Nearly one in five Millennials (19%) are perceived to be lacking analytical skills when compared with other generations in the workplace, according to a study sponsored by American Management Association (AMA).
The survey looked at how prepared organizations are to compete in an age of Big Data and involved nearly 800 respondents from more than 50 industries. Participants were asked to assess the analytical skills of their employees by age group.
With a combined 58% rated as advanced or expert, the Gen X cohort’s analytical strength was rated highest, followed by Baby Boomers with 41% and Millennials with 35%.
“Despite their familiarity with technology, Millennials aren’t seen as having equal analytics savvy,” said AMA Senior Vice President Robert G. Smith. “But what’s really at issue here is an analytical mindset, which includes both quantitative and qualitative ability more than any specific number-crunching skill. In other words, employees need to know what to look for, what questions to ask, and how to make inferences and draw conclusions based on data in order to drive the organization forward.”
According to Smith, organizations are taking a hard look at the skills and competencies they will need over the next decade. “Companies will be stepping up development and training, and analytical skills will be high on the list of priorities. What they’re seeking is strength in data analysis and critical thinking across the whole organization, not just among a select number of experts as in the past. Management realizes it is imperative to build the right skills…across all age groups in an organization.”
Sponsored by AMA, the study was conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp).