DATA LITERACY: the key to unlocking a data-driven organization

In a digital world of exponential technological advancements, the ability to understand and communicate a common language of data is a vital skill for organizations today. Data literacy has therefore become a key element for organizations and is the ability to read, analyze, use and communicate data. Despite this, on average, companies only make 48% of their decisions based on quantitative information and analysis – a number that hasn’t budged much in the past two years due to a lack of skills at all levels, and therefore hinders their transformation into a knowledge-based organization.

A data-savvy organization is key to minimizing new risks from data mismanagement. There are many recent examples of large organizations being fined tens of millions by regulators due to a lack of data literacy. In this increasingly digital and regulated financial landscape, the demand for data literacy will not wane, it will continue to grow. It’s time for organizations to ensure they have the tools to unlock their value.

The Meaning and Importance of Data Literacy

Data literacy is the ability to read, analyze, use and communicate data. Data literacy can be broken down into two key dimensions, first as an organization and through its employees. These dimensions complement each other and allow companies to ask the right questions, gain insights, make effective decisions and, most importantly, cultivate data capacity in people.

Being a data-savvy organization is key to driving innovation, growth and profit today. A data-savvy organization is also key to minimizing new risks that can arise from incorrect data processing. In today’s digital world, customers expect personalized, easy-to-use, real-time services that require a more customer-, technology-, and data-centric service approach. A data-savvy organization is fundamental to minimizing new risks from data mismanagement in order to contain the costs resulting from the changing technological landscape and develop new data-driven avenues for business.

However, companies are struggling to become knowledge-based organizations. International Data Corporation, a global market intelligence provider, predicts a tenfold increase in global data by 2025.2 It is predicted that by the end of 2025, 59 zettabytes of data will have been produced worldwide.3 Organizations will naturally produce a vast amount of data, for which data-savvy employees will need to contribute more to their roles and help companies gain competitive advantage. Ninety-four percent of people using data in their current role agree that data helps them do their job better and also believe that better data literacy would give them more credibility (82%) in the workplace. work.4 Mastering data is therefore crucial because not only can it transform an organization but also retain a workforce, empowered by investing in its professional development.

How to Understand the Current State of Your Organization’s Data Literacy

We’ve studied many high-performing companies that are data savvy. We believe the best have matched their learning and development to the diversity of their workforce. However, we believe that no organization has yet achieved a “data literacy utopia” at Stage 3: Data Fluency – where any organization can disrupt learning platforms and improve data literacy towards the future. outside, which could have a positive impact on socio-economic change. We’ve outlined the journey to fluency by climbing the data literacy ladder, but watch out for the pitfalls!

STEP 1: PROFILE Understand the current state of your organization and answer the following questions:

  • What is our baseline and what skills do we have?
  • Are we the champions of data and success?
  • Where are our experienced users?
  • Are citizen data scientists realistic in our organization?
  • What are our interactions?
  • Do we have the right career paths in our organization to attract the right talent?
  • Where is our talent?
  • How many of our decisions are based on data?

STEP 2: Accelerate and strengthen data literacy across your organization

Now that you have strong data literacy initiatives built into your services and working effectively, then you should think about:

  • Monitoring and data point collection: Continuously track current data literacy and improvements with well-established KPIs
  • Consolidate partnerships with institutions to provide best-in-class thinking
  • Continually evaluate new technologies and techniques to train people
  • Develop omnichannel training programs: gamify, peer to peer and competitions to respond to different learning, cultural and neuro diversities.

STEP 3: Data flow

Your data literacy initiatives have become world-class and have disrupted established learning platforms and institutions. Here are some things to consider when mastering data as an organization:

  • “Data translators” will not be needed as people become more literate and organizational data is now democratized.
  • You can monetize your training capabilities as a service and platform
  • Engage through social learning platforms that include competitions and sandbox environments where people compete socially to create the best new trading algorithms and machine learning models to help generate new trading opportunities. income to improve your business


The ability to understand and communicate a common data language is a critical skill for organizations. Data literacy has become key for organizations – and should not be seen as the mandate of a single team, but the responsibility of an organization of data-savvy people. A data-literate organization is key to minimizing new risks from improper data processing, containing costs from the changing technology landscape, and developing new data-driven avenues for business. We believe that the best organizations have matched their learning and development to the diversity of their workforce. Achieving sustainable data literacy in your organization is not just about having top-notch learning and development initiatives. It is imperative to identify risks early and mitigate them, and above all to use culture as a mechanism to hold them in place.

By- Zaheer Khaled, Principal Consultant at Capco, and Chris Probert, Partner UK Data Practice Lead at Capco

About Shirley L. Kreger

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