A global survey of 10,000 people recently revealed that, while they may know using data is important to their business, the vast majority of today’s business leaders still aren’t harnessing its power for better decision-making and results.
According to Salesforce’s “Untapped Data Research,” leaders are struggling to put data into practice to quickly make strategic business decisions and navigate economic uncertainties because they can’t make sense of it.
For example, 80% of business leaders say data is critical in decision-making at their organization. Yet 67% are not using data to decide on pricing in line with economic conditions, such as inflation, and less than one-third are using data to inform their strategy when launching in new markets.
“While companies agree about the advantages of using data, there’s a clear disconnect from how they’re actually using it in practice,” Salesforce observes.
Proper training on data skills can help business leaders make better decisions, earn trust, and reduce uncertainty—even amid challenging times, believes the company.
“When integrated and leveraged correctly, data has huge potential to build efficiency and trust among both customers and employees,” the report notes. Data can accelerate decision-making and minimize ego, among other benefits.
Data is good, but like with anything, too much can be bad—especially when mismanaged.
“Business leaders report being paralyzed by the influx of data, their knowledge of how to best operationalize it, and how to use it to invest strategically going forward,” Salesforce reports.
Many cite a lack of ability to generate insights from data, while others feel simply overwhelmed by the raw amount of it—which is expected to more than double in size by 2026.
To address these concerns, 73% of companies are planning to continue or increase spending on data skills development and training for employees.
“Data literacy training for employees can establish a data culture that supports business goals and improves resilience during the tough economic climate,” Salesforce stated.
Analytical skills, as well as Research skills, are among today’s most in-demand job skills, according to LinkedIn.
Juan Perez, chief information officer for Salesforce, acknowledges that business leaders “are experiencing one of the toughest economic markets of our time.”
“But they have an untapped advantage for better decision-making,” he says. “Their data.”
According to Perez, the secret to driving insight is “marrying data with analytics.”
“A combination of data, analytics, and the necessary data skills enables companies to maximize their technology investments and uncover opportunities that drive business strategy and strengthen customer trust,” said Perez—that is the key to unlocking data’s potential for employer, employee, and client alike.
And that, Salesforce suggests, starts with proper upskilling.