Data Skills for the Future

As the world has looked to deal and grapple with an upheaval and shift in the way business is done, certain skills and abilities are coming to the forefront as “skills of the future.” There are certain fields and areas that came more to the forefront during the global pandemic: digital transformation, as well as data and data analytics. What are the needed skills of the future for data and analytics? Well, first it may be smart to look at the trends of what the future holds for data and analytics.

There are many articles one can Google on this topic, but one I found to be most insightful was from iTransition, where a few key areas were discussed:

  • Data volume is going to increase and migration to the cloud is going to occur;
  • Machine learning (and AI and Algorithms) will continue to change the landscape;
  • Data scientists (and data skills in general) and CDOs will be in high demand;
  • Privacy will be a hot topic; and
  • Fast data and actionable data will come to the forefront.

From this article, we find five key data trends of the future. But what skills will be required? These trends underscore technical skills but will data literacy have a place?

To begin, let’s be perfectly clear: On all of these topics, data literacy as a skill will not only remain, but it will become a bigger and more necessary topic for organizations and businesses. The last bullet item – “fast data and actionable data will come to the forefront” – emphasizes how data literacy will be necessary throughout an organization so every employee will be able to drive data-driven decisions. Being data driven is one of the most buzzworthy terms to come from the pandemic. Data literacy skills will be essential to driving organizations forward with their goals of being more data driven. Because of the pandemic, being truly data driven is not a nice to have but will be vital for organizational success.

Besides data literacy, what else would be necessary for the future?

As we see on the list, migration to the cloud is going to be an important step in transitioning organizations to cloud environments as part of their long-term data solutions. The data of the future will require skills in using the cloud, extracting data from the cloud and a solid “cloud literacy,” if you will. With the skills on the cloud, another area of expertise that is necessary will be the ability to utilize both machine learning, artificial intelligence and algorithms. Does that mean we all need to be technical? Well, some of us will, for sure, but not all of us. We will need to develop the ability to interact with the advanced technology and utilize our data literacy skills to enhance the output.

One area the article doesn’t talk about is the area of soft skills. Through my work, I have found that, hidden in the success of data and analytics, soft skills matter immensely. Do we have the ability to communicate effectively with data through data storytelling? Do we have the ability to lead a team of data scientists? Do we have the ability to be leaders ourselves, within our specific fields of data and analytics? These soft skills are necessary for organizations and individuals to succeed with data.

Overall, the skills of the future are advancements on the skills of today, with a few new ones roped in there. If you are looking to advance your skills within data literacy, learn more about our world of data literacy.

#Data & #analytics became more vital in 2020. What skills are needed for the future, asks @Qlik’s @jordan_C_Morrow


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