What is COVID-19 telling us about data?
COVID-19 is putting data and data literacy in the spotlight like never before. It is now a matter of life and death. One thing the UK Government has been keen to reinforce is that their decisions are being driven by data. To do that they need to be surrounded by people who are data literate.
Many businesses are crafting their own response to COVID-19 based on what their data is telling them. They need employees who can understand what the latest data is saying and use it to drive their decision making ...quickly. In short they need to be data literate.
What is Data Literacy?
Gartner defines data literacy as; “The ability to read, write and communicate data in context. Including an understanding of data sources and constructs, analytical methods and techniques applied. And the ability to describe the use-case application and resulting value.”
This definition shows that the people within your business need to become fluent in the language of data.
Responding to the coronavirus is putting data literacy to the test in many businesses. HR people need to quickly analyse which roles can continue from home and who may need to be furloughed.
PR people need to analyse media coverage and social media stats to ensure the business is serving customers and protecting their reputation.
Marketing people are having to reshape campaigns with tighter budgets, based on where and how their customers are engaging with them.
Web designers need to be data literate so they can restructure their websites so customers can access key information easily.
Every change, every decision is based on rapidly changing data.
What you can do to improve data literacy in your business?
When the business world comes out of lockdown there may be a new found respect for data and a focus on improving data literacy. After all, it can’t be an added extra or a nice-to-have...it’s essential. Here are some tips to create a culture of data literacy in your business.
- Live and breath data yourself.
Modelling the behaviour you expect from your colleagues will make a huge difference. It will show that data literacy isn’t an add-on skill or mindset - it’s crucial to the success of your business
- Engage your stakeholders
Everyone from the CEO down needs to understand the importance of data literacy. Leaders set the tone for their teams, so it’s important that they are on-board with embedding a culture of data litaracy.
- Provide training
There are plenty of courses out there, but the Data Literacy Project is solely focused on data. It’s a global community dedicated to creating a data-literate world and offers an online assessment and certification. Qlik also provides free courses through its Data Literacy Program. Ultimately though, you want to create a data literacy training programme that is right for your business. That will require input from HR and data experts.
- Prioritise data literacy in recruitment
Whatever role a person has, data is likely to be part of it. If you’re not asking questions about data at interview stage, or testing their skills before offering a role, you're only adding to the problem.
- Recognise and incentivise
You need people who use data responsibility, so recognise them when they do. That will help create a data literacy culture where data is shown to be valued.
How can Acutus Consulting help?
We are experts in business intelligence and can help you prioritise your data. We'll ensure teams throughout your business are using it correctly so it drives their decision making. Work with us and we will be your business intelligence partner.
Talk to us today
We have years of experience in developing and implementing business intelligence solutions. Data requirements are only going to get greater over time, so talk to us about how we can push data higher up everyone's priorities. Give us a call or email us, we’re always happy to have a chat.