DEMAND for data scientists and analytics experts is on the rise as contact center companies embrace complex tasks.

In a press conference yesterday, Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) chairman Benedict Hernandez said the country has to play catch-up in terms of producing talents who are qualified to handle modern call center jobs as more industries cement their footing in the digital economy.

Hernandez noted this isn’t unique to the business process management (BPM) industry as non-BPM companies like financial institutions now eye talent who are familiar with data science and analytics.

“In our view, there is a higher demand than the supply...everybody is building their analytics capability,” said Hernandez during the Contact Center 2018 conference held for the second time in Cebu in the Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa.

“There is a strong demand for jobs like these in the Philippines and this is an exciting opportunity for us to play up this capability,” he said, adding that companies are fighting over this demand for data scientists.

According to Hernandez, there is a strong interest from universities to offer analytics courses. Big employers, on the other hand, have also reconnected with universities’ statistics departments to help them with their data analysis.

CCAP’s recent survey of member-companies revealed that mid- and high- level skills now compose about 55 percent and 30 percent of jobs in the voice space, respectively.

“We expect simple tasks to continue to shrink in the long run,” said Hernandez.

The Apec Human Resources Development Working Group, in a report, said data science analytics (DSA) jobs in the Philippines is seen to grow more than double to 340,880 jobs by 2022.

There are currently 147,420 DSA jobs in the country.

H. Karthik of the Everest Group said the supply-demand challenge is not peculiar to the Philippines as demands of customers globally are rapidly changing.

Karthik cited three trends happening in the global market—increased use of analytics, shift to higher-value jobs, and the rise of automated transactions.

He noted that if companies can seamlessly complement human skills sets with technology, they can make a stronger value proposition for their clients.

“Personalized and differentiated customer experience, powered by digital, is the new competitive battleground in our sector,” said CCAP president Jojo Uligan. “This is a new service opportunity for contact centers in the digital world.” CCAP’s two-day conference will delve on the dynamics of empowered customers, hybrid workforce, jobs for the future, and new service delivery models, among others.

The Philippines remains the biggest source of voice services worldwide. Based on the data from the Everest Group, the country is seen to account for 16 percent to 18 percent of the total outsourced services globally in 2017.

Uligan said companies have been investing in digital customer experience and that their investments are paying off.