An escalating skills gap is preventing business decision-makers from asking the right questions of data and machines, according to a recent report from data analytics company Qlik.

As part of the study, research firm Censuswide surveyed 7,377 business decision-makers worldwide between August 2017 and February 2018 on behalf of Qlik, and found that nearly half (48 percent) struggle to identify between data truths and manipulations. This indicates an urgent need to upskill and support workers, the report said.

A majority of data literate business decision-makers (85 percent) said they are performing very well at work, compared with just over half (54 percent) of their peers. And most who use data in their current job role not only agree that data helps them do their job better (94 percent), but that greater data literacy would give them more credibility (82 percent) in the workplace.

Most business decision-makers (78 percent) would be willing to invest more time and energy into improving their data skillset, representing a significant opportunity to drive a cultural change without substantial resistance, according to the report.

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“Data is now the basis for competition, relied upon by global enterprises to derive insights and win in the marketplace,” said Jordan Morrow, head of data literacy at Qlik. “However, an organization’s ability to succeed in this digital era is heavily dependent on its employees’ ability to learn a new language: The language of data.”

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