Data Literacy Versus Data Dexterity

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Photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash

By Eric Wise

The following post contains an excerpt from our enterprise ebook How to Become a Data-Driven Organization. Download your free copy.

Global research and advisory firm Gartner defines data literacy as “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 resulting value.”

The Gartner definition breaks down data literacy into context and value perspectives. In a mature data and analytics organization, it is essential that all business units are data literate and can effectively collaborate with data professionals. These business units can best understand the challenges they are facing, where the most significant opportunities for efficiency and ROI exist, and how to detect bias, explain outliers, and otherwise assist with the interpretation of information.

Without data literacy, members of business units are not able to adequately describe their data needs and participate in experiments that are necessary components of innovation. However, for a forward-thinking organization, this goes beyond data literacy because it is merely a component of digital dexterity.

Today, digital dexterity means an employee has the ability and desire to use existing and emerging technology to drive better business outcomes. Your organization’s digital dexterity is a key indicator of agility and the ability to prosper in the digital economy.

The digital component of most jobs is increasing, and many roles are shifting into hybrid technology roles that require some level of data analytics, coding, application integration, and other skills to exploit new and emerging technology and business processes.

A critical component of long-term success is the workforce’s ability to adapt its skills and knowledge to evolving business needs. Getting there is a mixture of seeking out employees who demonstrate a combination of technical acumen and open mindsets and then enabling a culture that celebrates and supports dexterity across business units.

Download How to Become a Data-Driven Organization.

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