In its simplest form, literacy is defined as the ability to read and write. Switch that up to data literacy and it becomes a skill set that is a must have in today’s organizational existence. The most basic literal definition we can give to data literacy is simply more gains with fewer pains.

According to Gartner, data literacy is the ability to read, write and communicate data in context, including an understanding of data sources and constructs, analytical methods and techniques applied and the ability to describe the use, case, application and resting value.

Simply put, it means that business users need to understand what data is available to them, how it can exhaustively be used, and ultimately, to what limits it can be used.

Josh Bersin, founder of Bersin by Deloitte noted in a Harvard Business Review post that:

“Data literacy has become important for everyone. Companies today need more people with the ability to interpret data, draw insights and ask the right questions in the first place.”

The sad part is that very few people working in organizations are data literate. According to studies, approximately 25% of workers in organizations feel that they use data effectively in their workspaces. Even less at 21% is the number of workers who feel confident in their data literacy skills.

One reason why it is important to be data literate is because data literacy gives you a competitive edge. It enables you as an individual or as an organization to make evidence-based decisions that will propel you to remain not just competitive, but also fast paced in today’s ultra-connected world.

Data literacy will also help you to understand your customers/clientele in ways that will impact how you continue to do business. It will help you to learn things such as customer pain points and buying patterns. Learning such things help you make viable and potent customer friendly decisions for your business entity. Choose to be data literate today!

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