Research by BlueVenn has found that 72% of marketers consider data analysis to be the most important skill for their organisation to acquire over the next two years.
Its report, Customer data: The monster under the bed?, is based on interviews with over 200 UK and US marketers. The findings show that data management is now considered more important than social media. Acquiring data skills is the top priority for 72% of marketers, followed by social media skills (for 65%), web development (31%), graphic design (23%) and search engine optimisation (13%).
However, the findings show that 27% of marketers still hand over the process of data analysis to the IT department. Marketers in larger firms (80%) are more likely to consider data analysis a "vital skill"; data segmentation and modelling are also seen as highly sought-after marketing skills.
Anthony Botibol, marketing director at BlueVenn, said: "With the potential of big data, marketers have a better opportunity than ever before to truly understand their customers' decision-making processes. Unfortunately, as it stands most marketers simply don't have the time, the knowledge or the tools necessary to undertake this task in a practical and effective way."
However, he said that "while there is definitely a skills shortage when it comes to data analysis … nobody should need to have a degree in data science in order to generate value from their customers' information, what they need are tools and technologies that can simplify the task."