Employers can increase their efficiency and grasp new opportunities by improving data literacy skills in the workforce. In a new report, Questionmark, the online assessment provider, warns that without strong data literacy, organizations will struggle to make sense of the wealth of available data.
“Continuous skills improvement: developing relevant skills in a changing business environment”
Employers have access to more data than ever before according to the new report, “Continuous skills improvement”. This data can help them make decisions on marketing their products and services and to get the best out of their staff.
But to make the right decisions off the back of data, people throughout the organization must know how to understand it and how it applies to their role.
Yet employees are nervous about their data literacy. Research by management consultants Accenture finds that only 21% of global workers believe they have the requisite skills to read, understand and apply data effectively.1
To enable staff to make the right decisions from the data, employers must ensure:
- High data literacy among managers – having access to data is only helpful if decision makers know how to understand the information in front of them
- Leaders think critically – as external circumstances continue to change, decision makers must interrogate data and challenge assumptions
- Hirers recruit data-literate employees – recruiters must hire people with strong data skills or the aptitude to develop them
Lars Pedersen, CEO of Questionmark, said: “Access to data creates a world of opportunities. It helps businesses reach customers and employers to help the workforce reach their full potential. But to ensure the best decisions are made from available data sources, employees at every level must be data literate.
“By testing the current data skills of the workforce, employers can identify strengths and weaknesses. They can then introduce training to address common problems. They can prepare individual development plans. By testing staff after they have completed training, employers can ensure it was effective.”
Regular skills tests can give employers a clear read on data literacy across the workforce. They can also test other priority skills and point to areas of weakness that need improvement. Employers can make better decisions around recruitment, onboarding, promotions, training and personal development.