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Shortfall in Digital Skills Costs UK £10 Billion in Lost Productivity

David Paul


IT Job UK data-sharing code

Failing to invest in digital training for employees could be costing UK businesses billions in lost productivity, according to a new report. 

A trend in business owners failing to invest in digital training in the workplace costs UK companies over £10 billion in lost productivity per year, according to a report by Qlik and Accenture.

The report, titled ‘The Human Impact of Data Literacy‘, shows that there is a gap between a business’ ambitions to use data and their employee’s ability to create business value using the data.

Despite most employees seeing data as an asset in the workplace, only 37% trust their decisions more when those decisions are based on data, and around 48% often make decisions based on gut feeling rather than data-driven insight.

This behaviour is seen at every stage of the career ladder and is particularly prevalent at senior levels.

The report says that: “around two-thirds of C-suite executives, senior managers and directors would go with their gut feeling over data-driven insight, compared with just 41%of junior managers and those below the last layer of management.

“While experience and trusting one’s gut instinct is important in business, the findings show that executives’ confidence in acting from insights is impeding some businesses’ ability to lead with data.”

The report shows that, although we now live in a more data driven world, 74% of the people from the study said they feel unhappy when working with data, while only 17% believe that they are prepared to use data correctly in their role.


Sanjeev Vohra, Group Technology Officer & Global Lead—Data Business Group, Accenture Technology, said: “Employees must understand business expectations around how they should work with data in their roles. Taking this top-down approach will help business leaders drive the greatest value from their data at every level while helping all employees form a healthy, positive and productive relationship with data.”

The report also indicates that employees who identify as data literate were over 50% more likely than data novices to feel they can make better decisions.

Shahid Younis, CEO of Data Whizz Academy, commented: “Data literacy training has improved employees’ self-confidence to ask the right questions and assess the recommended insights. This has helped them better understand not only the trends but also the rationale behind them, leading to more confident decision-making and meaningful discussions with other colleagues.”

A fifth of the global workforce said they are confident in their data literacy and urged business leaders to consider how upskilling could help improve their employees’ use of data.

David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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