Data literacy is reading, working with, analyzing, and communicating with data. When you consider the undeniable fact that data drives modern business, data literacy suddenly becomes a lot more important. However, despite how commonly data is used the vast majority of business owners and people are sadly data illiterate.
If you are involved in business or are an entrepreneur and want to boost your data literacy, this post has you covered. In it, you will find the most useful information that you can about data literacy and how you can improve your skills in it.
Did you know that you don’t have to become data literate unless you really want to? You can actually hire consultants to help improve data literacy or manage your organization’s data for you. Such consultants will be able to work with you to improve your company’s overall data management and handling and can educate you on the tenets and principles of data literacy. When hiring a consultant you first need to be able to justify doing so as they can be expensive. Make sure there are real, tangible benefits to hiring a consultant for your company.
When searching for a consultant, you need to read your chosen one’s reviews. A consultant’s reviews can tell you everything you need to know about them and help you to make a decision. Bear in mind that some consultancy firms do not have any reviews and this is in fact a good thing. An absence of reviews does not suggest a consultancy firm is not worth hiring but instead that their customers have nothing negative to say about them. An absence of reviews can be a good thing, as consumers seldom leave negative reviews unless they have something negative to say.
Data literacy is just deriving meaning from data, much like literacy is deriving meaning from words. The meanings that are drawn from data can have a very serious impact on people’s lives and the way that scientific or marketing data is interpreted, however. Because of how negatively poorly interpreted data can impact people’s lives. For example, if you are trying to compile and interpret customer data, doing so wrongly could lead to you misunderstanding what you are reading and making bad decisions which could negatively impact your customer’s lives, ie, releasing products they are not interested in or discontinuing ones that they find useful.
Again, if you are having trouble understanding or interpreting data then you can always hire a professional consultant to help you. A consultant’s support will help you to get more meaning out of your company’s data. The only downside to consultants is that they are not cheap to work with. If your business is new and you don’t have a lot of money to commit to data literacy, try to find the most affordable one you can or arrange a payment plan and pay your consultancy fees over time, month by month.
Data literacy is very important. It’s not something only you should have; the rest of your employees should be data-literate too. If they are not then they will not be able to understand the data that you are feeding them. Assessing your employees and finding out how proficient they are at handling, understanding, and interpreting data will benefit your company. If you discover some employees are not data literate then rather than punishing them, send them for training. Sending employees to be trained will improve their data literacy and abilities as employees, helping their careers and futures.
Now you know the importance of data literacy though, it is important that moving forwards you try to find employees who are proficient and good at handling data. If you are not an expert at sourcing new employees (which sadly, many business owners are not) then you can employ a recruitment firm. Recruitment firms are able to use their expertise and knowledge in finding qualified employees to find ones who’re right for the organizations that hire them. Make sure the one that you hire has good reviews and charges affordable rates for their services, so you get more for your money.
In the previous section, reference was made to the fact that if you assess employees and find out that many of them are not data-literate then you should send them for training. Small companies usually send employees to external agencies to be trained. If your organization isn’t small (and is in fact growing) then a better option for you would be to create your own internal training program. An internal program will save you a huge amount of money and stop you from having to outsource future training efforts. Such an initiative will also save you a lot of time.
One good thing about hiring a data consultancy firm to bring your company up to speed with data literacy is that you can actually use them to help create a training program for your company. Some data literacy firms are even happy to hold workshops and training programs while they are working for you, teaching employees the correct ways of handling, reading, and interpreting data. If you are trying to grow your company then it is a very good idea to do this all internally, as internal training is something that all of the world’s largest businesses have.
One last thing that you need to do if you want your firm’s data literacy programs to be successful is to measure their success. Actively make an effort to measure and track the progress of your company’s data literacy efforts. Doing this will help you to make more of an impact on your company’s employees. When you maintain and monitor programs you can implement better changes and improve them for everybody. Measuring success is something you definitely need to do and is not something you should overlook as somebody who’s trying to improve company data literacy.
Running a business is not easy. One of the most challenging parts is improving data literacy, companywide. If you are trying to do this then take this post’s guidance and things will begin running a lot more smoothly.
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