Data has never been more important than ever. With a pandemic, supply chain issues, climate crisis and rising cost of living, businesses cannot operate on intuition alone. Yet Tableau’s research reveals that 70% of companies believe they provide enough data training to their employees, while only 33% of employees share this view.
Picture Vice President and Chief Operating Officer APJ Robert Wickham says there is a data divide ahead. In fact, Forrester Data Literacy Research identified that 84% of employees will move to another company that offers data skills training. Thus, employers are wary; a data divide is coming.
Forrester surveyed more than 2,000 executives, decision makers, and individual contributors from global companies with more than 500 employees in ten countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States. You can read the complete survey and also go further in Tableau and Forrester’s findings on data literacy within Tableau Public itself.
Data skills are a win-win for employees and organizations, says Robert Wickham. In fact, research shows that seven out of 10 employees are now expected to use data heavily, up from 42% in 2018.
“Data literacy skills are now the most sought-after job skills among the Australian workforce,” he said. “Over 70% of employers say they expect at least basic knowledge of data.”
Big Data has been a hot topic for some time, especially with the advent of cloud computing, which makes vast computing and storage resources readily available. However, events of the past few years have rapidly accelerated the way organizations of all sizes and in all industries view the need to be data-driven.
“Data has never been so relevant,” Wickham said. “With a pandemic crisis, a labor crisis, an economic crisis and a climate crisis, companies are working on case data, workforce data, supply chain data and shows.”
“There’s a need to make sense of it, try to understand customer needs and interact better with employees,” he said. “The answer lies in the data.”
After all, intuition can only take you so far. “Most companies would not have seen a pandemic before, and not with a cocktail of inflation, potential recession, labor shortages, rising interest rates – very few executives would have foreseen that,” Wickham said.
So “intuition is less relevant today,” he said. “Data-based insight is more important.”
This means businesses that are not yet fully integrated with data-driven insights need to catch up and transition to a data-driven operating model. And, according to Robert Wickham, data literacy is an imperative that drives business results, fuels employee retention and creates a great workplace. What’s not to like?
A data-savvy organization lends itself to increased innovation, improved decision-making, lower costs, and a better customer experience.
Additionally, Forrester research indicates that 90% of local employees are more likely to stay with a company that invests in training and growing their data. “It helps employees feel more empowered. They can answer their own questions and have a say in the collective corporate narrative,” says Wickham.
Additionally, Forrester has identified that more than 80% of local employees are more likely to stay with a company that has a strong data culture. This affects everyone, not just those in traditional data roles. “Just as you expect your population to be literate, you also expect a level of data literacy among all employees in day-to-day roles,” says Wickham.
However, at the same time, there is a data divide.
“Over 70% of local decision makers believe they have provided employees with sufficient data training, but only 33% of employees share the same view. 84% of employees will go to another company that offers training to data skills,” Wickham said. “This is something local market leaders need to be aware of.”
The research sheds light on the main factors behind this, with respondents identifying a lack of qualified staff (44%), inadequate training materials (44%) and a lack of organizational support. in the broad sense (40%).
Fortunately, help is available. “Tableau has worked with companies like Transurban, Rugby Australia, JLL and Vicinity Centers to create data cultures,” Wickham said.
For example, nearly half of all Transurban employees have developed data skills to better understand everything from what’s happening on its roads to accident hotspots and customer behavior. Meanwhile, at Rugby Australia, large-scale self-service analytics training has helped match officials and coaches create interactive visualizations that unlock a wealth of operational and game information.
If you want that for your business, the key is “it takes a village,” Wickham said. “Make learning fun with internal user groups and gamification programs. Make it part of each role’s onboarding. There should be pathways to build communities and create champions. Have a continuous energy within the organization to promote learning.
However, Wickham also stresses that “it starts with leadership. Leaders must follow the word. Leaders are responsible for changing mindsets,” he said. “Ask for the analysis to back up the position, ask for the data.”
“Data literacy is almost like being a detective,” Wickham said. A detective explores facts to find ideas, instead of looking at intuition.
“Asking questions; provoking the need to explore data. Look at data for more answers, shift to a data-driven operating model, and address questions important to customers and employers,” he said. he declares.
After all, if you’re in doubt, remember that 90% of Australian employees are more likely to stay with a company that invests in data training. Let’s bridge the data divide.