend of Vancouver, 2020 was awarded to Rocky Mountaineer! This year, a new set of promising analytics achievements will be presented on Friday November 19th, 2021.

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