What's in this podcast?

In this podcast, Jason speaks to Helen Blaikie, an interim Chief Data Officer, Data Strategist and associate at Cynozure. 

Listen to this episode on Spotify, iTunes, and Stitcher. You can also catch up on the previous episodes of the Hub & Spoken podcast when you subscribe.

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For more on data, take a look at the webinars and events that we have lined up for you.


One Big Message

As organisations increasingly rely on data to make decisions, it’s more important than ever for employees to be data literate. Data literacy is the ability to read, understand and communicate data; it’s a critical skill in today’s workplace. 

[00:51] Helen’s transition from Finance Director to data expert

[02:34] Parallels between finance and data

[05:15] Examining the similarities between financial and data literacy

[07:56] Why organisations need to care about data literacy

[12:39] What needs to be in place before you can start introducing data literacy

[14:30] Avoiding ‘data chaos’ and more effective decision making through data literacy

[20:30] Processes organisations can use to implement data literacy

[22:00] Tailoring data literacy for different needs across the organisation

[24:45] Other things that can help with engagement in data literacy

[27:11] Getting HR on board to cultivate an environment with people who enjoy learning

[31:00] The biggest challenges in implementing data literacy in organisations



Difference in data literacy needs between employees and management

More and more, businesses are realising the importance of data literacy to make informed decisions. However, what is often overlooked is the difference in data literacy needs between different departments and personnel within the company. 

The levels of data literacy within an organisation can vary greatly. In order for businesses to maximise the value of their data, it helps to ensure that everyone in the organisation has the appropriate data literacy skills. Some employees need to be able to analyse and code, while management needs to understand how to use data strategically to make decisions. However, every employee should have a basic understanding of data and how it is used to assist with different parts of the organisation. 


Lay the groundwork for data literacy

In order to have a robust system in place to improve data literacy, an organisation should have some basic data implementation and use. Without much of a data infrastructure it will be difficult to convey to employees and stakeholders why they need to be aware about data literacy. Once you have a data framework, create use cases to showcase the use of data in your organisation and utilise it as a teaching opportunity. 


Create a work environment that encourages data literacy

Encouraging data literacy in the workplace starts with creating a work environment that promotes open communication and collaboration. It’s important to provide employees with the necessary tools and resources to enable them to be successful, and promote learning opportunities whenever possible.


Activities to promote data literacy

While some people may have a natural affinity for working with numbers, others may need some help to develop their data literacy skills. 

Organisations can improve their data literacy by training employees on how to use data. Some ideas include providing resources such as books or articles on data analysis, hosting competitions or challenges that encourage employees to use data creatively, or coffee and cake sessions where employees can learn more about data. 


To summarise

To be able to make informed decisions in an increasingly data-driven world, it’s important that everyone in an organisation – not just those in technical fields – has a basic understanding of how data works and how it can be used. 

By improving your organisation’s data literacy, employees will be empowered to make better decisions based on evidence, identify opportunities, and solve problems.


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