Academic research from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and Qlik, which measures the ability of companies to analyze, manage, and interpret data, shows that, internationally, companies show more differences in employee data literacy between sectors than between countries. Thus, while health, retail and real estate are the sectors that are least prepared to analyze Big Data, the Administration, hotels and tourism and financial services are better prepared. By country, Spanish companies have obtained 71 points out of 100 in the DLI, a high score, but in the bottom of European countries, surpassing only the Japanese globally. The DLI is a statistical model that evaluates companies according to their level of data literacy, that is, the ability of a company’s professionals to read, analyze, share and work with data, using them to make strategic decisions. This model studies whether companies have the necessary data for the correct performance of their business and their ability to use them to make decisions.
The research suggests that there is a direct and positive relationship between companies’ data literacy and their revenues, but companies, while aware, do not adapt and do not invest resources in training their employees to interpret data. Thus, although 98% of business leaders believe that data is important for making business decisions and 93% say that having data employees significantly facilitates this decision making, only 8% of companies have made major changes to their data management strategy in the last five years.
On the other hand, only 24% of professionals feel able to read, work, analyze and communicate with data, that is, they are data literate. This low individual data literacy rate is especially relevant when you consider that business leaders are unwilling to commit resources to improve it: only 34% of organisations provide training to their employees in this regard, only 17% encourage them to improve their data skills and only 36% are willing to pay more to employees with better data skills. While 63% of companies plan to hire more employees with data literacy skills, the responsibility lies with the individual, further aggravating this skills gap.