Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched its global data skills acceleration program in Australia and New Zealand in a bid to boost customers’ analytics efforts.
Launched overnight during AWS re:Invent, the AWS Data Lab will provide A/NZ customers with training on solutions such as data lakes, pipelines, graph technology and database migrations.
In the words of Rada Stanic, principal solutions architect at AWS, the program is essentially a joint accelerator program between AWS data experts and customers with the aim of creating "tangible deliverables to help customers accelerate data initiatives".
The program has already been trialled with AWS customers in Australia and New Zealand, including utility services company Intellihub and ticketing company TEG.
The A/NZ hub will sit alongside six other AWS Data Labs: Seattle, New York, Herndon, London, Bangalore and Sao Paolo. No specific city has been named for the A/NZ hub.
The local edition of the lab has been overseen by Vicky Falconer, former AWS big data and analytics business development lead, since April this year.
“Customers want to know how to effectively use data analytics, but they often struggle with how to get started,” she said. “We always start with a business problem and then we work backwards from there. We take a big problem and we scope it to something we can address in a few days. This is an effective way to validate whether a great idea will solve a problem.”
According to Stanic, the trial had "very creative and successful outcomes" for the customers.
The program is split into two parts: design and build. Of the former, Stanic explained: "Some businesses are simply not ready to build the solutions so we bring together experts and the customers for a two-day engagement with a goal for the customer to walk away with a prescriptive architectural framework to think about and implement around data and analytics."
Meanwhile, the build category is, according to Stanic, for more advanced customers "who are really ready to create specific outcomes".
Taking two to five days, the build program sees AWS solutions architects offer "prescriptive architectural guidance" so customers walk away with custom-designed prototype.
"Most importantly, they will come away with a deeper knowledge of AWS’ products and services to implement that," Stanic added.
To coincide with the launch, Deloitte revealed that three quarters of Australian and New Zealand businesses plan to either use partners or hire talent from overseas to plug their data analytics gaps.
Commissioned by AWS, the Demystifying Data 2021 report also revealed that only 25 per cent of organisations plan to upskill their workforce in data and analytics, despite 30 per cent of workers not having sufficient skills in the first place.
"Australia is going to have a burning need for data skills in the next 12 months," said John O'Mahony, Deloitte Access Economics partner.
"The National Skills Commission said out of 25 skill needs, seven of them relate to data and analytics. After April next year, there's going to be a big conversation in this country about the skills shortage from a data analytics point of view."
The report also found that 61 per cent of companies only have a basic or beginner level of data maturity and only one-third of businesses expect to move up Deloitte's maturity ladder in five years.
This year, AWS launched also a new program designed to help partners with their cloud and digital skills.
The cloud giant’s AWS Training Partner program will enable AWS customers to work with a single partner who can deliver and resell official AWS-authored training.