Data Skills Report Reveals Skills Gap Reveals Productivity and Career Progression

01 Jul 2020 Posted in ⟨LHUB News⟩

As Singapore progressively reopens its economy, majority of companies in Singapore have voiced that the data literacy of their workforce is more important now than before the COVID-19 outbreak.

This has led us to launched the NTUC LearningHub Data Skills report, which features insights from industry leaders such as global tech giant IBM, Japanese tech conglomerate Softbank and leading analytics software company Qlik.

The report, entitled ‘A View From the Ground: Closing the Data Skills Gap in the Covid-19 Era and Beyond’ uncovers both employers’ and employees’ views on:

  • The degree of reliance on data and business intelligence in Singapore’s business landscape
  • The general perception about the data-related competencies of the nation’s workforce
  • Hiring trends and preferences of businesses here
  • Recommendations for closing skills gaps in order for businesses and workers to remain competitive.

A prevalent skills gap was uncovered as employers identified the data-related skills which were necessary but lacking in their workforce. These were some of the key findings:

94% of employers find themselves using data to make business decisions more so as compared to a year ago

However, 93% believe their workforce is not achieving optimal productivity due to a lack in data skills

Data Analysis, Data Interpretation for Decision Making in Business, and Data Protection and Risk Management were the top data-related skills necessary but lacking in their workforce

  • 92% admit to not achieving optimal productivity due to a lack of data skills
  • 89% say that they face challenges at work as a result of not understanding data
  • 87% view their lack of data competencies as a roadblock to their career development

“As companies are thrusted into transformation during this Covid era, employers have actively reassessed the workforce they need in order to navigate the new economy. The COVID-19 storm is far from over and all business leaders must work out their strategies in weathering this very turbulent and uncertain period ahead. In this complex business environment, data will help us a lot in supporting our intuition as we make difficult business decisions,”

– NTUC LearningHub CEO Kwek Kok Kwong.

“To help all of us understand the importance of data and how it can support businesses, we embarked on this research. We hope that through this report, more business leaders will understand how to plug the data skills gap and overcome the possible inertia in encouraging more employees to embrace data. We also hope that more workers will gain insight into the overall market demand for data and motivate themselves to pick up these skills. In this decade, data will be key to business success and data literacy will therefore be a core skill required in many future jobs. My tip for workers is to pick up these skills quickly and you will be more competitive in the job market,” adds Mr Kwek.

Commenting on the findings, Andrew Campbell, Senior Partner, Asia Pacific, Talent and Transformation at IBM says, “I’m excited to participate in this study with NTUC Learning Hub! The findings in the paper are especially relevant in light of the current Covid-19 crisis. The pandemic has highlighted the criticality of data for Singapore’s people and business. While obtaining data can be solved in various ways through the use of technology, gaps still exist in the ability to interpret and use data. Singapore’s commitment to continuously up-skilling and increasing the data literacy of its workforce will be critical for continued success and to ensure that Singapore keeps its reputation as a regional and global business trailblazer.”

“We at Qlik have been a long-time champion of data literacy and believe this research is very timely at a time where more organisations are turning to data and analytics to build agility to pivot to new norms during this pandemic,” says Suganthi Shivkumar, Managing Director for ASEAN, India and Korea at Qlik. “The report shows the roadblocks ahead for businesses in attaining a data literate workforce. From the employer’s side, providing tools, training and access to data is a critical step. Employees should ask more questions, interrogate the facts given, identify where they can use data then ask for that data. Together, this will create a more pervasive data-driven culture so everyone can confidently read, understand and work with data to attain more optimised business value and outcomes. This organisation wide active intelligence can inspire more data confidence across all functions.”

Eric Lim, Sales Director, Softbank Robotics Asia Pacific adds, “It is a timely research study to understand from an employer’s perspective on how one’s job have since transformed and data-skilled jobs have grown so much in importance across various industries and in the job market. With the COVID-19 situation, data analysis jobs will allow employees to stay gainfully valuable to the company and to be able to perform their work remotely with the data extraction. Both employers and employees are also embracing a work transformation that data will accelerate both the achievement of company’s goals and the performance of employees. It is definite that data training courses are here to stay as a continual life-long upgrading integral skill set.”

To download the full NTUC LearningHub’s Data Skills Report 2020,

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