When you want to encourage something, guaranteeing access is one of the essential first steps. This is certainly the case when it comes to encouraging data literacy in your organization.
In the past, many enterprises took the opposite approach. They wanted to restrict access to data as much as possible, only allowing certain, qualified individuals to have involvement with it. The thinking was allowing too many people to access data could lead to security issues, as well as raise problems with reporting accuracy. A few things have changed over the past few years, which have turned these prior assumptions on their heads.
The concept of data democratization has taken a major hold over the corporate world. This is a more formal way of expressing the idea that more individuals within an organization should have access to business intelligence tools. These are some of the reasons for this paradigm shift:
- Data democratization allows for insights to come from anywhere within an organization, at any time. This makes it so employees can run ad hoc analyses when they see a need, which opens up enterprises to a whole new world of realized efficiencies.
- It takes far less time to arrive at actionable insights when more people are able to use BI tools. Previously, every request would have been required to pass through an analytics expert, requiring days, if not weeks, for the requester to get an answer. This process can now be done almost instantly for lower-level data problems.
- Artificial intelligence-driven BI platforms have opened up a whole new world of data discovery, as they don’t require nearly the background or expertise for effective use.
Giving employees access to BI tools that empower them to use data is one of the most important aspects of encouraging data literacy within your organization. But access is just the first step to truly benefiting from operating in this way.
Foster a Data-Centric Culture
It’s one thing to put the right tools into the hands of your employees. It’s another thing to foster a data-centric culture, which is enmeshed into the DNA of an organization.
Enterprises today should consider the long-term benefits of developing a corporate decision-making culture that revolves around data. When actions are based on fact, they’re simply going to have a greater likelihood of success. It’s wise for executives to make it a policy that data needs to be present in justifying most decisions, but certainly major ones. Incorporating visualizations and other data into employees’ daily workflows can further encourage this. The enhanced data literacy that will come from mandating use will lead to additional positive effects.
For instance, as people start to gain a better understanding of how to use BI tools, they’ll be more likely to turn to them for answers. This creates a sort of flywheel effect, where data literacy leads to more use, and more use leads to even greater literacy. Organizations that can harness this will be better able to leverage the full power of analytics.
Make Sure Employees Understand How to Use Data Tools
Of course, it’s important to not get too far ahead of yourself when putting all these ideas into action. Things will get messy fast if you give employees all these new ideas and responsibilities without adequate training and guidance.
Take the time to provide relevant workers training on the tools they’ll be expected to use when performing their jobs. This will help them feel confident while also lowering the chances of mistakes. You should also set up a program that offers workers the option to keep improving their skills in this realm. It can help to show this will make their jobs easier, and also teach them a marketable skill.
Data literacy is growing in importance, especially as data continues to be an essential piece of enterprise decision-making. Consider how your organization can encourage data literacy.