Human Resources, Sales Functions Need to Catch Up with "Big Data", Says American Management Association Survey

NEW YORK, Oct. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Human Resources and sales are seen as lagging in analytical skills when compared with other organization functions, according to a study sponsored by American Management Association (AMA), a world leader in professional development and performance-based learning solutions.

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131023/PH02005-a)

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131023/PH02005-b)

The global survey – “Conquering Big Data: A Study of Analytical Skills in the Workplace” – looked at how prepared organizations are to compete in an age of Big Data and drew nearly 800 respondents from more than 50 industries. Among other issues, participants were asked to assess the analytical skills of their employees by corporate function.                                 

                       

With a combined 58% rated as advanced or expert, Finance’s analytical strength was rated highest followed by the Executive Team with 51%. Trailing five other functions, HR and Sales had just 27% and 34% rated as advanced or expert in such skills.

“It’s not a surprise that analytics strength isn’t distributed uniformly across today’s organization,” said AMA’s Senior Vice President Robert G. Smith. “What is cause for concern is how deficient some functions are rated. As never before staff in every function need to be savvy when it comes to analytics. Professionals at all levels have to know what questions to ask and how to make wise choices based on data.”

Most organizations, according to Smith, are looking years ahead to identify what skills and competencies will be required. “Our survey shows that analytical skills will become even more important in the next five years. As a result, companies will need to ramp up training and development to hone those skills. It used to be okay that only a handful of experts in a company had analytical responsibilities, but no longer. Every function must have the right people with the right skills. While HR and Sales have the most catching up to do, the other functions are not where they need to be either.”

The study was sponsored by AMA and conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp).

Media Contact:

Phil Ryan 
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Human Resources, Sales Functions Need to Catch Up with "Big Data", Says American Management Association Survey
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