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The Green Sheet Online Edition

January 28, 2019 • Issue 19:01:02

Resolve to attain data literacy in 2019

By Neetu Shaw
Clarity Insights

A data-driven culture is the key differentiator for success when it comes to the future of financial services. But practically speaking, what can you do today to get started? If you're interested, your New Year's resolutions are simple, and they all hold the key to the foundation of a data-driven culture: data literacy.

Why do we need data literacy?

Data literacy is critical to a data-driven culture and all that comes with it: the move to digital, innovation and customer centricity. It means your organization has consistent language to discuss data, key shared outcomes and standard tool sets that everyone understands. A financial institution (FI) where data literacy is championed would be well on its way to a data-driven culture. At this FI, everyone in the organization can interpret organizational data. And this means they can all catch errors; they can understand corporate strategy and goals; and they can improve the organization's and their own performance.

Data literacy means everyone understands the story the data is telling ‒ an ability absolutely vital to organizational change and improvement. Other industries understand this and are actively enabling their own employees' growth. Take Airbnb as an example: the company created its own Data University to empower everyone to make data-driven decisions.

How do we get it?

Implement the following simple resolutions, and your organization will see noticeable changes before the end of 2019.

  1. Start at the top: Change must begin with leadership. To lead by example, senior executives and managers must articulate your organization's key metrics, initiatives and goals, as well as devote the time and effort required to improve their own data literacy before asking others to do the same.
  2. Get creative: Formalize data literacy as a business need, then find creative ways to encourage adoption. As many organizations did with Six Sigma, encouraging certifications with rewards or tying new skills to annual reviews and bonuses can be an effective way to increase participation.
  3. Be consistent: Data literacy is not learned in one sitting. Innovation and change are always around the corner; working data use into your job daily ensures you are cultivating literacy that will keep up with the times.
  4. Keep it clean: Without data governance, your literacy is useless. Good data governance means everyone can access clean, standardized data by making it clear who has authority over what data, who can access what data, and more. Additionally, good data governance facilitates self-service, meaning once everyone understands data, they can actually use it.

These four resolutions are doable. Nurturing data literacy in your organization will yield an excitement and consistency that paves the way for a data-driven culture. What more can you ask for? end of article

Neetu Shaw is an executive partner at Clarity Insights, servicing the financial services, insurance, higher education and automotive industry verticals. She is focused on enterprise information and digital transformation solutions, enterprise data, big data, master data management, discovery, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) thought-leadership. Clarity Insights is the largest consulting company in the United States that focuses exclusively on advanced data, cloud and AI solutions. Contact her at nshaw@clarityinsights.com.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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