A poll of 2,000 adults revealed 30 per cent confess their brain 'shuts down' when they see or hear the word data.
For more than a quarter (27 per cent) it's because they are simply uninterested, and 43 per cent admit they find data dull.
But despite 55 per cent actively avoiding figures and data, half believe improving their skills would put them at an advantage in the current economic climate.
And one in five think it would also allow for better career opportunities.
Almost a quarter (24 per cent) suspect they’d be able to deal with bills better each month as 22 per cent find it difficult to digest everyday information like bank statements or data-led news articles.
The study was commissioned by interactive learning platform DataCamp, which, on this World Literacy Day (September 8th), wants to raise awareness of data literacy as a fundamental skill.
With almost one in five not knowing that a quarter of a pie chart is the same as 25 per cent, the brand hopes to democratise data skills across the country.
Data is the future
It also emerged more than one in 10 (13 per cent) believe a ‘Helix Chart’ is a real thing – and not a complete invention.
DataCamp's co-founder, Martijn Theuwissen, said: “We’re in the middle of a paradigm shift and even if you don’t work with data, you need to know how to read and interpret data in places like the news, health apps, and phone usage reviews.
“Nobody should dread data - it can really empower individuals to make informed decisions and improve their personal and professional lives.
“That’s why, this World Literacy Day, we want to encourage people to consider data literacy a vital skill in everyday life.”
Regardless of the nation’s day-to-day interactions with numbers and statistics, 52 per cent admit to sometimes simply smiling and nodding along to a conversation about data and statistics, even if they’re completely in the dark.
According to the OnePoll study, 29 per cent admit they rely on their friends, partner or family members to take on any data analysis they may need in day-to-day life.
Concerningly, this could include reviewing mortgage rates, loan options or, particularly pertinently at the moment, energy prices.
Martijn Theuwissen added: “While most people might not be looking for a specific career in the data industry, many employers are looking for data skills across a variety of roles in sales, finance, HR, logistics, and more.
“Building these skills can help you to find a new career or excel further in your current position.
“That's why we're committed to democratising data through our online platform to help educators and students prepare for further education and improve data literacy learning.”