Organizations have begun to realize the importance of data since the launch of COVID-19 and are now beginning to look at how they can make the most of the data available. Organizations need to ask the question, “Do our employees have the skillset to extract meaningful insights from data and turn them into actions?” This is a common answer.
Organizations collect more data than ever before, including claims, performance measures, and every call, email, or interaction. All this data can be used to improve service delivery, program design, and operations, or workforce planning/talent acquisition.
In the past, only large organizations could create a data lake to make use of it. However, all organizations now have the chance to do so through cloud-based options. All organizations will benefit from the small to moderate investment.
Data-driven organizations are known to hire data-literate employees. However, silos can occur when these data-literate workers are confined to reporting and IT areas. These data-literate employees are essential as organizations become increasingly interdependent. Poor, non-evidence-based decisions can be made when this is not possible.
Every organization can read, work with, analyze, and then argue with data to be competitive in each industry.
It was once the responsibility of schools, but now it is the responsibility of employers to provide opportunities for skills development. For example, by providing data literacy software employers can upgrade the skills of employees. Every employee in an organization should have data literacy as a priority, not just those who are experts. Employers should accept this responsibility as they can reap the benefits.
Over the past decade, data skills have evolved. Previously, organizations required skills in data manipulation, extraction, and SQL. These functions are now embedded in many data platforms and technologies. Skills have evolved to require people who not only understand the systems but also how they work and data security and governance.
It seems that there is a common theme about skillsets lacking in the organization for data-driven decision-making and problem-solving.
- Understanding the relevance of data
- How to ask the right questions and what they are
- Ability to interpret data
- Being able to visualize in a way that makes sense
- Use a story to motivate decision-makers to take action
While we will always require more technical data skills, soft skills are essential to understanding data and making decisions.
These skills are essential for all roles within an organization. However, because of the lack of these skills in many organizations, it can be difficult to know where to begin in improving your data skills. I advise organizations to start with the basics. Make sure everyone speaks the same language across the organization and knows how to use basic tools.
Particularly advanced job-related skills are more likely to be used in an aligned program if the skills required by your workforce are carefully chosen. This could include training in data governance or business intelligence tools.
Every employee in any organization is required to be data-literate, regardless of their role in HR, financial, policy, or service delivery. Staff must be able to read data and make informed decisions. These skills are not limited to a few people. Anyone can learn them through the right training. There are many options available to help you support your efforts, increase capabilities, and drive positive change. Data proves that data-driven decisions lead to better business outcomes and greater success.