Capitec says that poor data literacy continues to roadblock South African companies, and the ability to deal with data will be the most in-demand skill by 2030.
According to the bank, a recent report titled Data Literacy: The Upskilling Evolution revealed that global business leaders and employees predict that data literacy – the ability to read, work and communicate with data – will be essential in the future of work.
The report surveyed over 1,200 C-level executives and 6,000 employees worldwide and found that data literacy will become as vital as the ability to use a computer.
Capitec said that businesses cannot underestimate the role of data in the digital economy, adding that it is no longer just data scientists who must manage the data but members of an organisation at large.
A lack of data literacy stifles development in South Africa, said Capitec. “For example, a 2021 Forrester study shows that only 11% of South African respondents treat data as capital and prioritise its use across the business.”
“Additionally, 89% of the country’s businesses are yet to develop a data culture and invest in data analytics skills. As data integrates further into daily workflows, it will only heighten the need for a data-literate workforce that can access and understand this crucial information and how it will impact the organisation.”
Capitec said that it has continuously invested in systems to help equip its workforce with the relevant skills to become data literate.
“Data is an essential asset in banking because customer interactions with a bank leave a trail of information, which the Bank can use to improve the financial wellness of their clients,” said the bank.
Businesses should invest in upskilling their employees. Capitec added that it is essential that a workforce also has the freedom to self-upskill beyond traditional methods.
Capitec has, for example, aided its employees in learning content ranging from data fundamentals, data preparation and transformation, data visualisation, machine learning, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and courses on predictive analytics.
South African businesses should also recognise employees who use data effectively to solve business challenges. This recognition will help motivate teams to upskill in data analytics.
The bank said that businesses could introduce rewards and a corporate badging programme to recognise data champions and promote employee achievement and recognition, both in and outside the organisation. Encouraging a data-driven economy.
“It’s a critical time for other South African companies to invest in employee data upskilling programmes and help drive new data-centric growth in our country,” Capitec said.