Report: Significant data skills gap costing businesses billions

A gap has emerged between aspirations to be data-driven and the ability of employees to create business value with data

According to a new report, while businesses are aware of how vital data is to success, a gap has emerged between aspirations to be data-driven and the ability of employees to create business value with data.

The new report from Accenture and Qlik, The Human Impact of Data Literacy, conducted on behalf of The Data Literacy Project, found only 20 per cent of the working population are fully confident in their data literacy skills, only 39 per cent of employees trust their decisions more when based on data. Nearly half (47 per cent) report frequently deferring to “gut feel” when making decisions, and 72 per cent of employees report feeling overwhelmed or unhappy when working with data.

It also reports nearly one-third (31 per cent) of the workforce have taken at least one day of sick leave due to stress related to information, data, and tech issues, and each year, Australian companies lose an average of over five working days (38 hours 34 mins) per employee due to procrastination and sick leave due to stress resulting from information, data, and tech issues, which equates to $13.9 billion in lost productivity each year. 

Accenture and Qlik’s survey of 9000 employees around the world, including 1000 from Australia, found when employees struggle to make sense of data, productivity and business value can be affected.  

Despite nearly all Australian employees (88 per cent) recognising data as an asset, few are using it to inform decision-making. Only 25 per cent of surveyed employees believe they’re fully prepared to use data effectively. 

This lack of data skills is shrinking productivity. In fact, 29 per cent of surveyed employees stated they will find an alternative method to complete the task without using data. Across Australia, 56 per cent of workers report that data-overload has contributed to workplace stress. 

“No one questions the value of data – but many companies need to re-invent their approach to data governance, analysis, and decision-making. This means ensuring that their workforce has the tools and training necessary to deliver on the new opportunities that data presents,” Accenture Data Business Group, group technology officer and global lead, Sanjeev Vohra, said. 

“Data-driven companies that focus on continuous learning will be more productive and gain a competitive edge.”

Employees who identify as data-literate are at least 50 per cent more likely to say they feel empowered to make better decisions and are trusted to make better decisions. What’s more, 41 per cent of employees in Australia believe data literacy training would make them more productive. 

Global head of data literacy at Qlik and chair of the Data Literacy Project Advisory Board, Jordan Morrow, added despite recognising the integral value of data to the success of their business, most firms are still struggling to build teams that can actually bring that value to life.  

“There has been a focus on giving employees self-service access to data, rather than building individuals’ self-sufficiency to work with it. Yet, expecting employees to work with data without providing the right training or appropriate tools is a bit like going fishing without the rods, bait or nets – you may have led them to water but you aren’t helping them to catch a fish,” he said.

The Human Impact of Data Literacy report is based on research conducted among 9000 global full-time employees in organisations of 50+ employees in the UK, USA, Germany, France, Singapore, Sweden, Japan, Australia and India. 1000 Australian employees were surveyed.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia. 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments
cmo-xs-promo

Latest Videos

More Videos

Nice blog!Blog is really informative , valuable.keep updating us with such amazing blogs.influencer agency in Melbourne

Rajat Kumar

Why flipping Status Quo Bias is the key to B2B marketing success

Read more

good this information are very helpful for millions of peoples customer loyalty Consultant is an important part of every business.

Tom Devid

Report: 4 ways to generate customer loyalty

Read more

Great post, thanks for sharing such a informative content.

CodeWare Limited

APAC software company brings on first VP of growth

Read more

This article highlights Gartner’s latest digital experience platforms report and how they are influencing content operations ecosystems. ...

vikram Roy

Gartner 2022 Digital Experience Platforms reveals leading vendor players

Read more

What about this one FormDesigner.pro? I think it's a great platform providing a lot of options, you can collect different data and work w...

Salvador Lopez

Gartner highlights four content marketing platform players as leaders

Read more

Blog Posts

​Why we need to look at the whole brand puzzle, not just play with the pieces

Creating meaningful brands should be a holistic and considered process. However, all too frequently it’s one that is disparate and reactive, where one objective is prioritized at the expense of all others. So, what are the key pieces to the ‘good’ brand puzzle?

Marketing overseas? 4 ways to make your message stick

Companies encounter a variety of challenges when it comes to marketing overseas. Marketing departments often don’t know much about the business and cultural context of the international audiences they are trying to reach. Sometimes they are also unsure about what kind of marketing they should be doing.

Cynthia Dearin

Author, business strategist, advisor

From unconscious to reflective: What level of data user are you?

Using data is a hot topic right now. Leaders are realising data can no longer just be the responsibility of dedicated analysts or staff with ‘data’ in their title or role description.

Dr Selena Fisk

Data expert, author

Sign in