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First Burberry employees graduate from in-house ‘Data Academy’

By Huw Hughes


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Burberry announced Friday the first group of employees to take part in its pioneering two-year data upskilling programme in collaboration with London-based tech company Decoded have graduated.

Over the past 18 months, Burberry employees have been enrolled in its in-house ‘Data Academy’, learning “cutting-edge” data science techniques such as machine learning, data visualisation and coding in Python programming language, alongside their day jobs.

Employees on the course have graduated with recognised advanced analytics qualifications, Burberry said.

“I’m very proud of our employees who have successfully graduated from our first Data Academy,” Burberry chief information officer Mark McClennon said in a release. “It’s important that we continue to offer people the opportunity to grow in their roles and develop new skills. Partnering with Decoded to help us build our Data Academy has been instrumental to keep upgrading data skills in line with the changing shift in consumer patterns.”

The importance of data collection on monitoring and predicting retail patterns and consumer trends has become increasingly important in the retail industry in recent years. It’s become even more pressing in recent months with the pandemic accelerating shifts in customer behaviour. Burberry says upskilling its employees to tackle these challenges “is crucial” for its business.

Decoded CEO Kathryn Parson said: “Burberry's investment in the lifelong learning of its people is truly pioneering. Data skills have never been more critical to the future of retail. Machine learning and advanced analytics have the potential to make the way we do business exponentially faster, stronger and better.

“Burberry understands the importance of this and are getting ahead of the game. By building data skills in-house they are sending a powerful message about their commitment to future ways of working. Decoded is proud to be working with such an iconic British brand.”

Burberry said it will be launching its second Data Academy in 2021 following the success of its first and will expand the programme across different departments.

Photo credit: Burberry