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SAS works with a leading consumer debt management company to support skills and development planning

Consumer debt purchasing company works with SAS to unlock benefits of SAS skills

Helping a new team develop new skills

The analytics team within the debt management company is relatively new, so its Human Resources (HR) department needed to define the team's structure and the various roles and responsibilities of individuals within it. At the same time, the analytics team was adopting SAS® Intelligent Debt Management for business intelligence and reporting, and needed to acquire SAS-specific skills to ensure maximum value from the new system.

The company's HR Director wanted to understand the SAS skills that individual members of the analytics team would require, and map not only these, but also their business-process skill sets against job requirements to identify competencies, gaps and required training. In addition, they needed to create professional development plans for individual team members, so that each team member had a clear progression path to work towards.

"We know it is vital to implement a structured programme for colleagues who are adopting new technology solutions, to ensure that they are able to get the most out of the new tools and can use them in a creative way. We also place great emphasis on individuals' professional development: we wanted to demonstrate to our colleagues that we are investing in their future," said the company's Director of HR.

SAS Adoption Services Practice engaged with the company's HR director in order to develop a phased approach to this assessment and planning. The project was divided into three phases: the first was to build the competency framework against which each member of the analytics team was to be assessed, to include both business-process and SAS-specific skills. Secondly, each team member was assessed against the framework for their job role; and finally, an individual development plan was built for each team member.

Developing a framework for assessment

To support the first phase of the project, SAS Education consultants from SAS Adoption Services Practice worked with the company's HR director to develop the framework that employees would be assessed against.

Initially, SAS examined the technical tools each job role necessitated, by interviewing the team leader. A SAS consultant asked the team leader how capable each job role should be in using a specific tool: so, for example, they might have asked how aware a level-one business analyst should be of SAS® Enterprise Guide®. The team leader could reply with either 'Aware', 'Capable', or 'Expert'. Each of these responses was attributed a numerical value, and the team leader's responses were mapped.

Through a similar process, SAS identified how knowledgeable each job role should be about various data and mainframe environments. Finally, the required business-process skills and wider interpersonal skills, such as communication, were assessed and mapped for each job role. Together, these required competencies provided the framework for the assessment of each individual's skills.

"Analysts using SAS don't only need the technical training necessary to understand product functionality - they also need a set of wider, 'soft' skills to communicate with the rest of the business about the insights they derive from business intelligence projects. Our work with the debt management company, and with many of our other customers, focusses not only on helping analysts use SAS, but also on the supporting skills that will help the businesses make the most of their software assets," said Caroline Tew, Practice Manager of SAS Adoption Services Practice.

SAS then worked with the team leader to assess each individual's current skill set against the 'ideal' skill set outlined in the framework, and to identify those that they would need to enhance to progress from a level one (for example) to a level two. Interviews were then conducted with individuals in the team to map their current skills set against the framework.

The development journey ahead

SAS will now engage with the team to work towards their next level via the personal development plan: so, if an analyst is a level one and wants to become a level two, SAS and the company's HR department will outline what they need to achieve to do so. This may take the form of a project, where they enhance and demonstrate the skills they have acquired: for example, they might be asked to use SAS to carry out a project and present it to their peers or management to demonstrate business-process and interpersonal skills.

"The service the SAS team delivered reflected their deep knowledge of both the technical and business skills that are required by teams using SAS solutions in organisations such as ours. Their expertise was invaluable in identifying competencies and skills gaps, and they provide an expert voice as we plan the analytics team's development in the future," said the Director of HR.

This project will support the company's objectives for the future: as the business's data gets bigger, it's vital that a skilled team can be creative and use SAS tools to demonstrate the business benefits of doing things differently. The company will benefit from more clearly defined job roles and responsibilities, and is able to demonstrate its investment in its team. In addition to maximising individuals' performance and productivity, the company will build a strong SAS-user community within its business, and create a progression path within the organisation whilst capitalising on its investment in SAS.

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Debt management company

Business Issue:
The debt management company had invested in SAS Intelligent Debt Management for business intelligence and reporting, and needed to acquire SAS-specific skills to ensure maximum value from the new system. They also needed to define the structure of its analytics team and create professional development plans for each individual within the team.
Solution:
SAS Education
Benefits:
Gaining maximum value from investment in SAS; maximising individuals' performance and productivity; building a strong SAS-user community within the business; more clearly defined job roles and responsibilities; demonstrating investment in team.

The service the SAS team delivered reflected their deep knowledge of both the technical and business skills that are required by teams using SAS solutions in organisations such as ours. Their expertise was invaluable in identifying competencies and skills gaps, and they provide an expert voice as we plan the analytics team's development in the future.

Director of HR

Debt management company

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