Alteryx survey highlights the great data disconnect in the region
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Alteryx survey highlights the great data disconnect in the region

Alteryx survey highlights the great data disconnect in the region

Despite data workers, specifically in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, possessing advanced and valuable data skills, businesses are failing to take advantage of this untapped resource

Divsha Bhat
Data and Analytics

Alteryx identified a significant gap between data professional’s advanced skill levels and their use within organisations. While Gulf firms recruit people with the necessary skills, ambition, knowledge, and analytical expertise, the research shows that they are not tapping into this rich pool of talent.

The company found that nearly two-thirds of data workers in large companies in the UAE and Saudi Arabia have the advanced analytic skills needed to deliver business insights using descriptive (57 per cent), prescriptive (61 per cent), and predictive (60 per cent) analytics, according to a YouGov survey commissioned by Alteryx. Despite this skill set, only 28 per cent of employees use it to unlock business benefits such as greater efficiency, or revenue growth through creating data models.

While many organisations have struggled to gain data-driven insights owing to a scarcity of qualified data employees, businesses across the Gulf are lagging behind because they are underutilising their workforce’s potential.

“Employees with strong data skills are a core requirement for developing business resiliency and the ability to pivot at speed, but to maximise the potential of these workers – democratising their access to data and facilitating their ability to deliver insights – is the missing link,” commented Alan Jacobson, chief data and analytics officer at Alteryx. “Digital transformation has moved beyond boardroom discussions. It’s now mission-critical for businesses to fully leverage analytics and data science to decipher the massive influx of data developing across lines of business.

“Despite the inherent value of data-led decision making, there is a critical disconnect between the expertise we see in the Gulf and the value these employees are able to bring to both driving new strategies and further optimising the business to run smarter.”

Making full use of the analytic expertise available is a core requirement for the Gulf to continue competing on a global stage. In spite of the fact that the vast majority of data professionals (72 pe rcent) being able to generate additional revenue through data, these specialists are frequently restricted to producing static reports (61 per cent).

Read: Harnessing the power of data

Just 35 per cent use their skills to create exploratory analyses, and only 37 per cent use data to identify future outcomes based on historical data through predictive analytics.

While not every data worker needs to become a fully-fledged data scientist, by ensuring that these specialists are empowered to deliver insights across business functions, organisations can turbocharge their transformation efforts with pre-existing resource and thrive in an increasingly data-rich environment.

The company also mentioned that developing a culture of data, reducing time investment on basic tasks through automation and upskillig teams on delivering business value through data skills are some of the strategies to create the data-centric business of the future.

Read: The role of data analytics in industry 4.0

“Human beings are the biggest success factor for any digital or analytics project, but often are the last factor to be considered. While technology after technology can be layered on to a transformation project, true effectiveness comes developing data-driven cultures that combine advanced data technologies with the ingenuity of the human brain. Only by investing in data teams – leveraging their data skills to drive data science and analytics automation – will workers be able to deliver business changing insights,” Richard Timperlake, VP, EMEA, at Alteryx adds.

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