How Covid-19 has accelerated the adoption of big data

Posting date: 10 August 2020

In the early weeks of coronavirus, all eyes were on how Switzerland’s authorities responded to Covid-19. Several months on and the effects of the virus can now be identified, including how the outbreak has impacted big data.

 

As the name suggests, big data refers to large collections of information which grow exponentially and are therefore too complex to be stored and processed by traditional software. The term combines both structured – credit card numbers, product names and transaction information - and unstructured data – email messages, video files and imagery – illustrating exactly why big data just keeps getting bigger. Here’s how Covid-19 has boosted the amount of information we generate and accelerated the adoption of big data.

 
Covid-19 has pushed digitisation in all sectors

In 2018, the global big data market was valued at $23.1 billion and it’s predicted to skyrocket up to $79.5 billion by 2024 – which is a CAGR of 25.4%. Covid-19 has amplified this growth by encouraging innovation across the entire digital ecosystem, from big data and AI to cloud computing and IoT. In retail, companies have embraced technology in order to remain relevant and heard by consumers, while the traditional courts have felt the pressure to adopt modern practices - storing evidence in the cloud - to protect the justice system. Just as blockchain technology has enabled the digitisation of the commodities market, big data has facilitated the digitisation of various industries during Covid-19 and even supported growth for the ecommerce market.

 

More data is being generated than ever before

Before the lockdown, when supermarkets, hospitals and car garages were open, people could have as little interaction with digital technologies as they liked. But when social distancing measures were brought in many people were forced to rely on technology to get food to their homes and interact with their doctors online. In every corner of the globe, more people have become reliant on the internet for the most basic of tasks and this has generated an exorbitant amount of data.

 

The spike in digital interactions is also a result of the increased leisure time people now have. Experts predicted that by 2020 the amount of data generated each second would amount to 1.7MB per person, meaning that each day it would hit a staggering 146,880MB. When this prediction was made, there were 1.25 bitcoins and 3,877,140 Google searches generated each minute, all of which contributed to the growing stocks of big data. Now, with more people spending time online and searching for ways to remain productive in lockdown or information about coronavirus symptoms, the data collections are burgeoning.

 

How big data will help in the fight against Covid-19

Since the beginning of the pandemic, big data analytics have helped technology professionals provide the healthcare industry and governments with insight into the virus and has enabled app developers to create contact tracing technology that was essential to track the spread. Switzerland was the first country to release a virus tracking app and their swift response has been a large contributor to keeping the infection rate low.

 

The potential of big data analytics goes beyond tracking coronavirus. The past few months have demonstrated how the sophisticated technology can prove useful right from the point of screening and diagnosing the virus in the early stages, up until developing treatments.

 

 

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What key skills does the modern developer need?

Information technology departments all over the world have been scrambling in the past few months, with many IT professionals suddenly tasked with the daunting role of mobilising a remote workforce, seemingly overnight. Looking ahead, IT spending forecasts suggest there will be ongoing demand for cloud infrastructure services as businesses continue to work remotely, according to Deloitte. The same goes for communication and telecom services and software. And with more companies using online technologies and software than ever before - to work, collaborate and communicate – we're seeing increasing demand for information technology professionals. Working in information technology recruitment, we make it our business to keep a close eye on market trends and skills in demand by employers. Through this, we’ve seen developers continue to be sought out for companies across Switzerland and further afield. If you’re considering your next career step and want to make sure you stand out to potential employers, consider the following key skills that every modern developer needs. Coding languages Developers and programmers must have a firm knowledge of at least one coding language, such as Java, C++, JavaScript or Python. Most software developers in today’s technology landscape will be expected to know JavaScript, which has been ranked as the most popular developer language for seven years in a row. JavaScript is used alongside HTML and CSS for front-end web development. Meanwhile, user-friendly Python is an ideal language for beginner developers to pick up for back-end development and desktop applications, along with C++ and C# for game and mobile development. Whether you’re a skilled java developer or a creative C++ coder, it’s a clear competitive advantage to have deep experience in at least one coding language, and ideally be familiar with others too. Cloud expertise Cloud computing is one of tech’s biggest boom areas now, with companies of all sizes shifting their environments to the cloud for ease of access, cost-saving and scalability. Many programmers and developers will find themselves needing to work with cloud-native applications in the near future, particularly if they’re working in the development fields of data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning. There are entire roles devoted to cloud development, where you’ll be expected to have database and programming skills along with Linux and cloud platform expertise, such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Service and Google Cloud Platform. Even if you don’t want to become a dedicated cloud developer, it’s still well worth developing some cloud skills to have access to more programming jobs in the future. Flexibility and problem-solving skills The modern developer needs to be reactive and quick on their feet. This is particularly true in the post-Covid landscape, where many organisations are entering ‘sink or swim’ mode and some are completely reinventing their business models and service offerings. The rise in remote work and conferencing platforms and online cashless solutions have contributed to a predicted tech industry increase from US$131bn to US$295bn by 2025. This boom is creating challenges for developers to react to, but also an abundance of opportunities to be innovative and creative. Modern web developers should be agile and curious, always challenging the status quo and prepared to look for new solutions and ideas. Doing so will help to remain relevant in the changing job market and stand out to IT recruitment agencies. Find your next developer job at Swisslinx Swisslinx has deep experience in digital and technology executive recruitment, helping to match brilliant candidates with exceptional companies. If you’re looking for your next programmer or developer role, we’d love to help. View our latest digital and technology jobs here or contact us to see how we can help.

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Transferable skills that are essential in the new world

Transferable skills are those capabilities that are relevant across multiple industries and various job roles. Candidates with these widely-applicable skills are more flexible, something which is paramount in an ever-changing job market. The Swiss Skills Shortage Index 2019 reveals engineering, pharmaceuticals, technology and law to be some of the most in-demand job areas but what core abilities are most sought after in today’s recruitment scene? Here are four transferable skills that will ensure you succeed in the new world.   Adaptability Adaptability was listed in LinkedIn’s top five soft skills for 2019 and 2020 has seen this skill jump right the top for many organisations. The pandemic has presented a make or break situation for businesses, but fast-thinking decisions have kept many afloat and have even unlocked new opportunities in uncharted markets. This ability to respond to changes by adjusting priorities and applying new approaches is what makes a team agile and a business resilient. The new world signals an era where adaptability is critical for success in all markets, making it a must-have transferable skill.   Digital Prowess Coronavirus has put a rocket under digitalisation and companies are embracing the transformation. The working from home model went from a growing trend to an absolute necessity for businesses to continue providing their products and services. As such, collaboration software – including Slack, Asana and Google Sheets – became essential tools for keeping the wheels of the workforce spinning, magnifying the need for employees with a certain level of digital prowess. The quickening digital transformation will push companies in every industry to ramp up their search for the top tech talent and ensure they’re future-proofing their workforce.   Honing in on the technology job market, hiring managers are directing their attention towards candidates with software and automation skills. But there’s just as much a shortage of IT skills within this job sector as the wider workforce and the European commission has reported 756,000 vacant ICT jobs across Europe. While the IT skills gap is alarming for hiring managers there’s an opportunity for candidates to set themselves apart in the recruitment process, making digital prowess an invaluable transferable skill.   Emotional Intelligence Emotional intelligence (EI) ‘forms the juncture at which cognition and emotion meet’ and an individual’s level of EI determines many other factors, such as how well they communicate, their ability to empathise and their internal motivation. Not only that, 7 in 10 people who present a high emotional quotient (EQ) actually score better on intelligence tests than those with a high IQ.   With companies now embracing a flexible working pattern, relying on their team to collaborate virtually and remain productive whilst away from the office, employers are recognising how essential it is to have a cohort of emotionally intelligent workers. This soft skill enables employees to read social situations, engage in active listening and willingly accept constructive criticism, all of which makes for a great team player who is indispensable to a company.   Data Analytics Analytical reasoning was another skill listed by LinkedIn as a must-have for 2019 and as with adaptability, the lasting impacts of coronavirus have magnified the need for this hard skill. Data analytics cannot be confined to a few industries - instead it’s become a fundamental process for all businesses striving to stay ahead of the competition. Therefore, to be literate in data has become as important as traditional literacy skills.   Before the outbreak, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated a 30% increase in jobs within big data in just 10 years. Now with more data being produced than ever before, businesses need to harness this information and use it to predict future changes in their market. Hiring managers in all sectors are pursuing employees who have a proven track record of analytical reasoning, who can draw insights from data and can make informed decisions. Those without experience in data analytics should not be discouraged bur rather take the opportunity to upskill and diversify their skillset.   Swisslinx is here to help you navigate the job market At Swisslinx, we offer a tailored service for each of our candidates, taking the time to understand your skillset and career aspirations so we can find the job opportunity that’s perfect for you. Get in touch to hear more about our recruitment process. Or if you’re ready to start applying take a look at jobs in financial services or healthcare and life sciences jobs.

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