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Millennials Have Least Analytical Acumen, Gen Xers the Highest in Today’s Workforce, New Survey Suggests


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), a world leader in professional development and performance-based learning solutions.

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.

Analytical Ability by Generational Cohort 

Nonexistent      Poor         Basic    Advanced    Expert

Baby Boomers (50—70)






Gen X (30-50)






Millennials (10-30)






 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’s 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.”

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

About AMA
American Management Association (www.amanet.org) is a world leader in talent development, advancing the skills of individuals to drive business success. To support the growing demand by business, AMA has launched a new portfolio of Analytical Skills seminars. To see the full training portfolio or to register for a seminar visit: http://www.amanet.org/analytical.

AMA is one of the most widely recognized leaders in business training, having provided corporate training solutions for over 95 years. From leadership, communication and managerial training to sales, customer service and analytical skills, AMA has developed a vast array of content and training solutions to help individuals and organizations achieve business results . Each year, AMA delivers thousands of seminars and courses across the United States. With courses offered in a  classroom near you or live online, AMA is a flexible, convenient resource for all of your organization's talent development needs. AMA also offers customized solutions based on your specific talent development requirements.