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Data Analytics Community – 2022 in review


Published: 01 Dec 2022

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It’s been a year of significant change in the Data Analytics Community – so ICAEW’s Head of Data Analytics and Tech, Ian Pay, looks at what we’ve achieved, and what more we’re looking to do.

Growth and Change

At the time of writing, I’ve been at ICAEW for 9 months, and getting to grips with the Data Analytics Community has been one of my most important tasks since joining. In that time, the community has grown at an alarming rate – from around 24,500 members in early March, to over 28,000 members by the end of November. If only I could take full credit for these numbers! This impressively means that we are not only ICAEW’s largest community, but remain one of the fastest growing communities, and with this comes some sizeable opportunities, but also big challenges in terms of how we deliver on the needs of all of our members.

We’ve seen some significant changes to our Advisory Group too, bringing on a diverse range of voices, and also a new chair in Engine B’s Head of Audit and Ethics, Franki Hackett (who was recently placed 12th in Accountancy Age’s 35 under 35 list). This will hopefully help to ensure that our sizeable number of members are well represented, and has given opportunities for the community to hear from different voices and get different perspectives on the analytics landscape.

Our Content

This article goes out alongside our fourth newsletter of the year – a substantial improvement on previous years for the community. But it can’t just be about quantity, we need to be looking at the quality of our content too. I hope that we are delivering engaging webinars and interesting articles, but we are always looking for feedback and grateful for every perspective we receive on this.

Some highlights in our content for this year include:

  • We’ve had over 3,500 unique article views, with our primer AI: What is it really? topping the list, closely followed by the exploration of Data ingestion: past, present, and future (both written by Advisory Group members)
  • Across the year over 1,300 people have watched our webinars either live or on demand, with feedback almost universally positive.
  • I personally really enjoyed our webinar on the UN SDGs which is available to watch on demand here, along with all of our previous webinars.

The plan for 2023 webinars is coming together very nicely and we should have some great topics and speakers lined up for you.

Looking to 2023

In my article from April, talking about What’s Next for the Data Analytics Community, I touched on two areas I was keen to focus on – self-service analytics, and upskilling. These remain ‘hot topics’ in the world of data and we’ll definitely be exploring them further in 2023 through delivering a range of articles and webinars, including partnering with providers who are active in these spaces, and looking at how we further enhance our offering. We’re introducing, for the first time, a Data Analytics course as part of our Essential CPD programme, and we will be looking at changes we can make to our Data Analytics Certificate to ensure it remains accessible and relevant.

2023 is also an exciting time across our ICAEW Faculties and Communities, as we remove many of the paywalls for our ICAEW members. This will open up opportunities to collaborate more closely with some key communities, such as Excel and our new Internal Audit Community, which is launching early next year. The overlap between Excel and Data Analytics is clear for all to see, so we’ll be tapping into that with a number of joint activities.

Last, but by no means least, I’m very excited to announce our intention to host the community’s first in-person event. Analytics Live will take place at Chartered Accountants’ Hall in London, on 21 June 2023 - so save the date! This will be an event for you, as members of our Data Analytics Community, and will tie into the theme that we are looking to weave through the entirety of next year: data-driven decision-making. We hope, through this, we can ensure everything we deliver in the community next year has relevance to the challenges and opportunities you are facing in your roles.