By 2027, more than half of chief data and analytics officers (CDAOs) will secure funding for data literacy and artificial intelligence (AI) literacy programs, fueled by enterprise failure to realise expected value from generative AI (GenAI), according to Gartner.

“Few organisations are currently implementing AI literacy programs. While the skills and capabilities of AI are concentrated to highly technical roles, the status of AI is rapidly changing as industry executives begin to realise the importance of a workforce knowledgeable in data, analytics and AI,” says Melissa Davis, vice-president analyst at Gartner.

“To build such a workforce, organisations require data literacy and AI literacy as core competencies. Critical-thinking and problem-solving abilities may decrease as AI natives depend more heavily on AI for information and decision-making, diminishing their need to analyze situations independently.”

GenAI solutions are less trustworthy due to the complexity and opaqueness of the current algorithms and models, as well as the information used to fuel the models not being adequately curated.

This is why CDAOs must invest in their people to build strong data, analytics and AI skills. Without these skills, AI will fail to deliver the expected value and potentially introduce additional failure points.

“Improving data and AI literacy is critical to identifying relevant and value-adding AI use cases,” says Davis. “Yet, turning the general promise of AI into concrete business impact demands strong collaboration between business stakeholders and AI experts which requires a common ground in terms of understanding the main AI concepts and having realistic expectations about what AI can and cannot do.

“Organizations should assess the AI readiness of their workforce for both data and AI literacy and be honest as to whether the workforce has the necessary skills to leverage AI techniques,” says Davis.

“For any area of planned investment in GenAI technology or AI use-case implementation, organisations should fund corresponding data and AI literacy education as a core workforce capability.”