- While the majority of decision-makers surveyed by consulting firm Forrester and data analytics platform Tableau said they expect data literacy from employees "in every department," only 39% of organizations make data training available to all employees, according to a report published March 15.
- Almost 75% of business leaders surveyed said employees should learn about data on the job on an ad-hoc basis, "usually from coworkers or trial-and-error," according to the report.
- Data literacy may become a key aspect of many job roles; by 2025, the report noted, nearly 70% of employees are expected to use data at some level in their jobs, compared to 40% in 2018.
A lack of data literacy may be slowing productivity, previous reports have shown.
Around three-quarters of workers admitted feeling overwhelmed when working with data, according to a report from January 2020 by Accenture and Qlik. Due to those pressures, employers could be losing five days of productivity from data illiteracy alone, the report said. That report pointed to continuous learning as one potential solution to that loss.
But employers are behind in offering such programming, the Forrester and Tableau study notes. "While business leaders and employees agree that data skills are increasingly essential to understand and act on the vast amounts of data their organizations produce, that awareness doesn’t translate to investments in data skilling," an announcement regarding the report read.
HR may be keenly familiar with the need for data literacy. People analytics is a key tool for many aspects of the profession, including hiring, diversity management, benefits management and more. Understanding algorithms and being able to tell a story with data to underpin strategy are important skills for HR leaders seeking to be strategic leaders at their organizations, sources have said.
Data scientist and data analyst positions have been notoriously difficult to fill, too. On-the-job training could help overcome that talent gap, previous reports have said.