“Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine.” – Peter Sondergaard, Gartner Research

HR professionals have taken a huge leap of the profession by investing time, resources and personal effort immersing themselves into data and analytics for better business decision making. It is no wonder then that 'big data and analytics fundamentals' is the #1 future skill identified for HR professionals.

Full ranking: Top 10 future skills for HR professionals in Asia (surveyed in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong) 

  1. Big data and analytics fundamentals 23%
  2. Building HR capability 22%
  3. Contributing to business change 21%
  4. Future skills and organisation capability analysis 20%
  5. Data analytics: people analytics 19%
  6. Developing and delivering training; training facilitation 17%
  7. Natural language processing, predictive algorithms, self-learning 17%
  8. Digital transformations and change 17%
  9. Leading in a digital world 16%
  10. Leadership 16%

These findings have emerged from Skills for the future: Asia Pacific report, commissioned by BPP Education Group, which surveyed over 1,500 HR professionals on both present skills as well as future skills (i.e. 10 years down the line) needed. A total of 622 responses were collected specifically from professionals working in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, which are featured here.

The findings also uncovered the most-wanted future skills in the field of management, where while the traditional management skills – managing people and building relationships – are still at the top of the rankings, some of the items further down are perhaps more interesting. Have a look below.

Full ranking: Top 10 future skills for management in Asia (surveyed in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong) 

  1. Managing people 29%
  2. Building relationships 23%
  3. Decision-making 22%
  4. Big data and analytics fundamentals 22%
  5. Digital innovation, entrepreneurship and disruption 22%
  6. Innovation and risk-taking 20%
  7. Operational management 18%
  8. Leadership 18%
  9. Project management 17%
  10. Leading in a digital world 17%

What's clear from both the rankings is that data analytics, or some form of it, is the most important future skill across a number of roles. Gartner has a useful working definition of analytics that we can use to properly define what it implies. Analytics is the process of using data to do one of four tasks:

  • Describe
  • Diagnose
  • Predict
  • Prescribe 

The research follows the opening of BPP's new offices in Singapore earlier this year, which is part of the training provider's long-term growth strategy for the region, designed to meet the growing demands of corporates for training at every level.

Vicky Knight, who heads up the Singapore office, said “This is a really exciting time for BPP. The opening of this office underlines our approach to meeting commercial demand for training and development in the region."

Photo / 123RF

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