Industry Viewpoints

The Year of the Forever Skills

Headshot of blog author Kevin Hanegan

Kevin Hanegan

3 min read

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During the information age, and throughout the 4th industrial revolution, technology, data and information were in abundance. But, soon came the realization that technology and access to all of the data and information, by itself, was not the solution. Sure, the potential was there to transform businesses, and even society, but this introduced new challenges, such as information overload, and an over reliance on data and technology combined with less focus on non-technical skills like curiosity, creativity and collaboration.

The goal is to be able to properly leverage technology and data to produce value. For this to happen, we need skills and abilities that will help us make sense of the data and information in order to properly make data-informed decisions. What is needed is a new mindset and a new skillset that helps us understand complex situations, enables us to work as part of a team and communicate effectively, and drives us to adapt to change.

Understand Complex Situations

Although advances in automation and AI are making it possible for an increasing number of human tasks to be automated, machines still lack emotional and social skills, as well as higher cognitive skills, such as problem solving, critical thinking, creativity and systematic decision-making.

Work as Part of a Team and Communicate Effectively

Individuals can possess all the technical skills needed to leverage data, but if they don’t have the ability to understand what the stakeholders really want, they will not produce value.

Adapt to Change

The world continues to rapidly evolve, and technology is constantly changing the way we work. What is required to stay current is not just learning the latest technology, but the ability to unlearn outdated ones, and to be resilient and adapt to change.

This leads us to 2022 being the year of the forever skills – skills that help individuals become more data literate and make better data-informed decisions. Below are those top skills. We will break down each one in a future blog post.

Understand Complex Situations

Mitigating Bias

Challenging Assumptions

Creative Curiosity

Systems Thinking

Work as Part of a Team and Communicate Effectively

Active Listening

Communicating / Storytelling with Data

Emotional Intelligence


Adapt to Change


Intellectual Humility


Exponential Thinking

To learn more about the skills that will be front and center in 2022 and how to keep your workforce data literate, read our white paper, titled "Developing a Data Literate Workforce."

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Industry Viewpoints

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