Why companies are training their people in data literacy

What does Bloomberg, Guardian Insurance and Adobe have in common? They have all invested in "building tech talent from within" by training & upskilling their people (across all operations) in data literacy.

April 6, 2023

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What exactly is organisational data literacy? And why it is important

Data literacy

When we refer to data literacy, it usually falls within four categories:

  • Reading data
  • Working with data
  • Analysing data
  • Arguing with data

Global analytics software giant Qlik, defines data literacy as:

"The ability to read, work with, analyse and communicate with data. It’s a skill that empowers all levels of workers to ask the right questions of data and machines, build knowledge, make decisions, and communicate meaning to others."

Bloomberg, Guardian Insurance and Adobe are examples of companies that have set out to "build tech talent from within. Training their people (across all operations) in data literacy - so they are empowered to use data, no matter what their job title.

These organisations have formed workplace digital data literacy academies as part of their commitment to up skill their workforce.

Josh Bersin, HR and workplace industry analyst, says that intensive employee training is the key to ensuring that businesses keep up with the ever changing digital landscape.

As digital skills have become disruptively important and time-critical to obtain, companies are building intensive training programs that can rapidly up - and re-skill existing employees to keep pace with real-time changes in technology — including digital fluency, data analytics, AI, machine learning, cybersecurity, and more.

Why data literacy is business critical:

  • It empowers your people to ask the right questions
  • Allows data-driven decisions to be made
  • Drives ownership of data governance & data quality, across all operations

Businesses who succeed in digital transformation, empower their people through training and development.

Qlik globally surveyed 1,200 executives & 6,000 employees in their research report Data Literacy: The Upskilling Evolution. It showed that:

> 85% of executives believe data literacy will become as vital in the future as the ability to use a computer is today.

> Only 11% of employees are fully confident in their ability to read, analyse, work with and communicate with data.

> 21 % of employees think their employers are preparing them for a data-oriented workplace and

>40 % are looking for a new role with better re-skilling.

Qlik's Chief Transformation Officer Poornima Ramaswamy, says "unlocking the potential of your people" is the key to using data successfully, in any business.

"By outlining clear and identifiable goals, leaders can start to define how different roles across the organisation must work with data to achieve them," she says.

"Other groups will be accountable for creating value with data in different ways.

"Setting clear expectations means that everyone—whether in product development, marketing or business intelligence—understands what is and isn't expected of them"

Even when your data quality is spot on - human error happens

What Notitia tells clients:

  • Your people need to be trained to use & understand your data.
  • Legends/ commentary should be included on outputs such as graphs, dashboards, reporting products.
  • A company-wide “data dictionary” is critical to provide clear definitions & ensure consistency in the interpretation of your data.

In a public example of what can go wrong - the West Australian government had cited incorrect figures for seven years, telling the public up until 2023, that a new rail line service would generate 20,000 daily passenger trips (which was actually the figure for the entire Perth rail service).

ABC network | Human error blamed for confused public messaging about success of Perth Airport

Notitia Director Lisa Byrne says that training your people to use your data is a crucial part of minimising human error in the handling of your data.

“Even when your data quality is spot on, mistakes happen when your people don’t know how to accurately use it,” Lisa says.

“In many cases this comes down to data literacy.

“When people use data, it’s important that they know what to do with it: how it's interpreted and how it should be communicated.”

It doesn’t matter if your business or organisation is small or large, investing in data literacy will ensure that your people are empowered to use data correctly.

Notitia services & expertise

Notitia partners with Qlik to provide end-to-end data analytics, design, development & strategy solutions. See our full list of partners.

Want to know more about how Notitia can help with your data strategy? Book in a 1:1 chat with our team.

We use our combined expertise to provide a solution with tangible outcomes for your business and people.

  • Problem Solving
  • Training
  • Dashboards
  • BI Analytics
  • Solution Architecture & Implementation
  • Data Lake
Data Strategy:
  • Strategy Workshop Sessions
  • Technical Roadmaps to achieve business goals
  • Data Literacy skills
  • Data Quality
  • Data Governance
  • Cyber Security
  • Data Dictionary
  • Training + process implementation in your business
Web & Software Development:
  • Simple, efficient  & understandable solutions across front  + back end application development
  • Modern Cloud Technologies
Design (meet our team here):
  • Beautiful dashboard design (we work through this with you in an iterative process)
  • UI/UX Design + Prototyping
  • Graphic Design
  • Website and Application Design + Development
  • Brand Identity

Notitia's Data Quality Cake recipe