Data literacy has been gaining traction inside the business intelligence (BI) and operations communities for a couple of years. Despite its importance, a Data Literacy Project report found only 24% of the global workforce would describe themselves as “data literate.”
This low number indicates it’s difficult to achieve data literacy. The concept has not been easy for the greater business community to grasp. Let’s look at just what data literacy is, why it’s important for your business, and how you can use BI metadata management tools to improve data literacy in your company.
What is Data Literacy?
Data literacy is the ability of an individual to understand information (data) and then efficiently utilize it. There are four key components to data literacy:
- Comprehension – Data literacy begins with the ability to see data points and glean value from them.
- Understanding – Beyond awareness (comprehension), data literacy depends on understanding what different points in the data supply chain indicate.
- Analysis – Someone who is data-literate should be able to look at two disparate datasets and identify similarities and contrasts.
- Utilization – In order for data literacy to have value in business intelligence, employees should be able to create an argument about the best course of action as indicated by the data.
Without the ability to perform all four of these data actions, employees will be left behind and the team will be less effective.
How Does a Lack of Data Literacy Impact a Business?
This infographic illustrates why data literacy is important and how its absence makes a business less efficient:
You can see the business manager flagged an issue for the data analyst. She needs it resolved before her meeting with the CFO the next day. The data analyst is overloaded and can’t provide a quick answer. The task is forwarded to their BI connection, the business analyst.
The business analyst is also unable to provide a solution within the short timeframe and requests the ETL developer’s assistance. The ETL developer finds the problem but can’t say for sure how to resolve it and consults two more employees: the database administrator and BI operations professional.
Those team members agree on the solution. The process then loops back to the person who needs the solution; the business manager. Six people focused on 1 issue because of the convoluted nature of the system and lack of data literacy.
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BI Operations Suffer from a Lack of Data Literacy
Daily business operations become more complex as problems stack up, which they tend to do in data-rich environments. Even the most basic daily functions add to an ever-growing list of necessary solutions. And it’s not limited to finding and understanding reporting error sources. Each problem process makes the BI operation less efficient.
The only way to solve problems, improve data ops, and increase data literacy is through company-wide consistency. That consistency is difficult to achieve in multitiered data environments.
Automated BI Reporting Tools Present Data Literacy Solutions
The answer – and the best way to increase organizational data literacy – is integrating automated BI metadata management software. This gives data teams complete visibility and control of their data.
Octopai’s BI intelligence suite combines the pillars of good metadata catalog management for uninterrupted data sharing:
Octopai offers one easy-to-use platform that enables data teams to get the full story behind their data. This levels the playing field and allows data literacy to facilitate uninterrupted data comprehension, analysis, and communication.