The digital enterprise thrives when the workforce speaks “data.” The success of digital transformation, data and analytics projects, and data-driven solutions depends on a new kind of literacy – data literacy. In fact, data literacy is a key trigger for innovation.
Data literacy is gained by learning information as the new second language of business.
Users of modern data integration tools speak “data” fluently, but outside of their cult circles, there isn’t a strong understanding of how data context, sources, models, analytical methods or techniques are connected to business outcomes. This lack of fluency within an organization limits effectiveness of enterprise-wide projects and prevents maximizing value from data and analytics initiatives.
According to Gartner, Inc., “the second most significant roadblock to success with data and analytics is poor data literacy.”
Literacy is transformational. Literacy changes the way we interact with the world around us and empowers our well-being. And society benefits as well. In fact, if global illiteracy were eradicated, the world’s economy would see a $1.19 trillion boost. The impact of eradicating data illiteracy will be just as transformational.
“I am a part of everything that I have read.” – Theodore Roosevelt.
Just as literacy affects individual, economic, and societal development, workers who speak “data” also have far-reaching impact. They have more opportunities to succeed. And organizations with a data literate workforce make digital transformation and adoption of analytics and business intelligence initiatives easier.
The Base Vocabulary
The vocabulary of Information as a Second Language (ISL) is based on three core elements: Value, Information, and Analytics.
Value – What is the business outcome?
Information – What are the data elements involved?
Analytics – What are the techniques involved?
Three Keys to Successful ISL:
1. Start with the End in Mind
Create a compelling reason for why data literacy is worth the investment and what the outcome will be. The value proposition you create will be similar to that of digital transformation.
Think beyond the users and consumers of data. The impact is more far-reaching. Business leaders whose function is not data-driven may discover opportunities for improvement by creating and using meaningful data.
2. No Person Left Behind
Get maximum value by including all decision makers within the organization. Make data literacy personal by showing a clear connection between outcome, decisions, and data.
Leaders responsible for making ISL training and development a priority who feel a personal need for better data-centered decision making will offer their support more readily.
3. Resource Alignment
Determine what resources you need to get started. This is important because there isn’t a one-size-fits-all ISL educational framework.
Although there are tools available for initial assessments and online courses, plan to tailor materials to your own needs based on organizational culture and the tools and processes you use. By aligning resources early-on, you ensure better adoption and more relevant curriculum.