The Data Skills Deficit That Threatens Your Organisation

Published 2 September 2019 by Caroline Koktvedgaard

The importance of data and digital skills within organisations is rapidly rising. This means there’s a key question all human resources functions have to ask themselves: if our companies are to evolve and adapt while meeting targets for efficiency, how can we empower our employees to make fast, smart decisions?

 

With companies investing so much more in data and analytics to ensure employees are given everything they need to operate, the vital question for the human resources team is whether to recruit new employees with data skills or focus on training the existing workforce. 

Whichever route they choose, a World Economic Forum report from last year suggested that more than half of all employees around the globe will need reskilling by 2022 – which means HR leaders have their work cut out for them. 

The most forward-looking HR functions are helping employees keep pace with shifting skills needs – and generating tangible business value – by evolving their approach to employee learning and development. 

 

People want to upskill

Research proves that today’s workforce want to work for companies that allow them to develop the skills they need to succeed. And with 68.5% of workers considering themselves “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” at work, achieving a learning culture that challenges and engages employees is more important than ever.

According to a recent survey from MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte, employees are six times more likely to leave a company within a year if their employers don’t offer opportunities to develop skills. 

This especially applies to young people, who have a greater tendency to move around every 2-3 years. In fact, according to an analysis by Josh Bersin, among Millennials “career opportunities” is the #1 driver of employment brand.

Perhaps this is why global investments in learning technology companies reached over $9.52 billion in 2017, up 30% from 2016. And 63% of companies are now providing formal or on-the-job training in-house.

 

The value of upskilling

Simon Darling, chief commercial officer at Trainline said: “You need to upskill if your business is going to survive as the consumer is not standing still. The value of upskilling is that you will be able to serve your customer better and be a more profitable business.” 

An advocate of mentoring, Darling is building a network of expert external advisors who meet the marketing team regularly on topics such as search engine optimisation, customer relationship management and pay-per-click. Each marketer is then expected to share learnings at weekly team meetings. 

Others across a range of functions are seeing similar commercial benefits of growing data capability across their teams. Pernod Ricard’s marketing director Patrick Venning insists that, whether through peer-to-peer mentoring, formal training programmes or shadowing agency specialists, upskilling not only improves the in-house skill set, it also motivates the workforce and helps retain talent. 

 

Follow the changing market or fall behind 

In the report cited earlier, the World Economic Forum also claims that 35% of the skills needed for jobs, regardless of the industry, will change by 2020. This is a worry too many businesses that feel they lack the time to reskill their workforce to meet the changing needs. 

PWC surveyed CEOs globally and found that 38% of them are extremely concerned about the availability of a workforce possessing these key skills and see it as a threat to the growth and sustainability of their businesses. 

However, upgrading the skills within your organisation is easier than it sounds. Your company is moved forward by the skills that you have. Therefore, the first step in any digital transformation should be understanding what skills your teams need for today and tomorrow. 

It’s important that businesses take inventory of their current skill sets to help determine what they need in the future. The gap between where they are now and where they want to be should guide training plans. 

The evolution of individuals in a company ultimately translates to the evolution of that business. Digital transformation is not just about changing technology – more importantly, it’s about changing people. 

 

Goodbye to one-size-fits-all training

The demand for flexible online learning is growing exponentially. Employees are increasingly able to access learning via search engines, video sharing platforms, social networks and other communication tools. And to meet the needs of today’s digital organisations, L&D must provide a learning environment that reflects increased workforce mobility. 

Training is changing as fast as all the innovations in areas such as data science and machine learning. Gone are the days when you can roll out one-size-fits-all training programs and expect results. To be effective, the upskilling experience needs to be personalised for each worker and as dynamic as the evolving market. 

For retailers, FMCG sectors, and multinationals, it will be key to attract not only the right skills, but also engage a workforce that is agile, responsive, and flexible as the industry adapts and transforms. The way a company shapes, reskills, and reorganises its employees will play a fundamental role in its ability to respond to the future of work. 

 

Partner with Circus Street

At Circus Street, we believe in modern learning methods that ensure responsiveness becomes ingrained individuals. We’re enabling the development of people to become a part of our clients’ business growth strategies, giving them and their employees a competitive advantage. 

We partner with global organisations to develop tailored learning programs that help them build their marketing capabilities. The whole thing functions on a few different levels:

  1. Developing tools and training: Our aim is to improve digital knowledge at pace and scale, and build capability in a structured way. This approach creates a common digital language, raises the floor of knowledge and delivers learning outcomes that achieve strategic business objectives.

  2. Building high performing teams: We help you build and retain high performing, happy teams, and achieve tangible outcomes quickly and across your entire organisation. From the delivery of better briefs to higher conversion rates and more confident conversations internally and with external partners.

  3. Customised learning and delivery: We work with you to design a programme that aligns with your business goals and delivers tangible benefits. We take the lead in launching, embedding and measuring the success of your programme freeing up your internal resources.

  4. Dedicated account management: We combine this with an account management function that drives adoption, encourages behavioural change and the implementation of new concepts, skills and ideas and then captures the results.

  5. Marketing syllabus written by experts: Our broad syllabus covers the entire scope of digital marketing capabilities and lessons are updated regularly. We combine award-winning animations, interactivity and professional presenters to deliver highly engaging and effective content. 

 

Overall, the result is an education solution that results in your teams having the confidence, understanding and ability to succeed in a technology-driven world. 

 

Ready to get started?

As a global online learning business, we help organisations navigate the uncertainties of technology-driven future by building their digital capabilities. 


To unlock the benefits of upskilling, HR and learning and development teams can find a plan that suits their business needs with a free trial.

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