written by
5000fish Team

What is Data Literacy? (And How To Improve It In Your Business)

BI Problems and Solutions 6 min read
Yurbi - Self-Service Business Intelligence Software

According to the Harvard Business Review, 90 percent of business leaders say that data literacy is critical to a company’s success. However, just 25 percent of workers say they’re confident in their data skills.

How data literate do you think you and your team are? Based on the data from above, even if you feel fairly confident in your skills, there’s almost certainly room for improvement.

In this guide, you’ll learn more about data literacy and why it matters, especially to small and medium-sized businesses. You’ll also find a series of steps you can take to improve data literacy throughout your entire company.

What Is Data Literacy?

Data literacy involves possessing the skills needed to use data effectively. The following are some examples of data skills a data-literate person has:

  • Creating spreadsheets and databases
  • Understand and filter reports using web analytics tools
  • Read business intelligence dashboards
  • Choosing the right chart type for data visualizations
  • Know how to spot misleading graphs, cherry-picked data, etc.
  • Build data-driven reports to assist decision-makers
  • Communicate data with compelling storytelling

Do you and your team possess all of these skills? If not, there’s a good chance you need to focus on upskilling.

Why Does Data Literacy Matter?

A data-literate team is a force to be reckoned with. The following are some specific reasons to prioritize data literacy across all teams and employees at your organization:

  • Data literacy ensures employees are asking the right questions.
  • Data literacy helps team members collect the most relevant data.
  • Data literacy allows employees to analyze data, make meaningful connections, and gather relevant, actionable business insights.
  • Data literacy ensures employees consistently manage and use data in ethical and compliant ways.

Once upon a time, data literacy seemed like something only those in the tech industry needed to worry about. In reality, though, employees across all departments, from marketing to human resources, can benefit from knowing how to read, analyze, and interpret data.

How to Improve Data Literacy at Your Business

You’re convinced that data literacy matters, but you might also be unsure of how to start improving it at your business. Here are some tips that will help you provide appropriate and effective data literacy training and set your team up for success:

Get Buy-in from Key Decision-Makers

If you’re going to invest in company-wide data literacy training (or even training across multiple teams), you’ll likely need to get buy-in from other leaders and executives.

Make sure all decision-makers understand what data literacy is, why it matters, and how failing to prioritize it will affect the company long-term. Use the information shared above during your presentation to drive home the importance of data literacy and get everyone on board.

Establish a Baseline and Identify Gaps

Start by assessing your employees’ current level of data literacy. Conducting assessments will help you identify knowledge gaps and better tailor your training to team members’ specific needs.

You can choose from a variety of online assessments (many of which are free) that will help you evaluate your team and make informed decisions about how to proceed with your data literacy training.

You may also want to conduct these assessments before you talk to decision-makers about data literacy training. If they have data displaying where your employees currently stand and the areas in which they need to improve, they might be more inclined to agree to in-depth training.

Set Specific and Measurable Goals

Once everyone has completed their assessments and you’ve gathered data regarding their current data literacy levels, it’s time to set specific and measurable goals that will help you track progress throughout the training process.

What areas do your employees need to improve in the most? Reading and interpreting data? Spotting questionable data?

Identify the most important skills you want your team to develop, then work together to create goals that are relevant to their department, their day-to-day responsibilities, etc. For example, you might set a goal around the sales team using a specific tool to create charts showcasing the results of their lead-generation efforts.

Choose the Right Business Intelligence Solution for Data Literacy

Speaking of business intelligence tools, if you want your team to be more data literate, you need to give them the right business intelligence solution. The best tool will streamline the process of developing data literacy skills and allow employees to do their jobs more efficiently.

Look for a solution that offers the following:

  • Data visualization features, which help to deliver actionable metrics and valuable insights that all team members can understand
  • Live dashboards, which enable team members to view real-time data whenever they need, respond to information from other employees right away, and make data-driven decisions.
  • Integrated data sources, which help with performance tracking and allow you to monitor how well your business is progressing toward its goals.

Make Data Easily Accessible

If you want your team to be data literate, they need to have easy access to your business’s data.

Increased access -- also known as data democratization -- ensures employees can see and work with the data that’s most relevant to their position, from sales metrics to the results of the most recent A/B marketing tests.

Dashboards are especially helpful when it comes to increasing data literacy because they provide employees with all the information they need in one centralized location.

Offer a Variety of Training Tools

Remember that everybody learns differently.

Some of your employees may learn better by doing and will thrive when they can experiment with data visualization and business intelligence tools. Others may prefer to watch instructional videos and follow along as an expert explains how to use various features.

If possible, offer a variety of training options so everyone can learn in a way that works best for them.

Gather Feedback and Make Adjustments as Needed

Finally, one of the most important parts of any type of training -- including data literacy training -- is feedback. Listen to your employees and their insights regarding the training process.

If they like something, you’ll know to continue offering it in the future. If they don’t like something, use that information to improve your training sessions and make them more impactful.

How Yurbi Can Help

In an environment where data is king, understanding how to properly analyze and utilize this data can open doors to vast opportunities. It is not just an option anymore, but an essential skill for your team. Having the right tools, like Yurbi, can make all the difference in this journey.

Yurbi not only simplifies data comprehension but also empowers users by providing features like self-service reports and dashboards, scheduled report delivery, and a library of more than 23 chart types to effectively visualize your data. Combined with an effective security model and no per-user fees, it ensures that the entire team, big or small, can be involved in data-driven decision-making.

In addition, Yurbi's codeless report building allows users of all skill levels to dive into data analytics, fostering data literacy across your organization. And for those who prefer or require more advanced data manipulation, Yurbi also offers a powerful API and advanced SQL functionality.

Even with all these features, setting up and managing Yurbi is a breeze. With Yurbi's "white glove" onboarding process, our team works closely with you to get you up and running quickly and efficiently.

Not to mention, Yurbi can do all of these and more without ripping your wallets open. Our competitive yet affordable pricing points are perfect for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

So, are you ready to navigate the vast landscape of data and empower your team with data literacy? Schedule a meeting with us so we can discuss what Yurbi can bring to the table or better yet, avail of our free live demo sessions to see Yurbi in action. Either way, we can’t wait to talk to you soon.

data literacy Business Intelligence