Case study: Developing careers at GSK with Data Academies

GSK is looking to leverage data for end-to-end business improvements as well as driving innovation opportunities in their various departments.

A cornerstone of that strategy is to ensure that its employees have the skills to drive that data transformation. GSK is utilising the government-funded apprenticeship levy scheme to offer training and development opportunities to their employees from early careers through to experienced professionals. 

Our L4 Data Analyst programme is designed and delivered as an immersive, learning programme with work-based projects which allows learners to develop skills relevant to their role and the organisation. India Hatfield, a Supply Chain and Analytics Manager, and Ross Towers, an Informatic Technologist, both joined GSK's first Data Analyst Apprenticeship Academy in 2020. One week ago, they participated in a roundtable discussion sharing their learning experience and the impact their skills are having for themselves and their wider teams. 

Why an Apprenticeship was the best choice for these experienced professionals

For both apprentices, the apprenticeship was an opportunity to develop their data analysis capability and to advance their career.

"I really wanted to stretch my analytical and data science capabilities due to my role and personal interest in the area. Also, I thought it was best to align my professional development with the organisation’s push for skills across the board in this field as it’s pretty clear that this is the path forward for GSK" 

India Hatfield, L4 Data Analyst Apprentice 

As well, it was an opportunity to develop their skills in an area in which GSK continues to hold in high value.

“The most important reason was that I felt this course would allow me to develop my data analyst capabilities skills further which matched up perfectly with my professional development. It was the right programme for me as I looked to advance my career which is very data focussed”  

Ross Towers, L4 Data Analyst Apprentice

GSK is utilising the government-funded apprenticeship levy scheme to offer training and development opportunities to their employees from early careers through to experienced professionals. 

The skills being developed by an apprenticeship 

Both apprentices have been learning new skills that can be applied in the workplace to help their own professional development. This includes learning Python programming, a key part of the Level 4 Data Analyst apprenticeship.

“To start with I've learned a brand-new programming language which is amazing considering the idea of coding used to terrify me! I’m much more confident in how I clean and manipulate data but also the thought process behind it is better. The skillset has also allowed me to work on bigger and more complicated projects which is great as it shows what we can do for other teams” 

Ross Towers, L4 Data Analyst Apprentice 

 The apprentices are also learning how concepts such as Machine Learning impact their work and how to work more effectively with other technical teams.

Programme commitments such as the workshops and assignments have changed my weekly schedule but lately, I feel more empowered in my day-to-day interactions with my data science colleagues due to the fact that I better understanding of their work. I am an ally, better understanding our the ambition with data science and the opportunities for application of machine learning and artificial intelligence methodologies in supply chain and can help communicate this ambition” 

India Hatfield, L4 Data Analyst Apprentice

Applying new skills to valuable business projects

GSK is determined to have a workforce that has the internal capabilities to drive its digital transformation and the skills applied so far by the learners is proving that once they are equipped with the correct skillset the impact can be transformative. 

In the last year, Ross developed a python script which automatically pulled tablet compression data including summary statistics for the regulatory submission of a new tablet to be manufactured commercially. He delivered this request in a fraction of the time whilst ensuring that the data was fit for purpose by those using it.

 “For the Scientists this has eliminated weeks of effort to gather and check the data set”.

Ross's Line Manager, Sally Newman Informatics Manager at GSK 

As for India, she developed a formal communication mechanism on the progress of GSK’s enterprise-wide data lake owned by the GSK Tech organisation and Data as a Service, a SQL database managed by the SCS Analytics team, to ensure stakeholders are aligned on progress and showcase value delivered

“The progress of Digital, Data & Analytics (DDA) initiatives by the Analytics team and across SCS is clear to the wider organisation, and has even generated excitement! It has boosted engagement across SCS and has enabled identification of DDA opportunities to add value, whilst also identifying key partners across a large organisation to help drive the DDA agenda at GSK”  

India's Line Manager, Andrew Bzdek, Supply Chain Analytics Director at GSK

If you’re interested in learning more about the Data and AI programmes offered at Cambridge Spark for yourself or your team please click here

Data Analyst Apprenticeship L4

Learn advanced data analysis skills
with a government-funded apprenticeship
April 2021 start

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