NEW IT Alliance – April Tech Upload
New IT News
Happy spring! Spring has sprung and so has data collection and sharing in the region. The NEW North this month reported the results of the 2018 Northeast Wisconsin Business Intelligence Study with results from 288 companies across the region. While companies are generally positive about the economic outlook, they see risks associated with finding and retaining key talent. While the results doesn’t say so directly, we’re sure lack of IT talent is a part of it.
As we dug into the more detailed data we noticed that 66% of respondents don’t feel changes in AI/machine learning are relevant to the success of their business in the next 5 years. We suggest these companies check out one of the upcoming events held by Advancing AI Wisconsin to understand the significant disruptions AI and Machine Learning can bring to any industry. As one CIO who attended a recent event put it; “if you think AI sounds futuristic, you are already behind.” Another option is to attend the TechTalk we will be hosting in April on this topic with Oliver Buechse, one of the founders of Advancing AI Wisconsin (see below for more detail).
Companies are very concerned about their ability to hire and retain talent with 78% reporting that recruiting competent job applications is a problem while 58% indicate being able to offer competitive pay and benefits as a problem. Many companies see strengthening training and education systems as a solution. Among several priorities for future economic growth, the highest ranked was strengthening the educational system at all levels with 54% of respondents picking that as the highest priority. Further, 86% indicated that education and training programs in data science and analytics are important or very important to the business community.
You can read the full report here.
NEW IT Alliance will be doing a deeper dive survey on some of these questions to understand how we can better attract and retain IT talent in the region.
One of our member organizations was featured in the news this week for their use of data in decision making. UW Oshkosh is a leading user of the Navigate Student Success Collaborative system used to predict success of students. The system is being rolled out to all UW System schools except UW Madison after having been used at UW Oshkosh since fall 2016. The system helps predict which students are at risk of dropping out, allowing for early intervention. Apart from the benefits to the individual students, retaining students to graduation will help strengthen the talent pipeline in the region. Read the full article.
In early April we will be launching the second annual Digital Learning Opportunities survey, which seeks to understand computer science offerings in K-12 districts in the region. After a successful pilot last year in Brown and Outagamie counties, the survey will this year go out to all 91 districts in the NEW North. One outcome of last year’s survey was identifying the need for a regional CS Advisory board for K-12 districts, which has been established and has met several times already. Through these meetings, we experience the growth in enthusiasm in many K-12 districts for offering computer science opportunities to many more students. We have a report-out planned with the results on June 13 (see our Events page for more detail).
On April 30 from 4-6pm, we will be hosting our next TechTalk event at Moraine Park Technical College in Fond Du Lac. The featured guest speaker will be Oliver Buechse from Advancing AI who will be speaking about Artificial Intelligence. Community and businesses are welcome to participate in networking, pizza, and the presentation. See our Events page for more detail and to register.
Over the past 3 months, we have received six unsolicited resumes from seasoned IT professionals looking for their next career opportunity. Several of these have senior leadership experience in regional businesses. These have been shared with our members as part of the benefit of being a member of the NEW IT Alliance. If you are not receiving these, and would like to, reach out to us at [email protected].