Globally, many organizations struggle with data literacy. This is something that I encounter every day as I work with companies across the globe. While companies are collecting more data than ever, they aren’t using it to their full potential because not all employees have been trained to use the data to make strategic decisions. I have worked with many well-known brands around the globe to improve their data literacy. This post will highlight five key elements that can be used by any organization to improve its data literacy.
The goal is data literacy
Data literacy is about giving everyone access to data so that each business unit can make better decisions that will result in success. It is not about reading graphs, charts, and numbers. You must also be able to extrapolate the useful meaning of data and all the visual representations used to make it easier for you to use.
If the goal is to make everyone in your company more data-literate, then how do you get there?
Although every organization is different, these are key elements to help you become a data literacy expert.
1. Identify data advocates. Find individuals within your organization that are data leaders and can help create a data literacy plan. This team should consist of cross-functional individuals who can champion data literacy to anyone who isn’t fully convinced. They can also identify which business units are not using data effectively and help prioritize those for the data literacy program.
2. Make a difference. The change to make your organization’s culture data-focused must start at the top. If you and your company leaders set an example for data-informed meetings and decision-making, and then expect your team to follow suit, it will change the culture. To help your team see the power of data, it is important to share success stories about data with employees. This will allow them to see how data can influence real-world outcomes.
3. You need to establish systems and tools to give more people access to data. Without the systems in place, data scientists and analysts can still be a barrier to progress. You will need to determine how each employee can access the data, and which tools you may need to make it happen. The tools that you use must be able to allow non-technical employees to manipulate the data to extract the information they need. It will not be used if it is not easy to use.
4. Employee training. Although granting access to all employees is an important step in data literacy, employees won’t be able to use the data if they don’t. Data literacy consultant is essential to the success and growth of your business. Employees need to understand this. Employees who understand the importance of data for business objectives and why they are so important will be more inclined to learn how to interpret it. Fun and informal training can be provided in critical thinking and data skills. It’s a fact that the more you have fun, the greater the engagement. Employees must know to ask questions.
- How the data was collected
- What can data reveal about you?
Be sure to verify the accuracy of the information
Although data should accurately represent facts, there are many issues with data. For example, biases can be introduced, the data sample might not be large enough to make strategic decisions, or it could have other problems that render it unreliable. These concerns can be addressed by data-critical thinkers who learn to ask questions. To prevent data breaches, employees must be taught how to handle data safely and what ethical guidelines you have for data handling.
5. be small and continue to assess your needs. Successful organizations that have made the greatest data literacy gains recognize that it is an iterative process. Prioritize the groups that need the most training, then adjust and learn for the next group. You can get feedback from your group on what is working and what isn’t so that you can become more efficient over time.
The world is experiencing a shortage in corporate data literacy. It is becoming more urgent to increase data literacy in every organization. For assistance in increasing data literacy within your business, get in touch.