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With the economy still struggling and millions of Americans looking for jobs, a new ebook from a provider of managed call center analytics and advisory services, Customer Relationship Metrics, has identified a growing skill gap in the U.S. workforce that presents a major opportunity for job seekers. In an increasingly data-driven business world, more and more companies are recognizing the importance of business intelligence. But the key to business intelligence is properly trained managers and analysts who can take data, break it down and transform it into actionable plans for businesses, the book explains.

According to the ebook, penned by Carmit DiAndrea, vice president of analytics and client services for Customer Relationship Metrics, the U.S. education system is currently failing to fill the need for skilled workers. 
"I like to say that business intelligence isn’t really intelligent until you add the human element," said DiAndrea. "Companies are continually turning to business intelligence and reporting tools that make major promises that can’t be fulfilled without the right analytical talent in place. And right now, the necessary talent often isn’t available."

A study published by the McKinsey Global Institute earlier this year spotlighted "a need for 1.5 million additional managers and analysts … who can ask the right questions and consume the results of the analysis … effectively." But this need will largely go unfulfilled because there is a severe and widening skill gap in the knowledge needed to analyze data.

"We meet every day with leaders who are at the nexus of the enterprise-customer relationship in the call center sector. Companies depend on data and its interpretation to fuel efforts to improve top-line revenue growth and increase bottom-line profitability,” Jim Rembach, chief spokesman for Customer Relationship Metrics, added. “But while many companies have implemented business intelligence solutions, they struggle with analyzing the right data and interpreting what that data says.”

Rembach explained their efforts are not translating into accurate recommendations that will drive positive business results. High-performing business analysts are few and far between, and as a result highly compensated and in such high demand that poaching is prevalent. “This talent gap is only projected to increase rapidly, and represents a great career opportunity for those who have a unique combination of analytical skills, business acumen, and communications skills," he said.

The ebook addresses the issues in the U.S. education system that have resulted in the growing skills gap, efforts in academia to promote education and careers in analytics, qualities of successful business analysts, the relationship between intuition and analytics and how analysts can really make a difference to the c-suite.