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How the pandemic has shown us the true power of data

by Mike Jones in Data Analytics 26/10/2021

The pandemic has increased the focus on the importance of data analytics in measuring risk, encouraging businesses to invest more in training and upskilling their employees.

We are in a time where information is critical. Data is generated faster than ever before, and more specifically, data analytics enables businesses to maintain pace with technological advancements in their chosen industry.

During the pandemic, many businesses transformed their focus from the potential risks associated with remote working to shifting their environment and risk framework by using data analytics to generate significant value. Implementing resource monitoring enables a smoother transition towards remote working and enables visualisation of the necessary KPIs that support the overall decision-making process.
In finance, data literacy isn’t an option anymore. It is a critical factor in maintaining pace with competitors, generating new insights and providing a better customer experience, as well as monitoring overall risk.

As market and technology progress, the business talent requirements expand too. Studies suggest that many businesses are now experiencing skill gaps or expect to face skill shortages in the years to come. A report by McKinsey states that 43% of those surveyed expect these talent gaps to be in data analytics. Upskilling individuals, especially in data analytics, is critical in supporting businesses with digital and data transformation plans.

Alongside the movement towards data analytics, the pandemic and shift towards remote working have created an opportunity for employers and employees to focus further on learning and development. Remote working during the pandemic has reduced the commute time and enabled people time to focus on other things such as advancing their skills. People have shown great interest in enhancing their analytical skills via online platforms.

The ICAEW Data Analytics certificate supports finance professionals in playing a vital role in data and business, connecting commercial skills and business knowledge with data analytics experience. There are many relevant courses available to support professionals with widening their skills in data and analytics.

Tailoring an upskilling strategy to fit the individual and the team supports the best learning experience employees can get from each course. By doing this, individuals with varying knowledge support each other and collaborate to develop a stronger data analytics culture.
The progress of analytics has enabled internal audit teams to deliver a more comprehensive picture of their business and operations. Not only does this improve the quality of results, but it also enhances overall communication with stakeholders and senior management.
The increased use of analytics will enable businesses to become more efficient, explore new data, identify new risks and ultimately gain a better understanding of their organisation. For many businesses, data literacy is no longer desirable, it is essential.