Less than half of UK Graduates Believe Data Analytics Skills Essential to their Future Career

New research finds next generation of employees significantly underestimates the importance of data analytics in the workplace

Publish Date: February 29, 2016 - 6:00am

UK graduates are greatly underestimating the importance of data analytics skills required in today’s workplace. New research from Tableau Software reveals that just 40% of recent graduates believe data analytics skills are essential for their future job and only 30% believe data analytics to be critical in fulfilling their career goals. This is in sharp contrast to a recent study from LinkedIn that ranked “statistical analysis and data mining” the number one skill to get you hired in the UK.

The survey polled 1,000 recent graduates from across the UK about their level of data analytics skills and its place in their future professional development. With more than 75 percent of companies planning to invest in big data through 2017*, the results reveal a concerning disparity between today’s business requirements for data analytics skills and a lack of proficiency and understanding of the value of data analysis from graduates.

“What is startling from the research is the clear disparity between the need for data analysis skills and the awareness about its importance,” said James Eiloart, VP EMEA at Tableau. “Students must realise what is clearly apparent to employers: our technology-driven world means that the jobs graduates seek in just a few years’ time will be fundamentally different to those they are now training for.”

Despite the relative lack of importance UK graduates place on data analytics, results show that almost 80 percent have heard of data analytics and just 19 percent say that data skills are “just for tech geeks,” showing that graduates understand that the role of data analytics is no longer confined to IT and tech sectors.

“Today’s workplace is one where data analytics skills are no longer a nice to have, but a must. The sheer amount of data available today means that the ability to quickly draw valuable insights is absolutely critical for business success,” said Paul Chapman, Business Intelligence CoE Manager at easyJet and Tableau user. “It is certainly a skill that will present a key advantage to recent graduates over their peers.”

Through its programme Tableau Academic, Tableau is offering free licenses of Tableau Desktop and technical support to help students and teachers see and understand their data. Across EMEA, professors are using visual analytics to enhance curriculum in fields such as economics while students are building skills that will prepare them for tomorrow’s workplace. In the UK, participants of the Tableau Academic programme include Imperial College London, University of Central Lancashire, University of Southampton and Cranfield University.

“I developed data analytics skills in my economics course at university,” said Jenni Roe, a recent graduate from University of Central Lancashire now working as a project manager at Voiteq, a software provider based in Blackpool. “Being able to analyse data and draw out actionable insights has not only set me up for success in my career, but it’s enabled me to think differently – to identify patterns, ask the right questions and be more business-savvy. ”

More than 9,000 companies and organisations in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region use Tableau for fast, visual analytics. Customers range from startups and growing businesses to multinationals, including easyJet, Asda, Ebay, Wiggle and Cheapflights.com.

For more information about Tableau, please visit: www.tableau.com/. To learn more about the Tableau Academic Programme, please visit: www.tableau.com/academic

About the research
The survey was conducted in February 2016 by Censuswide, which polled 1,000 UK students who graduated within the last two years.

About Tableau Software
Tableau Software (NYSE: DATA) helps people see and understand data. Tableau helps anyone quickly analyze, visualize and share information. More than 39,000 customer accounts get rapid results with Tableau in the office and on-the-go. And tens of thousands of people use Tableau Public to share data in their blogs and websites. See how Tableau can help you by downloading the free trial at www.tableau.com/trial.

Tableau and Tableau Software are trademarks of Tableau Software, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

*Gartner survey: http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3130817