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Data Literacy: why is it important for a company?

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Data Literacy: why is it important for a company?

Data literacy is a hot topic in today's society. Indeed, companies recognize a lack of awareness of the capabilities and importance of data within their teams. Data Literacy, which is the responsibility of the Chief Data Officer, must acculturate employees to data, and initiate the company's transformation towards a data-centric orientation.

According to a study by Forrester Research, 50% of business decisions are made without taking data into account. An alarming score, given the importance of data in the competitive landscape.

So before moving towards a data-centric company, employees need to be data literate. Find out in this article how data literacy works and how to implement it so that it brings many benefits to your company.

What is Data Literacy?

According to Gartner and MIT, data literacy is the ability to explore, understand, communicate and develop critical thinking skills to interpret and use data.

Literacy is the ability to “read and write to enrich one’s knowledge”, and data literacy is the ability to use data to derive knowledge, either individually or as part of a team. Data literacy is therefore an extremely important aspect of data science.

Consequently, an employee with a good level of data literacy is able to :

  • Understand what data is and how important it is to their business
  • Understand the impact of poor-quality data
  • Perform data analysis
  • Exploit data to find new ideas for strategies, products or services to implement
  • Understand data dashboards and visualizations
  • Understand the usefulness of data for personal or team work

What are the challenges of data literacy?

The increasing quantities and variety of data make it essential to be able to research and draw conclusions by critiquing and analyzing data. As companies become increasingly data-driven, poor-quality data literacy will become a real disadvantage for their growth.

Data is now an asset, but while it is widespread in the working world, a lack of management standards, a lack of awareness of data monetization possibilities and the inexperience of some employees can prevent data and analytics managers from increasing the value of this data.

In a study by Accenture entitled “The Human Impact of Data Literacy”, it was noted that 75% of employees do not handle data with ease. And that almost a third of employees surveyed have taken a sick day due to headaches caused by working with data.

In another study, Harvard Business Review estimated in 2017 that a task performed on biased data cost 100 times more than a task performed on fair, verified data.

Data enables organizations to improve their business by increasing accuracy, efficiency and employee capability. It is therefore essential to analyze data and then analyze it, so that a company can gain a competitive edge.

How do you implement a Data Literacy policy in your company?

Implementing data literacy within an organization is a long-term process that will require support for trained teams to accompany them in this project and help them to accept and appreciate the benefits of data.

We consider that there are two main stages to the successful implementation of data literacy:

  • The first step is to set up a data road map, which will enable us to prioritize the areas where data acculturation is most important.
  • Once the sensitive areas have been identified, HR, the CDO and the Management Committee need to raise awareness of data and the challenges it represents.
  • To do this, teams need to be assessed. This assessment, which can take the form of a questionnaire, enables the level of knowledge of each team to be weighted, and will indicate the gap between the skills acquired and those expected by management.
  • Then comes the second stage, the need for training, which may be necessary for teams who will be in daily contact with data. After this training, the teams will be able to take on more responsibilities and be more efficient in their tasks.
  • Communication around data governance is also an important issue for companies. Recognizing a trusted source, knowing how to process data correctly and how to return it.

For this reason, DataScientest has included a track dedicated to data literacy in its data manager training program, to provide your teams with the best possible training. This module will enable them to master the history of data and its evolutionary prospects, to become familiar with the various techniques linked to the world of Data, and to become aware of the regulations in force.

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