“Without data, you are just another person with an opinion.”
Edwards Deming, 1900-1993, American statistician
Making sense of data was never my forte.
With that said, every single role that I have ever undertaken in my working life required some form of data mining and analysis – From my role as a product marketer to my current role as a writer.
Heck, I even had to look at data of my Facebook page when I was a freelance photographer.
But just how data-savvy are our workers here in Singapore, and why does it matter?
NTUC LearningHub recently published a study titled Closing the Data Skills Gap in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond.
Its findings showed that 89 per cent of respondents felt that they would face challenges at work if they were not good at understanding data.
More surprisingly, 92 per cent of respondents felt that they were not confident in their own data literacy and believed that they would be better able to perform their duties if they could understand data better.
And if you are thinking that you can survive in today’s world without any data-related competencies – think again.
About 90 per cent of the employers surveyed expressed keen interest in hiring data literate employees, with more than 50 per cent of them even willing to hire employees who are solely specialised in data-related work.
Why is Data Knowledge Crucial?
Just how important is it to have the skillset of understanding data?
For one, when businesses want to maximise their strategies and spending, they rely heavily on data to make those decisions.
Like I mentioned earlier, I have had to deal with data in all my previous roles. I had to analyse data on purchase and sales trends, and also social and traditional media reach of marketing campaigns.
Even now, as a writer, I analyse the reach of my stories as these articles evaluate my performance.
And might I add – it is one thing to be able to gather and decipher data; It is another to put the data into an executable action plan, which you guessed it, requires more data analysis.
Upgrading Your Data Knowledge
Fortunately, there are many courses available for you to tap on to upgrade your knowledge of data.
And now with the additional funds provided by the Government through the SkillsFuture platform, there is really no reason not to.
NTUC LearningHub has a whole series of virtual, online courses that you can consider taking in the comfort and safety of your own home during this COVID-19 period.
More than Just Facts and Figures
Despite data being just numbers and facts, using them to develop solutions to problems is one key value.
As NTUC LearningHub CEO Kwek Kok Kwong said in the preface of the study: “In this complex business environment, intuition and guesswork alone are not sufficient, and I would posit that business leaders will have to be supported by data to improve their chances of success in any business innovation or business venture.”
As more businesses digitally transform, workers need to keep up with the times to stay relevant.