The world is driven by data. Yet most of us are taught next to nothing about data during our formal education. Although people know how to add and subtract, most aren't really trained in statistics or how to think about data critically. In this video, learn about how to get started thinking about data literacy and what that might mean for your career and your organization's success.
(slow techno music) - The topic of data literacy is all the rage these days. Great, but what is it, and why is it so important? First a definition. Data literacy is the ability to read, work with, analyze, and argue with data. Pretty straight forward right? It's essentially the ability to make sense of data, to store access and view data, to discover insights in data, to support ideas based on data. On the surface, this sounds like something most people in a business environment do, right. But it turns out it's just not the case. They do it but they aren't necessarily that great at it. In fact, a survey by Qlik, found that only 24% of business decision makers, consider themselves data literate. 24%, can you believe that? Maybe they're being overly self critical, or maybe they're overestimating their abilities, who knows. From my experience, many people don't really know how to access data in organizations. And many certainly don't know how to do data analysis beyond the most basic of functions. So yeah, on second thought, that number feels about right, and it reveals a major problem. We live in a data driven world. Peter Drucker famously said, "You can't manage "what you don't measure." So how can organizations thrive if only 24% of leadership is data literate? It can't. That's why this is such a hot topic. One more note on that front, Qlik also created the Data Literacy Index, which scores companies on the extent to which firms have the necessary data and the capabilities to use data for decision making. Don't forget, that's why we work with data in this context, to learn things about our organizations, and make decisions based on that information. Qlik found that businesses with high data literacy exhibit up to five percent higher enterprise value, and advantage of up to $500 million per company. So data literacy is big business. It's tangible, it's directly correlated with real success. So, what can you do to improve your company's data literacy? First of all you need to change your mindset. The first and most important shift to occur, for a data literate person, is to think differently about data. You have to internalize how important data is to your success. Decisions should be made from empirical evidence, and not by gut intuition. Second, you need to improve your data analytics skill set. Learn at least some basic data analytics and statistical concepts. You don't need a PhD, you just need to understand simple techniques and tools, some basics things like sample size and quality, when to use mean versus median, biases, and assumptions to be careful about, and similar concepts. This isn't months or years of training. This is like data 101 type stuff, which is a perfect segue to talk about our guest for this lesson, Ben Jones. Ben started a company called, wait for it, Data Literacy. He offers online training courses on the subject and you'll be very interested to hear everything he has to say. So make sure you tune in, coming up next.