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Data Literacy 101

Data literacy in the context of the 21st century can be perceived as being analogous to literacy for the 20th century. A majority of organizations currently possess a preference for individuals with demonstrated data capabilities over those possessing higher education, even qualifications in data science. According to latest research a mere 21% of American enterprises think of degrees and other academic credentials when hiring for a particular position, in contrast to an overwhelming 64% who search for prospects who can show off their data abilities. When data is perceived as an enterprise’s spine, it is vital that entities help their employees in correctly leveraging data. 

Data literacy defined 

The capability to comprehend, work with, undertake analysis of, and interact with data is broadly referred to as data literacy. It’s a skill that needs employees at all levels to bring up the correct questions with regards to machines and data, develop knowledge, make decisions, and communicate meaning to others within the organizational structure. It is not just about correctly understanding data. To be educated, you must also possess the confidence to challenge evidence that isn’t doing as well as it should. Literacy helps the analysis procedure by enabling the human aspect of critique to be considered. Not just for data and analytics vocations, but in every occupation, enterprises are searching for data literacy. Organizations that make considerable investments in data literacy programs will outperform those that do not. 

Why is it critical? 

There are several components to accomplishing data literacy. Tools and technologies are critical, but staff must also go about learning how to contemplate about data to comprehend when it is worth it and when it isn’t. When staff members interact with information, they should be capable to view it, manipulate it, and share the outcomes with their peers. Many individuals go to Excel as it is a familiar utility, but insulating data to desktop apps is limiting and leads to inconsistency. Staff members obtain contradictory outcomes even though they are viewing the same statistics as data becomes outdated. It’s advantageous to possess a singular platform to view, analyse, and share information. It imparts a singular source of reality, making sure that everybody has access to the updated version of data.  

When data is retained and administered centrally, it also a lot simpler to implement security and governance regulations. Another critical facet of data culture is possessing robust analytical, data visualization, and statistical capacities. Intricate information might be made simple leveraging data visualization, and simple human beings can sift through data to find solutions to questions and problems. 

Is Data literacy a universal prerogative? 

A prevailing misunderstanding with regards to data literacy is that it is the domain and concern of data scientists, rather, these skills ought to be inculcated by every staff member. Going by a Gartner Annual Chief Data Officer (CDO) survey, weak data literacy is one of the primary hurdles to the CDO’s success and an organization’s capacity to evolve and expand. To counter this, 8/10ths of enterprises will have targeted initiatives to overcome their staff member’s data deficiencies. Organizations with teams that have literacy in data and its methodologies and strategies can maintain the pace with new trends, innovation, and technologies, remain competitive, and harness this skill as their competitive edge, in addition to financial advantages. 

How to develop data literacy 

1.Hone in on your organization’s current data literacy prowess. 

    • What is your company’s current level of data literacy amongst its staff members? Is it doable for administration to propose new initiatives and projects on the basis of data? How many persons these days actually base their key decisions on data? 
  1. Hone in on data speakers who have fluency in the language and data gaps. 
    • You’ll require translators who can fill the gap and mediate between business groups and data analysts, in addition to data analysts who can talk in an organic manner about data. Detect any communication barriers that are averting data from being leveraged to its fullest potential in the organization. 
  2. Detail why literacy is a matter of criticality. 
    • The ones who understand the ‘why’ behind initiatives are more forthcoming in supporting the required data literacy training. Ensure to provide explanations as to why data literacy is so critical to your organization’s success. 
  3. Make sure that data is accessible.
    • It’s vital to feature a system in place that facilitates everybody to access, manipulate, undertake analysis of, and swap data. This phase may mean locating technologies, like data visualization or management dashboard, that will make this procedure simpler. 
  4. Take baby steps when putting out a data literacy program or initiative. 
    • Avoid going overboard by executing a data literacy program for everybody simultaneously. Start with a singular business unit at one time, leveraging data to identify “lost opportunities” What insight you glean through your pilot program can be leveraged to enhance the program in the future. Your data literacy workshop should be fun and foster engagement amongst the audience. Additionally, don’t forget that data training does not necessarily have to be monotonous! 
  5. Establish a good example
    • Leadership in your company ought to make data insights a priority in their own day-to-day work to illustrate to the remainder of the company how critical it is for your team to leverage data in decision making and assist daily operations. Be insistent that any new products or services proposals come with relevant analytics and data to provide weight to their claims. Being reliant on data will ultimately have the outcome of a data-first culture. 

Keeping this in mind, it is simple to roll out a relevant data literacy plan that will get your organization’s employees up to speed. 

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