Companies need to capitalise more on enthusiasm for data amongst the workforce

Companies need to capitalise more on enthusiasm for data amongst the workforceA major global report has revealed a lack of confidence in data is limiting corporate success in the emerging era of robotics and automation. The global research launched by Qlik, has revealed an escalating skills gap preventing business decision-makers asking the right questions of data and machines. Despite McKinsey reporting that up to 800 million global workers will lose their jobs by 2030 as a result of automation and robotics, and Gartner hailing data literacy at the must-have skill in the workplace, most business decision-makers (76 percent) lack confidence in their ability to read, work, analyse and argue with data. The highest level of doubt in data skills can be found among European executives (83 percent), followed by those in APAC (80 percent) and the US (67 percent). According to the report, as organisations look to be data driven, those employees who can read, work, analyse and argue with data will be able to contribute more to their roles and organisations and employers need to capitalise on this enthusiasm to drive the programme for data literacy.

Jordan Morrow, Head of Data Literacy at Qlik, comments: “Data is new the basis for competition, relied upon by global enterprises to derive insights and win the marketplace. However, an organisation’s ability to succeed in this digital era is heavily dependent on its employees’ abilities to learn a new language. The language of data. The fact that those leading the business are struggling to get to grips with data is not just preventing them from thriving in their own leadership position, it is also hampering their ability to drive a data cultural change across the business.

“In response to this extreme data literacy deficiency, there’s still time for organisations to win big with a powerful collective of robotics, automation and data literate workers, but urgent action is needed to steal a competitive edge.”

In a new global report, Qlik reveals insights into data illiteracy and offers practical advice for how to empower all employees with the data, tools and learning to achieve personal success and capitalise on an unprecedented economic opportunity.

Key findings include:

  • Data is the secret to career success: The majority (85 percent) of data literate business decision-makers say they are performing very well at work, compared with just over half (54 percent) of their peers. In addition, most who use data in their current job role not only agree that data helps them do their job better (94 percent), but that greater data literacy would give them more credibility (82 percent) in the workplace.
  • There is boundless enthusiasm to learn: Most business decision-makers (78 percent) would be willing to invest more time and energy into improving their data skillset, representing a significant opportunity to drive a cultural change without substantial resistance. Executives in the India have the highest appetite to learn (95 percent), followed by those in the APAC (72 percent) and, finally, Europe (65 percent).
  • Levels of confidence vary across and within regions: Business decision-makers in India have the highest level of confidence (46 percent), followed by the US (33 percent), Spain (27 percent), UK (26 percent), Australia (22 percent), Germany (20 percent), Singapore (17 percent), France (16 percent), Sweden (15 percent), China (12 percent) and Japan (8 percent).
  • More data sceptics are needed to interrogate data from machines: Nearly half (48 percent) struggle to identify between data truths and manipulations, indicating an urgent need to upskill to support workers to succeed.

 Morrow continues: “As organisations look to be data driven, it is inevitable that those employees who can read, work, analyse and argue with data will be able to contribute more to their roles and organisations. Companies should be capitalising on enthusiasm among the workforce and identifying data champions who can drive the programme for data literacy. With organisations being made up of very different people, parts, and pieces, this will need to be done on multiple levels, with the different data personalities across the business needing tailored support. Strong mentoring and stewardship will help to create the right culture where anyone can thrive – whatever level they are starting from.”

The new report can be downloaded here