Key Steps On the Path to Improving Data Literacy

BrandPost By Dwight Davis
Sep 10, 2020
Technology Industry

Data is the new language of business. Organizations must improve data literacy to ensure employees understand and use data to inform their daily decisions and actions.

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Credit: iStock

Increasingly, the “language” of modern businesses is data. Executives and managers have realized that they need “data literacy” for their organizations to reach full potential.

What is data literacy? At a fundamental level, employees must be able to confidently read data, understand and interpret that data, and apply those understandings in the context of their jobs. In addition, data that was once closely held by a data and business analysts must be more broadly distributed, or democratized, to reach the people who can actually use the data to inform their decisions and actions.

Unfortunately, as noted in an earlier post, many employees are uncomfortable, if not downright fearful, of working with data. This anxiety has real consequences that range from procrastination and missed workdays to costly productivity hits.

Improving Data Literacy

Organizations seeking to improve data literacy across their workforces must start by understanding the types of accessible relevant data, and the potential use by different categories of employees. After collecting that baseline information, organizations must assess the ability of individual workers to comfortably and effectively use the data in the execution of their jobs.

Once all of that knowledge is in hand, organizations can craft a data literacy plan. That plan, in part, is almost certain to involve employee education and training initiatives. However, it should also include the deployment of modern data acquisition, transformation, analytics, and visualization tools. These tools can do much of the heavy lifting required before data even reaches an employee’s attention, ensuring that the data is as relevant, straightforward, and actionable as possible.

For organizations uncertain about how to start on the path toward greater data literacy, a good place to begin is The Data Literacy Project. This multi-vendor community organization has resources for both the assessment of data literacy as well as online courses and community forums.

Qlik, one of the Project’s lead founders, has created its own collection of certifications and qualifications, including some that specific to its own products and others that are product agnostic. The company has also developed a Data Literacy as a Service offering that combines data management and analysis services with education and consulting and 24 x 7 enterprise support.

Click here to learn more about data literacy, and how Qlik can help your organization become more data literate and, as a result, more effective.