‘Data illiterate’ bosses could spell disaster for brands

bossAs business chiefs spend virtually every waking hour fire-fighting the effects of Covid-19, there is a risk they are sweeping other threats under the carpet with a new study warning of an impending skills gap crisis for data analysis in businesses across Europe once the crisis has passed.

An in-depth, qualitative and quantitative survey of 100 chief data officers across the continent, commissioned by Artefact UK, reveals that half (50%) of all organisations in 2020 will lack sufficient AI and data literacy skills to extract the full potential from the data they hold.

The study also highlights that CDOs spend more than three quarters (80%) of their time searching for good data in the company archives.

Those surveyed awarded an average score of only three out of five for the data maturity at their respective companies – and 20% believe much of their time is wasted thanks to bad data.

However, businesses are at least taking steps to rectify this situation. Over three quarters (80%) of the sample suggest their organisations will roll out mandatory training in data literacy this year.

But CDOs believe this is most pressing at a leadership level, with 85% insisting it is, ultimately, the CEO’s responsibility to set the course and facilitate data-led change across the business.

Artefact UK managing partner Sarah De Martin said: “While businesses are stepping up to put training structures in place, it’s clear that there is still more to be done when it comes to data literacy.

“Data is the driving force for modern businesses. While no-one expects CEOs to also be data experts, they do need to have a certain level of data literacy to grasp the business implications of their CDO’s counsel.

“Until data becomes a central conversation in the boardroom, businesses across Europe will continue to be plagued by dodgy data.”

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