Lack of data skills

After moving to London, Kriebel joined Information Lab and launched the training arm to provide people with the data analytics and visualisation skills the firm’s customers claimed they

could not find.

“We thought, ‘we can’t find the people anywhere so we’ll just make them’, and that’s how it got started,” he said.

Kriebel said there was a limited pool of people with the required data skills because they are not commonly taught at universities. Instead, people pick up the skills on the job, but companies often require fully trained applicants who can step straight into the job.

“Participants go through four months of dedicated training and they’re paid by us – so they’re being paid to undertake this training,” said Kriebel.

“The idea is they’re learning everything they could possibly need to know about Tableau and Alteryx, but we also supplement that with weekly projects that they do from start to finish.”

Some projects will be for clients and others will be set by the school, but all of them develop the practical skills needed for a job in data.

During this time, the trainees will take exams to gain certification for their skills.

“They’re moving at a super-fast pace – I’m trying to prepare them for moving on and doing high-quality work really fast so when they go on assignments they’ll feel well equipped,” said Kriebel.

After four months of training at the Information Lab, the trainees will complete three work placements at client firms on a six-month rotation period to gain real-world skills and experience.

The programme will see the students gain skills and mentoring for two years, after which client firms are given the option to take them on. Alternatively, the students can stay at Information Lab as a consultant.

“Recruiters don’t really know what makes a good Tableau or Alteryx person and they don’t know how to judge the quality of the person, whereas we build the people. We know they’re good and we know we have the best trainers in the world,” said Kriebel.

“So when we’re placing them with customers for full-time roles, the customers know they’re going to be high-quality people.”

After moving on from the programme, access to mentoring and the Information Lab’s network will be available for a further year to help trainees settle into a role.