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Data: All Mouth and No Trousers?


Everyone knows and talks about how data is important. But do we all know how to use it?

Data + Use = Value

Jennifer Belissent, Principal Analyst at Forrester, uses this formula to clearly express the strong connection that links data and the various ways of using, reading, and understating it.

In other words, more data or investment in data would still result in zero value if there is no data use.

In our latest research on skills, the Business Skills Census 2019, data skills were deemed the most important (87%) for businesses’ current success among all the skills groups (Channels; Strategy; Content and Creative; and Management).

Moreover, data analysis – customer data and insight (95%) –was the second most important skill marketers mentioned for their business’ future success – only after communications planning and strategy (96%).

The Forrester Analytics Global Business Technographics® Data and Analytics Survey, conducted in 2019, reveals that within organisations employing a data leader, 50.8% of decisions are made using quantitative analysis – compared to just 44% without data leaders.

The good news is that firms appointing data and analytics leaders are increasing in number from 51% last year to 58% now.

Therefore, with the use of data in decision-making leaning toward the 50% mark, it looks like prime time for our industry to boost the promotion of data literacy.

In such regard, the Business Skills Census revealed is that data skills are sought after but least available – at a shocking (79%) within organisations, lagging far behind all other skill groups.

Having a data leader is a good place to start.

Indeed, Forester’s past research showed that Chief Data Officers (CDOs) tend not only to invest more in their data, but have a huge impact on increasing and driving the use of data across the organisation.

Investing in the launch of dedicated programmes– from mentoring to formal training – has become a must-have for individual businesses as well as for the industry as a whole, in order to increase data literacy and ultimately prepare, activate and nurture an insights-driven culture.

To find out more about Forrester’s research, click here.

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