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analytical skills

Demand for Analytical Skills to Grow Sharply Over Next Five Years, According to New American Management Association Study

CHICAGO, June 17, 2013 – With the increasing significance of “Big Data” for business today the demand for analytical skills training is expected to grow sharply over the next five years, according to a study by American Management Association (AMA), a world leader in professional development and performance-based learning solutions.

The study findings were released by AMA at the Society for Human Resource Management Annual Conference and Exposition.

The study, commissioned by AMA and conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), surveyed nearly 800 business executives in more than 50 industries and 40 countries. Among other issues, the study sought to assess organizations’ need for analytical skills.

To what extent are analytics in your business important today? In five years?


                                                                                                    Today                                           In 5 years

Very high extent



High extent



Moderate extent



Small extent



Not at all



“Overall, 58% of participants report that analytics are already vital to their organization, and that rises to 82% when asked about five years from now,” said AMA’s Senior Vice President Robert G. Smith. “The era of ‘Big Data’ has arrived, but the analytical skills to deal with complex data have lagged, and many organizations are already seeking ways to close the training gap.”

According to Smith the flood of data as well as more powerful, less costly technology have made companies look for ways to build stronger analytical skills at all levels and in all functions. “It’s no longer enough for an organization to have a few experts available to interpret data or probe for the right questions to ask. The organization itself has to become data smart so the vast potential of ‘Big Data’ may be realized. Companies that fail to meet the challenge will be left behind.”

Organizations have increasing reasons to improve their analytical capabilities, explained Smith. “Most critical are competitive and performance pressures in driving the need for better analytics.”

 Which of the following create the greatest need for analytical skills in your organization?


Accountability for results


Competitive environment


Complexity of business environment


Increase in customer data


Risk management


“Analytics improves an organization’s ability to predict risks, adapt to change, make informed decisions, and compete in a tough environment,” said Smith. “They’re a mix of skills, not necessarily just quantitative, that enables teams to gather and analyze information, formulate a plan of action, and solve complex issues. The bottom line is that every function and department need people who are comfortable and conversant with the rising data tide, and that means special training, either in house or with an experienced provider.”

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/analyticalskills.

About AMA

American Management Association (www.amanet.org) is a world leader in talent development, advancing the skills of individuals to drive business success. AMA’s approach to improving performance combines experiential learning—learning through doing—with opportunities for ongoing professional growth at every step of one’s career. AMA supports the goals of individuals and organizations through a complete range of products and services, including classroom and live online seminars, eLearning programs, webcasts, webinars, podcasts, corporate and government solutions, business books, and research. Organizations worldwide, including the majority of the Fortune 500, turn to AMA as their trusted partner in professional development and draw upon its experience to enhance skills, abilities and knowledge with noticeable results from day one.

Shari Fryer
Shari Fryer & Associates

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