Only 24 percent of the 11,000 business leaders and their full-time workers surveyed by Qlik, A US-based data firm, said they feel competent when handling data. Meanwhile, a recent U.S. Data Literacy Survey revealed that only 33 percent of the employees who participated were confident about their data literacy skills.

Data literacy is a crucial skill for any business looking to compete in today’s data-driven world. If your company is looking to enhance your security, increase efficiency, and prepare for the future, you’ll want to make sure you have the tools and strategies needed to ensure your employees are data literate.

Benefits of Data Literacy

It’s clear that many companies are missing out on the various benefits of data literacy. Research from the US Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT) found that employees are responsible for 40 percent of all security breaches. When your employees possess data literacy, they will know how to handle data appropriately. When your professionals understand the importance of your business data, you’re indirectly fortifying your security. With this new knowledge, there will be fewer chances of data breaches and security risks.

Businesses can’t develop a streamlined system if only a few employees can comprehend what your data means. When your Tech talent has a better understanding of your business data, you will likely notice a shift in your company’s efficiency. Employees will be less likely to rely on Data Scientists to explain general data insights. The more your professionals know about the information they’re using is directly connected to how autonomous and efficient they can work.

How to Reach Data Literacy

Now is the time to develop and implement practical strategies that help both your Tech and non-tech talent achieve data literacy. Here are four steps your business can take to help your employees reach data literacy:

  • Make Data a Business Issue. First and foremost, you must convey how essential data literacy is for all employees including those in non-tech positions. The lack of data literacy must become a business issue, not just a technical one. When your company frames this lack of knowledge as an enterprise problem you are more likely to drive employee engagement. It will be up to your leaders to stress how vital data literacy is. Your execs need to help their teams create information-driven mindsets by explaining why your data matters, how the data being used, and why it's crucial to the business.
  • Start Small. As important as data literacy is, it's also important to recognize this won’t be a process your business completes overnight. Start small; slowly build your non-tech data team. Employees are more likely to get excited about achieving data literacy once they see a coworker has done so and it has resulted in their ability to provide elevated results and data-driven insights. There’s no need to rush; remember, your confidential data needs to be handled by those who have learned the best handling practices so it remains accurate and reliable.
  • Contextualize Data. Merely giving employees, especially those not in the Tech sector, access to massive stores of data is not an option if you want to retain data integrity. Instead, take into account every employees' perspective, background, and position when evaluating how to help them reach data literacy. Contextualizing your data will help a larger number of your professionals to understand it and effectively put that knowledge towards the responsibilities of their specific role.
  • Expand Employee Access to Data. Data literacy isn't a skill that can be taught once and then mastered. As your data-reliant departments gain a better understanding, consider giving these teams expanded access to data to help them uncover insights of their own. These professionals need continual information to get the chance to try out various processes, strategies, and make mistakes to readjust their own understanding of this vital information. However, direct access to sensitive data should be left with your data management, IT, or analytics department, to retain the integrity of your confidential data and guarantee it won't be mishandled or corrupted.

It’s clear companies today need to elevate data literacy throughout their organizations. If your business is looking to expand your data management team, contact Mondo today. The Data Scientists, Business Analysts, and Data Architects in our network have the experience and knowledge to help assist your business in obtaining and improving your data literacy, while also elevating the actionable insights found through enhanced big data analysis.