Data skills gap costing Singapore firms billions

Stress from technology ‘overload’ are making companies lose about five workdays per employee

Data skills gap costing Singapore firms billions

Data skills gap makes companies lose an average of five working days (43 hours) per employee, found a new study.

These lost days are linked to procrastination and sick leave, stemming from stress around information, data and technology issues.

Singapore businesses can expect to lose over $4 billion over the productivity dip.

Close to nine in 10 employees (87%) recognise the value of data, but few are using it as a decision-making tool, according to the study by Qlik and Accenture.

A mere 25% of employees believe they’re fully prepared to use data effectively, with just 21% saying they’re confident about their data literacy skills — their ability to read, understand, question and work with data.

Additionally, almost half (48%) of employees choose to follow their “gut feeling” over data-driven insights when making decisions. only 37% of employees trust their decisions more when based on data.

What’s worse, a lack of data skills is shrinking productivity. Three in four employees feel overwhelmed or unhappy when they work with data, impacting their overall performance.

Some of these employees will go to great lengths to avoid using data, with 36% stating they will find an alternative method to complete the task.

Six in 10 respondents (61 percent) report that data overload has contributed to workplace stress – this has one in three workers taking at least one day of sick leave.

READ MORE: Beware of data overload, HR leader warns

One HR leader has cautioned about the risk of overwhelming individuals in today’s age of big data. Amidst everyone's obsession with the desire to measure everything, he warned about information overload.

“To me, reports cannot be too frequent that they become a burden to look at,” he said. “You need your reports when you’re ready to make decisions.”

“If you’re ready to make decisions on a quarterly basis, then a quarterly report is just fine. You don’t want to report on every single thing. You need to report on the key questions that will allow you to make decisions.”

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