Access and Feeds

Data Literacy: Workers Trained in Data Will Transform Businesses and Industry

By Dick Weisinger

Data literacy is the ability to read, understand, create and communicate data as information,” is the definition given by Wikipedia.  But it is easier said than done.

Jennifer Pahlka, Founder and Executive Director for Code for America, said that “our ability to do great things with data will make a real difference in every aspect of our lives.”

A Qlik survey of 5000 professionals working in Europe found that only 17 percent of them felt as if they were data literate.  The survey found a strong correlation between those users who felt strong in data literacy and those who were also confident that they were performing well at their job.  Conversely, among those people who did not rate themselves high in the area of data literacy, those people said that if their data literacy were higher they would likely be able to perform their job function at a higher level.

A customer summary statement by Amplitude of their customer Square, for example, comments that “everyone at every company should be empowered to use data to make good decisions. With a fast-growing company, it’s important that data is accessible to anyone who needs it, rather than having dependencies on a few people who ‘hold the keys’ to the data.”  While not an endorsement of Amplitude or Square, this statement rings true in general.

Brent Dykes, Director of Data Strategy at Domo, wrote that “most companies recognize data in the hands of a few data experts can be powerful, but data at the fingertips of many is what will be truly transformational.”


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