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Employees need to become ‘data geeks’

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As more companies rely on data-based decisions to drive their companies forward, the skills needed to actively read, interpret and leverage on corporate data will become even more important in the future.

In fact, according to a new poll, 86% of business leaders stated they believe all employees will eventually need to be “data geeks” – requiring skills to analyse company data and make decisions based on that analysis.

The poll, which was conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of SAP, found that in less than five years, the number of employees who have access to company data and utilise it for decision making has jumped from 33% to 50%.

Yet despite this increase, it’s clear the understanding of company data is not quite there, as 61% acknowledged the data is not being used to its full potential.

One in four business leaders also gave their company a below average grade on their ability to leverage data for decision making.

ALSO READ: Asian companies stuck in HR data hell

These results could indicate companies may simply be gathering and storing data rather, than deriving insights from it.

“With more than half of the survey respondents saying they don’t use their company’s data to its full potential it’s clear that there is an opportunity for companies to leverage data discovery tools in order to help with decision-making,” Jayne Landry, global vice president and general manager of business intelligence, SAP, said.

The survey also stressed the need for companies to invest in data visualisation tools. It found that 31% of business decision makers don’t currently use or don’t have plans to integrate data visualisation tools into their operations.

However, those respondents who currently are using data visualisation tools reported it would take an average of nine hours to see patterns, trends, and correlations in their company’s data without data visualisation.

READ MORE: APAC employees hungry for big data training

“The overwhelming amount of data in business today means we’re all going to have to become more data-savvy,” Landry said.

“Knowing what happened is no longer enough, we need to understand why it happened, what will happen next or even what the best that can happen is. And these types of insights are no longer confined to a handful of small experts in an organisation — everyone within an organisation should have the ability to contribute their knowledge and derive insights from data.”

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