Qlik, the data analytics, announced the results from its APAC Data Literacy Survey, revealing India as a bright spot amidst an escalating skills gap in the region and troubling lack of enablement by employers preventing those in the workforce from making strategic, data-driven decisions. In India specifically, of over one thousand full time employees surveyed, almost half (45%) feel confident in their data literacy skills (i.e. the ability to read, work with, analyze and argue with data). This is significantly higher than the corresponding global and APAC average of 20%.
The findings from the research highlights the critical role data literacy is playing in driving India’s growth as a digitally-driven new-age economy. It also shows how Indian professionals are leveraging relevant data-driven insights to make more strategic and informed business decisions.
Strong link between having a good grasp of data and job performance
Similar to the rest of APAC, Indian employees are seeing rising expectations to use data at work. An overwhelming majority (85%) said that they work with a higher volume of data today compared to three years ago and almost three in four (72%) use data once a week (or more) in their current job roles. Employees across India also acknowledge the value of data and data literacy in their jobs:
- 99% agreed that data helps them do their job better
- 96% think higher data literacy would enhance their credibility in the workplace
- 93% believe data literacy would increase their value at work
“Due to the rapid digitalization sweeping across the country, India is generating data at a much faster pace than at any other time in its history. It’s great to see that the Indian workforce has kept pace with this changing paradigm and it is no wonder then that over nine in ten of data literates say they are performing very well at work. Given the impact that data can have on both an individual’s performance and the larger business operations, we expect more professionals in India to continue enhancing their data literacy skills,” said Paul Mclean, Data Literacy Evangelist, APAC at Qlik.
From good to better: Areas of opportunities for data literacy in India
Despite its positive performance when it came to data literacy, there are areas that can be improved before the country can lay claims to the title of a data-empowered nation:
- 81% of respondents still admitted to feeling overwhelmed when reading, working with, analyzing, and challenging data
- 66% of graduate entry-level employees do not classify themselves as data literate, demonstrating a new age skills gap entering the workforce
However, the majority (95%) of full-time workers said they would be willing to invest more time and energy in improving their data literacy skills if given the chance. This willingness is the highest level across APAC and exists across all job levels. All senior executives (100%) surveyed indicated their desire to enhance their data literacy skills, as did a significant majority of directors (97%), senior managers (95%), middle managers (95%), junior managers (92%), graduates/entry-level employees (94%), clerical employees (93%), and manual- skilled workers (92%).
Arun Balasubramanian, Country Manager, Qlik India commented, “Data literate employees are more confident about performing their job, and contribute more to the overall growth of their companies. The challenge is in having a workforce that is equipped with the requisite skill sets to utilize this data to its fullest capabilities. Indian professionals and businesses have indicated a strong desire to be more data literate so we expect to see a higher number of business leaders implementing data-led work cultures in their workplaces. This growing push for greater data literacy will only take India, a nation on a rapid digitization curve, from strength to strength in a data-driven world to fulfill its vision of becoming a digital superpower – not only in APAC but also globally.”
India and APAC comparisons
- India is leading the way with the most data literates (45% vs. regional average of 20%) while in Japan only 6% of workers classify themselves as data literate
- C-Suites and Directors in India (64%), Australia (39%) and Singapore (31%) are most confident about their data literacy levels
- Older workers (55+ years old) in India (32%) and Australia (20%) are more data literate than those in other countries within the region
- Employees in India (88%), China (76%) and Singapore (75%) are most empowered by their employers to access data (i.e. they have access to the data they need, are proficient in working with data and feel empowered by their employers to use it)