Policies, programs to boost data science and analytics pushed

The government needs to work closely with industry and academe in mapping out policies and programs that promote data science and analytics (DSA) in the country, as demand for its workforce is increasing with the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIRe).

A Policy Note released by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) found a scarcity of DSA competencies in the current workforce and a misalignment between the demand and supply of DSA professionals in the country.

“While employers were looking for graduates enabled to perform the work of a functional analyst, HEIs (higher education institutions) were producing graduates apt to be data engineers. Consistently, DSA-related degree programs equipped their graduates with the basic proficiency of the competencies that are required to perform the tasks of a data engineer or data scientist,” it said.

Employers run the risk of failing to hire the right worker for the right set of tasks, it added.

The paper attributed the misalignment to the fact that DSA is still at its infancy in the Philippines.

“With this misalignment comes the impetus for the government to work on appropriate mechanisms. If not, youth unemployment may exacerbate,” it said.

To squarely address these issues, the paper underscored the need for various government agencies to work closely with industry and academe in formulating policies and programs that promote DSA in the country.

It particularly cited the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) which can facilitate the evolution of analytics as an industry, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) can enable the needed information and communication technology infrastructure for DSA, while the Department of Labor and Employment can facilitate the healthy balance between the demand and supply of DSA workforce.

The Department of Science and Technology can encourage the conduct of research projects in DSA, the Philippine Statistics Authority can include DSA in its databases and studies, and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) can promote DSA education among HEIs.

The paper said government agencies can also make use of the industry’s DSA job requirements in consolidating their efforts to effectively manage the supply and demand for these talents.

The academe, industry, and government, through CHED, can work together in establishing standards for degree programs or updating CHED memorandum orders of DSA-related degree programs, it said.

“The academe can involve the industry in improving curriculum, course design, and delivery of instructions or in co-developing teaching materials. Companies can share their cases and data,” it added.

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