Skill that will get you a six-figure salary
Data literacy will be the most sought-after employee skill over the next decade and, according to salary figures from an online employment site, the rewards for employees are huge.
Job board Indeed has found that an analytics manager who works in data has an average salary of $130,067 while even a general data analyst can expect an average salary of $91,068.
In fact, nine of the top 10 data job titles all have salaries of six figures.
At a time when wage growth has grown just 0.5 per cent this quarter, it seems it is a lucrative industry to get into.
But, according to global research firm Gartner, data literacy is something that is sorely lacking in the workplace.
"By 2020, 50 per cent of organisations will lack sufficient AI and data literacy skills to achieve business value," Gartner senior director analyst Valerie Logan said.
RMIT Online has found there is a growing digital skills gap in Australia's workforce as 88 per cent of employers struggle to fill gaps in their business.
Over 50 per cent of businesses said finding employees with necessary data skills was hard but it was also one of the top skills that businesses needed.
John O'Mahony, a partner at Deloitte Access Economics said data was the currency of the era we live in but people lacked the skills.
"We found more than 35 per cent of businesses found it hard, or very hard, to get employees with skills in digital literacy, and as we move to an increasingly data driven world, that statistic is far higher than we should be comfortable with," Mr O'Mahony said.
WHAT IS DATA LITERACY?
According to the founder of Data To The People, Jane Crofts, data literacy is the ability to speak data.
"It's about the ability to interact with, find meaning with and communicate with this data-driven world," she said.
Data To The People is an Australian-based consultancy which assists organisations in developing tools to grow their data competency.
Ms Crofts said data literacy was imperative in business these days.
"We have come to a point that people who are not data literate are disadvantaging themselves as they can't participate in the data economy," she said.
Data ran businesses and more businesses were looking to build out their data abilities but traditional data roles would just keep building tools in their language.
Ms Crofts said data roles needed to be rethought as traditional data roles and non-data roles needed to work together.
"What we are at risk of doing is that the non-data people who are on the front line and have the shop floor experience, won't be able to communicate those experiences to data people, so it will all be lost," she said.
In fact, Ms Crofts said one of the most lucrative data roles wasn't even a strict data role but in fact that of a translator.
"A translator is typically someone with data expertise but can open up themselves and their thinking to non-technical roles," she said.
"We are seeing a lot of business discuss this role and it will only grow."
Ms Crofts said the best part about data literacy is that everyone already has some level of it.
Even the act of checking the weather to decide what to wear on a particular day was a form of data literacy.
"We all have inherent abilities to process this information but we just need to learn the language to be able to talk about it," she said.
DATA IMPACTS EVERY ROLE
Data To The People has even developed an online quiz for people to test their literacy.
"We have an opportunity to learn a lot now and figure out what is the best investment of employees' time," Ms Crofts said.
Ms Crofts even suggested that businesses stop thinking about roles as either data or non-data.
Data now impacts every role she said and the entire organisation needed to know the language to get the most out of it.
"It's been siloed for too long and that practice has hindered business," she said.
Getting started with data literacy was easy, Ms Crofts said.
"Why - that's all you have to keep asking," she said.
"Part of communicating with data is to think like a two-year-old and to just keep asking why and remaining curious."