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Introducing The State of Data & AI Literacy Report 2024

Explore the key takeaways from the 2024 State of Data & AI Literacy report, including key statistics and opinions from data & AI thought leaders
May 2024  · 3 min read

We are at the dawn of a new era. Generative AI has ushered in a paradigm shift, requiring us to reassess the skills needed to succeed in today’s AI-driven world. Leaders across the globe are now questioning whether their workforce is equipped to capitalize on this wave of new technology.

In last year's State of Data Literacy 2023 Report, we surveyed over 500 leaders in the US and the UK about the increasing demand for data literacy skills on their teams. This year, we’re excited to build on that foundation, explore the concept of AI literacy, and showcase how DataCamp for Business customers and industry leaders are adapting to this new technology paradigm.

Anyone interested in the state of their or their organization’s data & AI skills should read The State of Data & AI Literacy 2024 Report. Below, you’ll find a summary of the key takeaways found in the report.

Download the State of Data & AI Literacy Report 2024

Uncover what 550+ leaders in the US & UK believe about the state of their teams’ data & AI skills.

Download the Report

From data literacy to AI literacy?

The report begins by exploring how AI literacy challenges our conception of data literacy. We remind readers of the findings of last year’s report and provide a definition of AI literacy. In a nutshell, AI literacy is the ability to effectively, ethically, and responsibly understand, utilize, and guide AI systems.

We also uncover that despite rapid advancements in AI, the importance of data literacy for organizations remains paramount. In last year’s report, we’ve seen firsthand how leaders value data literacy skills, with 83% of leaders across the US and UK pointing to data literacy as important for their teams’ day-to-day tasks. Today, 86% of leaders believe data literacy is important for their teams’ day-to-day tasks. Moreover, 62% of leaders believe AI literacy is now important for their teams’ day-to-day tasks. We also asked leaders which data & AI skills have grown most important for their team in the past five years, with data science, business intelligence, AI literacy, and data literacy skills being in the top seven fastest-growing skills leaders are looking for from their teams. Throughout this section, we also uncover the biggest data & AI skill gaps leaders find on their teams and the value data & AI skills bring to the table. Download the report to discover these insights!

Download the State of Data & AI Literacy Report 2024

Uncover what 550+ leaders in the US & UK believe about the state of their teams’ data & AI skills.

Upskilling & Reskilling in the AI Era

The second section of our report examines the intricate relationship between AI literacy and data literacy. In this section, we present AI literacy as a natural extension of data literacy. It’s important to note, that while ChatGPT generative AI has mainstreamed AI, “traditional AI" like predictive analytics and machine learning were always part of the data skills continuum. Moreover, knowing the foundations of data are integral to understanding the foundations of AI.

With that, we sought to understand which data skills leaders are looking for in their teams. We found that almost every single data skill grew in importance since last year. Here’s a summary of what we found:

  • Data-driven decision-making: 84% of leaders consider this the most critical skill, marking a 6% increase from the previous year.
  • Interpreting data visualizations & dashboards: 83% of leaders prioritize this skill, showing a 9% rise.
  • Data analysis and manipulation: 80% value this capability, up by 8%.
  • Creating data visualizations & dashboards: 76% of leaders find this skill essential, up by 11%.
  • Data storytelling: 74% of leaders deem this important, also up by 8%.

Similarly, we asked leaders to discuss which AI skills are important for their team. Here’s what we found:

  • Basic understanding of AI concepts: 70% of leaders consider this the most crucial AI skill, highlighting the importance of grasping AI's core principles.
  • AI ethics and responsible AI practices: 69% of leaders emphasize these as key skills for their teams.
  • Application of AI in business contexts: 65% of leaders recognize this as an important focus area.

This section also goes into depth discussing what are the biggest challenges leaders face when upskilling or reskilling for data & AI skills and introduces an updated version of our data & AI competency framework. To read about these challenges and access the framework, make sure to download the report.

The Updated Data & AI Competency Framework

Five Lessons for Building Your Teams’ Data & AI Literacy

In the third section of the report, we explore the transformational impact of data and AI training, demonstrating how mature training programs lead to significant organizational benefits like faster and improved decision-making, enhanced innovation, and better employee retention. For instance, leaders with mature programs report a notable increase in benefits across several areas: decision-making efficiency jumps to 90%, innovation to 87%, and employee retention to 81%.

Moreover, drawing on first-hand experiences from DataCamp for Business customers like Colgate-Palmolive, Rolls Royce, and Specsavers, alongside insights from thought leaders in the data & AI space, we deep dive into the best practices for effectively implementing data and AI upskilling and reskilling programs:

  • Expand existing programs to include AI literacy: Broaden data upskilling initiatives to encompass AI literacy, treating it as an integral extension of data skills.
  • Widen the reach of upskilling initiatives: Extend the scope of training to include non-technical roles, enhancing organizational-wide AI literacy.
  • Focus on interactivity and personalization: Center learning programs around interactive and personalized training to foster more engaging and effective skill development.
  • Leverage AI as a force multiplier: Utilize AI to enhance and accelerate the application of data skills across the organization.
  • Proactive change management: Emphasize positive reinforcement and change management to address potential workforce concerns about new technologies.

For more detailed insights and additional recommendations on crafting successful upskilling strategies, read the full report.

Beyond The Workplace: Data & AI Literacy as Social Safeguards

In the fourth section of our report, we extend the discussion beyond the workplace to explore how data and AI literacy serve as critical societal safeguards against some of humanity's most pressing challenges. These include online misinformation, bias from AI systems, and the risks of job automation. Here's what we found for each challenge:

  • Online misinformation and disinformation: AI literacy is essential in combatting the spread of misinformation, especially in the era of generative AI. A significant 73% of leaders acknowledge that AI literacy plays a pivotal role in mitigating online misinformation and disinformation risks.
  • Bias from AI systems: With AI increasingly integrated into decision-making processes, the ethical and responsible use of AI is critical. Approximately 75% of leaders agree that every employee should be trained in ethical AI practices to prevent biases that can perpetuate social injustices and distortions in data-driven decisions.
  • Job automation: Concerns about AI displacing jobs are prevalent, with 62% of leaders foreseeing automation impacts within their organizations. However, equipping employees with AI literacy skills can significantly buffer against such risks, with 57% of leaders suggesting that well-trained individuals are less likely to be affected by automation. Additionally, 75% of leaders believe that nations and organizations have a responsibility to prepare their workforce for these changes.

Download the Full Report

We’ve touched on a fraction of the findings from The State of Data & AI Literacy Report 2024. You can download the entire report to learn more about the present and future of data & AI literacy and how they might impact your organization.

Download the State of Data & AI Literacy Report 2024

Uncover what 550+ leaders in the US & UK believe about the state of their teams’ data & AI skills.

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