According to the Data Science Council of America, 89% of CEOs believe they would lose market share without insights from data analytics. At the same time, 45% say inadequate data insights hinder their customer success and 56% don’t believe they can rely on the validity of their data. 

These findings certainly suggest a mistrust in analytics software, but a recent TechRepublic article argues they also point to another problem: a lack of critical thinking skills among data scientists. 

So, what can companies do to improve critical thinking skills among employees?

1. Emphasize Critical Thinking

It’s common sense but it’s worth noting—if you want to enhance critical thinking skills it’s key to emphasize the importance of these abilities in your interactions with employees. Modern curriculums tend to prioritize memorization over problem-solving, but companies can take an active role in helping cultivate future employees with more critical thinking capabilities. For example, by partnering with local colleges or universities to develop student internship programs that emphasize critical thinking skills like correct problem identification, research, bias detection, and inference of conclusions based upon analyses of raw information.

2. Recruit for Critical Thinking 

Another consideration is to make critical thinking skills something that the HR team assesses as part of their candidate screening. There are a variety of critical thinking and problem solving aptitude tests companies can administer based upon job function and industry to help ensure that new hires have the right combination of skills to be successful in their role.

3. Develop and Embed Critical Thinking Skills in Your Organization 

Finally, companies can further enhance critical thinking by embedding it into their analytics methodology. For example, an analytics QA checklist could include questions such as: 

  • Have you assessed the analytics for potential bias? 
  • Is there anything about the subject under study that may have been missed? 
  • Is there anyone else inside or outside the company who should participate in this review? 

For more on how to encourage critical thinking among your analytics employees—and the organization as a whole—check out the TechRepublic article in its entirety.