Data Literacy: A Future of Hope

September 18th, 2018

Organizations around the world are looking to capitalize on what has been shown to be an immensely valuable, and at this point, seemingly endless asset: data. Enterprises are investing in many data initiatives, sometimes at great expense. These enterprises, of course, want these data and business intelligence initiatives to succeed, and one essential element to see them succeed is data literacy.

Data literacy is the ability to read, work with, analyze, and argue with data, and when one possesses strong data literacy, they can support and drive the success of these initiatives. Qlik is on a mission to help everyone become data literate, and so we took it upon ourselves to understand the global layout of data literacy, and to truly illustrate the large skills gap that exists, in a brand new report: “How to drive Data Literacy within the Enterprise”. In this post, I will explore the story behind the survey results we obtained, and show you why I think it’s ultimately a story of hope, not gloom. In Qlik’s global report, it shows that only about 1 in 4 decision makers felt comfortable in saying they are data literate. This opens our minds to the reality that most decision makers do not feel data literate -3 out of 4 - and to the opportunity for organizations to embrace a new data literacy initiative to ensure success with their data assets. From the chief-level of an organization, the report shows the numbers are not much better: 1 out of 3 in the chief-level of an organization felt comfortable saying they are data literate, in other words, 2 out of 3 were not data literate. This is very interesting insight into the state of data literacy across the globe, especially when we think these are decision makers. But, does data literacy help individuals to perform better in their roles? Our findings show very interesting insight into the credibility and performance of the data literate.

About 85% of those who are data literate said they were performing well in their jobs, compared to just 54% of those saying they were not data literate. Let’s shed more light on this: since the majority of people said they are not data literate, we can see a very large gap in the number individuals who felt they were performing well in their roles. Not only do 85% of the data literate feel they are performing well in their roles, a larger percentage, 94%, of those who utilize data in their roles not only agree that using data not only helps them perform their jobs better, 82% felt it gave them more credibility in the workplace. Here are some of the great positives and areas of opportunity we can take from the report. I can only imagine that all organizations, across the world, want their employees to feel that they are performing well in their roles. So, not only will organizations reap higher rewards from their data investments, employees will feel better about their job performance itself, and the good news? Nearly 78% of those surveyed said they would be willing to invest more time and energy to improve their data skillset.

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