A drive towards Data Literacy

Data Literacy

Data Literacy…a term that is growing in acceptance through the data & information community and also becoming accepted as a core competency in the arena of enabling Digital Transformation.

Don’t take my word for it!

From Pranshant Pansare on LinkedIn – Make Data Literacy a Top Priority of Your Organization to Stay Alive

From Gartner’s Valerie Logan – Fostering Data Literacy and Information as a Second Language

From Qlik – The Campaign for Data Literacy

From Forbes – Data Literacy – – What it is and why none of it have it

Data literacy is the ability to understand and build knowledge from data and to communicate that meaning to others. Unpicking that, data literacy is the ability to take data, create information (humanly consumable data of relevance to the subject which provides the answer to a question or resolves uncertainty) and share that knowledge in a way that everyone understands to enable a decision to be made, based on evidence from the source data.

I like to suggest that an outcome of Data Literacy is an increase in Decision Intelligence; “I now have the evidence to support an action, so I have confidence that it is the right decision.”

So how do we go about developing Data Literacy so that we can benefit from this new competency? Gartner, through Valerie Logan’s work, have introduced the concept of “Information as a Second Language“, where information is treated as the new second language of business, government, communities and our lives. Valerie has a webinar on the topic available here and a ThinkCast here.

The process for developing Data Literacy relies on first constructing a base vocabulary for the organisations. From that, specific dialects can be created for areas of specialism. Only then can you start to increase the level of use and competence through the business so that the impact on conversations about business improvement can become data-driven through data-literacy.

Data Literacy enabled by Information as a Second Language

Developing Data Literacy

Documenting the information flow through your business is an effective way of building your base vocabulary. The process of modelling enables you to challenge and modify your assumptions about how your business works so that you document, in a simple and structured way, how your information assets enable your business outcomes. As a modern approach to an information catalogue, this process provides Aha! moments through the construction phase as teams begin to understand the voabulary needed to enable knowledge. The end result is you are considering your information as an asset, you have a narrative to be able to talk about that asset in a consistent way (your vocabulary) and you are now set to mobilise your business with this new intelligence.

What you do next is all about your response to the Digital Economy and the challenges that is presenting us all in terms of meeting our customers expectations. Your new information asset has a significant role to play in helping you streamline what you already do, but more importantly, helping you discover what you can do that’s new – the monetisation of your information, which is of course “infonomics” in practise.

If you’re keen to understand more about your current level of literacy and the steps you can take to improve it, get inspired with our Information Maturity Assessment, and drop me a line. I’d love to help.

If you’re ready to build your information vocabulary and take your step to increased data literacy, you can try LINQ out today.