Staying Ahead of The Data Literacy Curve
For most organizations, the issue isn’t recognizing the importance of data; it’s figuring out where to begin improving data literacy across the organization. The idea of technical education can quickly become as overwhelming as the data itself, but if leadership teams break down the objective into three actionable tasks, it is possible to get workforces up to speed and ahead of the data literacy curve.
Step 1: Use Your Tech Roadmap to Evaluate Staff Skills
A technology roadmap is a governing document that dictates specifically how technology will support the business strategy and help drive businesses priorities over the next 3-5 years. These blueprints can be used to analyze overall strategy, develop timelines, list improvement opportunities, and justify budgets for upcoming projects. In other words, they represent an essential planning tool for identifying the future needs of your business. To that end, we recommend using them to assess the current data literacy levels of your organization’s staff to determine where skills must be strengthened to drive the progress and efficacy of all digital transformation efforts. With a better understanding of the skills you have versus the skills you need, tech road-mapping will open up a larger conversation amongst leadership on the need for data literacy skills across your organization and how to reach the next level of literacy to expand the company’s visibility across all functions.
Step 2: Make Data Literacy an Enterprise-Wide Priority
As one of your most valuable assets, data is a precious resource that the company cannot afford to squander. One cannot develop accurate insights in any aspect of the organization without the ability to understand, interpret and utilize the immense volume of data at their fingertips. Forrester’s latest analytics survey shows that, on average, companies make only 48% of decisions based on quantitative information and analysis. This number hasn’t shifted much over the years, which is likely due to a lack of data literacy skills at all levels of the organization. Whether it’s the HR team using data to design a benefits program that aligns with employee preferences, marketers using data to connect with the right prospect at the right time, or finance using data for predictive business modeling, all departments will eventually require a working knowledge of how to parlay information into strategic decisions.
Step 3: Invest in Data Literacy Training That Cultivates Skills Within the Context of the Business.
It’s no secret, building L&D programs can have a broad and powerful impact on many aspects of the organization.
- Effectively close skills gaps
- Boost morale
- Reduce employee turnover
- Groom future company leaders
- Increases employee loyalty & productivity
- Support innovative thinking
The list goes on. What many organizational leaders don’t realize is that upskilling programs are also a more affordable and effective route to filling talent gaps and meeting an organization’s needs compared to the costs and risks of hiring new talent. From recruiting fees and competitive salary negotiations to slower time-to-productivity and the ever-present risk of turnover, creating opportunities for the employees you already have makes far more business and financial sense.