The American Management Association reports that older generations outpace Millennials when it comes to analytical skills, with as many as 19 percent of the youngest working generation with few or no analytical abilities. The most analytical of all age groups in the workforce was identified as Generation X (individuals aged 30 to 50) with 58 percent of its members with advanced or expert analytics skills. Just 6 percent of Gen Xers possessed few or no skills. As for baby boomers, 41 percent were reported as being advanced or expert in analytical tasks.
“Despite their familiarity with technology, Millennials aren’t seen as having equal analytics savvy,” said Robert Smith, senior vice president at the AMA. “But what’s really at issue here is an analytical mindset, which includes both quantitative and qualitative ability more than any specific number-crunching skill. In other words, employees need to know what to look for, what questions to ask, and how to make inferences and draw conclusions based on data in order to drive the organization forward.”
Smith continued, “Companies will be stepping up development and training, and analytical skills will be high on the list of priorities. What they’re seeking is strength in data analysis and critical thinking across the whole organization, not just among a select number of experts as in the past. Management realizes it is imperative to build the right skills…across all age groups in an organization.”