Singapore one of the most data literate nations globally, finds study

According to findings from Qlik, while data literacy scores for the US and APAC regions are slightly lower than Europe, Singapore performed exceptionally for its region and is the most data literate nation globally. The study defined a data literate individual as one who does not need to have a highly technical understanding of data, which might be required of a data scientist or analyst. He/she needs to however still able to read, work with, analyse and argue with data.

About 72% of respondents in Europe affirm that data literacy it is “very important”, compared with just 60% in Asia and 52% in the US.  These numbers also appears to positively impact the proportion of decisions that are made using data and encouragement for employees to become comfortable with data. Currently, UK, Germany and France among the most mature nations for corporate data literacy. This reflects a greater recognition that European business decision makers have for the value of data.

The study added that nearly all business leaders acknowledge that data is important to their industry and in how their company currently makes decisions. But shockingly, just 8% of firms have made major changes in the way the data is used over the past five years.

However, there are far greater differences in corporate data literacy between different industries than between regions.


The study added that currently there is a gap between the importance that companies put on data, and their appreciation for it to drive business and economic outcomes. 93% of business decision makers believe that data literacy is relevant to their industry and it is important for employees to be data literate, yet less than a third see data literacy as an important factor in a successful economy. But companies do recognise they need more data skills, with 63% of large businesses planning on increasing the number of data literacy employees.

Despite 78% of the global workforce being willing to invest more time and energy into improving their data skill set, just 34% of firms currently provide data literacy training and just 17% “significantly encourage” employees to become more comfortable with data. Companies also aren’t incentivising upskilling, with only 36% of business leaders willing to pay higher salaries to employees who are data literate.