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Companies Investing in Training, not Hiring, to Increase Analytical Capabilities

Companies are 2.5x more likely to train current employees for analytical skills than hire.

Train or hire? The Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), a research organization that focuses on the people practices that drive market performance, has released a new study on Big Data trends, which reveals that organizations are much more likely to train existing employees for analytical skills than hire additional analytics staff.

Analytics in Companies

The Age of Big Data: A Progress Report for Organizations and HR found:

  • 47% of organizations plan to train current staff to reach the needed analytics capabilities;
  • 17% intend to mostly hire new employees.
  • One-quarter (26%) report that they are currently able to meet their anticipated analytics needs.

This emphasis on training over hiring is one of nine key findings outlined in the report, which also looked at the type of training organizations are using to build analytical skills and found that more companies rely on mentoring and team-based training than any other methods.

The prominence of organic or unstructured learning as a way of teaching analytics strengthens the argument that the most important skill for successful analytical ability is critical thinking, rather than specific software or mathematical skill. For many successful data analysts, the analytical tools used are secondary to approaching
problems in an analytical way.

Nearly 900 businesspeopleworldwide were surveyed for the study, conducted by i4cp in partnership with the American Management Association (AMA).

The full report is available exclusively to i4cp members; a summary version can be downloaded here.

Erik Samdahl
Erik is the head of marketing at i4cp, and has nearly 20 years in the market research and human capital research industry.