In brief

In brief

  • Data is a gold mine that can power the Intelligent Enterprise. While organizations continue to collect data, its real potential remains untapped.
  • Our study found that many individuals are underprepared for the growing use of data in their roles. How can businesses become fully data-driven?
  • We recommend five key steps while planning a data literacy strategy.

Data democratization: The enterprise opportunity

Data underpins the success of organizations in mining both physical assets and digital business opportunities—improving accuracy, increasing efficiency and augmenting the ability of the workforce to deliver greater value.

To become data-driven, organizations must shift from the dominant enterprise approach to data, in which ownership of data and its analysis has been in the hands of a few specialists. Actualizing a democratized approach requires businesses to focus on three elements.

3 steps to become data driven.

The good news: leaders now see the value of democratizing data. Our research found that nearly all employees are now expected to be able to use data in their roles.

How employees use data


Read data


Interpret data


Make data-driven decisions

In addition, enterprises are increasingly investing in tools, such as data analytics and business intelligence software, to facilitate data consumption.


of the global workforce have access to business intelligence tools.


have access to data analytics software.

Self-sufficiency: More than self-service

However, just because employees have access to self-service tools doesn’t mean that they are self-sufficient to read, understand and work with data.



of employees believe they’re fully prepared to use data effectively.


are confident with their data literacy skills.

What's holding businesses back from becoming fully data-driven?

Our research identified three ways that show how a lack of self-sufficiency to work with data affects employees’ ability to assume their roles in a data-driven workplace:

  1. Data appreciation isn’t fully translating into employee adoption.
  2. Lack of data skills is limiting workplace productivity.
  3. Changing technology practices are adding to modern workplace pressure.

How is this impacting businesses?

Each year, companies lose an average of more than

Businesses loose due to data issues.

due to data-induced procrastination and sick leave owing to stress resulting from information, data and technology issues.

The way forward: Building a data-driven workforce

The key to realizing the opportunity of data is to unlock the potential of people within the organization. We have identified five key steps to consider when planning a data literacy strategy.

  1. Set your data expectations. Define what you want your data to do and how it will deliver tangible value for your organization.
  2. Create a roadmap to achieve your goals. Understand the state of data and identify the investments needed to empower employees to fulfill business goals.
    Start with an objective evaluation of your employees’ data skills. Our research found that some business leaders overestimate the capabilities of their workforce to work with data.
    • 75 percent of C-suite level respondents believe that all or most of their employees have the ability to work with data proficiently.
    • 50 percent of middle management respondents feel that all or most employees have the right data abilities.
  3. Arm your employees for data-driven working. Invest in solutions that reduce data cleansing and accelerate data analysis, monetization and productization.
  4. Close the data literacy gap. Improve employees’ self-confidence to ask the right questions and assess the recommended insights through data literacy training.
    We found that employees who identify as data-literate were at least 50 percent more likely than their data-novice peers to say they feel empowered and trusted to make better decisions.
  5. Create a culture of co-evolution. Regularly assess data tools for all roles to ensure that they continue to deliver based on user requirements.

Education and empowerment will be the true determining success factors in a data-literate world.

With only less than a quarter of the global workforce reporting that they are confident in their data literacy skills, business leaders must invest in data upskilling to help improve their employees’ use of data and strengthen their data-driven culture. It will also enable organizations to accelerate time to insights, create new streams of revenue and fuel data-led growth.

Sanjeev Vohra

Lead – Accenture Applied Intelligence

Jordan Morrow

Global Head of Data Literacy – Qlik


Becoming a data-driven enterprise
Closing the data value gap

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