Majority of APAC workers suffer from data illiteracy and developed countries ironically fare the worst: Survey

Many APAC employees are facing a serious skills gap in utilising data due to data illiteracy.

A worrying majority of workers in the Asia-Pacific (Apac) region are suffering from data illiteracy in a workforce that is becoming increasingly data-centric, revealed a recent survey.

According to the APAC Data Literacy Survey – an independent research commissioned by software company Qlik – an escalating skills gap in data management is present across the Apac workforce.

The survey, polled 5,288 full-time workers from Australia, Singapore, India, China and Japan.

Findings from the survey revealed that four in five (80%) of Apac workers are data illiterate. This means that they lack confidence in their ability to read, work, analyse and argue with data.

The proportion of data literate workers in each surveyed country is even more startling.

Ironically, India has the highest percentage of data literate workers (45%), followed by Australia (20%), Singapore (15%), China (89%) and finally Japan (6%).

India also scores high in employee empowerment to access data (88%) as compared to China (76%) and Singapore (75%).

Expectations to use data at work is on the rise too.

71% of Apac workers use data at least once a week in their current job roles with 66% currently having to work with a higher volume of data compared to three years ago.

A strong link between job performance and a competent grasp of data is also evident – 86% of data literates say they are performing very well at work, compared to 44% of the average total workforce.

However, more support needs to be given to accelerate data literacy skills.

81% of workers do not strongly believe that they have been adequately trained and 89% of graduate entry level employees do not class themselves as data literate.

The good news: 72% of full time workers say they are willing to invest time and energy to bridge the skills gap, if given the chance.

Employees are acknowledging the value in data literacy as well.

Particularly, in helping them do their jobs better (90%), enhancing workplace credibility (78%) and increasing their value at work (72%).

Qlik’s data literacy evangelist for APAC, Paul Mclean said in a statement: “Both employers and employees need to take ownership and be more proactive in bridging this skills gap. Companies that are on the forefront of improving data literacy will be able to capitalize on the Analytics Economy.”