9 in 10 Employers Say Data Skills Gap Impedes Optimal Productivity Amid Growing Reliance On Data-Driven Decision Making

  • 94% find themselves
    using data to make business decisions more so as compared to a year ago
  • However, 93% believe
    their workforce is not achieving optimal productivity due to a lack in data skills
  • Data Analysis, Data
    Interpretation for Decision Making in Business, and Data Protection and Risk
    Management were the top data-related skills necessary but lacking in their

SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – 1 July
2020 – As Singapore
progressively reopens its economy, majority of companies in Singapore have
voiced that the data literacy of their workforce is more important now than
before the COVID-19 outbreak. However, a data skills gap is hindering the
productivity of 93% of employers in Singapore. These insights were revealed in the
recently launched NTUC LearningHub
Data Skills report, which features insights from industry leaders such as
global tech giant IBM, Japanese tech conglomerate Softbank and leading
analytics software company Qlik.

Data Report Social Graphic

The report, entitled ‘A
View From the Ground: Closing the Data Skills Gap in the Covid-19 Era and
Beyond’ uncovers both employers’ and employees’ views on the degree of reliance
on data and business intelligence in Singapore’s business landscape, the
general perception about the data-related competencies of the nation’s
workforce, hiring trends and preferences of businesses here, and recommendations
for closing skills gaps in order for businesses and workers to remain

A prevalent skills gap
was uncovered as employers identified the data-related skills which were necessary
but lacking in their workforce. Employers voted Data Analysis (voted by 67%), Data
Interpretation for Decision Making in Business (voted by 50%), and Data
Protection and Risk Management (voted by 49%) as the most necessary data skills
for their businesses. At the same time, these skills were perceived as lacking
within their companies as voted by 47%, 37% and 32% of employers respectively.

Almost all (94%) of
employers surveyed said they have increased their reliance on data and business
intelligence to make business decisions now as compared to a year ago. Industry
clusters such as Professional Services, Trade & Connectivity, and Lifestyle
top the list when it comes to experiencing increasing use of data in the
workplace to drive business decisions with over 90% of business leaders in
these categories saying so, as compared to those in Manufacturing (88%) and
Build Environment (69%).

“As companies are
thrusted into transformation during this Covid era, employers have actively
reassessed the workforce they need in order to navigate the new economy. The
COVID-19 storm is far from over and all business leaders must work out their
strategies in weathering this very turbulent and uncertain period ahead. In
this complex business environment, data will help us a lot in supporting our
intuition as we make difficult business decisions,” says NTUC LearningHub CEO
Kwek Kok Kwong.

“To help all
of us understand the importance of data and how it can support businesses, we
embarked on this research. We hope that through this report, more business
leaders will understand how to plug the data skills gap and overcome the
possible inertia in encouraging more employees to embrace data. We also hope
that more workers will gain insight into the overall market demand for data and
motivate themselves to pick up these skills. In this decade, data will be key
to business success and data literacy will therefore be a core skill required
in many future jobs. My tip for workers is to pick up these skills quickly and
you will be more competitive in the job market,”
adds Mr Kwek.

Commenting on the findings, Andrew
Campbell, Senior Partner, Asia Pacific, Talent and Transformation at IBM says,
“I’m excited to participate in this study with NTUC Learning Hub! The
findings in the paper are especially relevant in light of the current Covid-19
crisis. The pandemic has highlighted the criticality of data for
Singapore’s people and business. While obtaining data can be solved in various
ways through the use of technology, gaps still exist in the ability to
interpret and use data. Singapore’s commitment to continuously up-skilling
and increasing the data literacy of its workforce will be critical for continued
success and to ensure that Singapore keeps its reputation as a regional and
global business trailblazer.”

“We at Qlik have been a long-time
champion of data literacy and believe this research is very timely at a time
where more organisations are turning to data and analytics to build agility to
pivot to new norms during this pandemic,” says Suganthi Shivkumar, Managing
Director for ASEAN, India and Korea at Qlik. “The report shows the roadblocks
ahead for businesses in attaining a data literate workforce. From the
employer’s side, providing tools, training and access to data is a critical
step. Employees should ask more questions, interrogate the facts given,
identify where they can use data then ask for that data. Together, this will
create a more pervasive data-driven culture so everyone can confidently read,
understand and work with data to attain more optimised business value and
outcomes. This organisation wide active intelligence can inspire more data
confidence across all functions.”

Eric Lim, Sales Director, Softbank
Robotics Asia Pacific adds, “It is a timely research study to understand
from an employer’s perspective on how one’s job have since transformed and
data-skilled jobs have grown so much in importance across various industries and
in the job market. With the COVID-19 situation, data analysis jobs will allow
employees to stay gainfully valuable to the company and to be able to perform
their work remotely with the data extraction. Both employers and employees are
also embracing a work transformation that data will accelerate both the
achievement of company’s goals and the performance of employees. It is definite
that data training courses are here to stay as a continual life-long upgrading
integral skill set.”

To download the full
NTUC LearningHub’s Data Skills Report 2020, visit:


News Source: MediaOutreach



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