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Is your company data-literate? Or do you only think you are?

Understanding your data

What, I can hear you ask, is data-literate? If you go to Wikipedia you will find a pretty good definition which, in short, says that you need to be able to read, work, analyze and argue with data.

Do you understand data?

Your answer to my first question will be, of course, yes! But are you really? Most people and therefore companies, believe that they understand data because they can explain a graph. Great! Congratulations, you can now say you can talk about a picture with a bunch of colors and a Y and Z axis. I am sorry to burst your bubble; this is not the same as being a data-literate company.

Did you know that only one-third of people can confidently understand and analyze data? Let alone that you also need to be able to use this knowledge to get your point across. Let’s face it, on average nerds that really understand and analyze data are not the greatest storytellers in the world.

Understanding and visualizing your data

I believe that a great company consists of a combination of talents that work together on understanding their data and create a story utilizing this to improve decision-making. Furthermore, these talents know that they don’t know everything. Which means that they are willing to learn. As a software company we at Exact bring you analytics tools like Exact Insights to help you in understanding and visualizing your data. But we also know that we don’t know everything. That’s why we partner up with organizations like Qlik that support initiatives like the Data Literacy Project.

 A few tips

If you are truly a data-literate company, fantastic. If you believe you have more to learn. Here are a few tips:

  1. Check out the Data Literacy Project website and the stories, like the Quooker one, in particular. It’s always great to learn from the experiences of others.
  2. Take a good look at the tooling you are using today and ask us or one of our partners to help you out in assessing if you have what you need.
  3. Use sources like the Data Literacy Project learning section to know more of the language of data.

Time well spent

Today more than ever organizations will need to understand their data, analyze it and determine the possible scenarios. A global crisis like we are experiencing is unprecedented and the outcome for many organizations is uncertain. Spending some time on understanding where you are and what choices you need to make to go in a certain direction is time well spent. I might just make the difference between just surviving and thriving.


John Cöhrs

Principle Solution Marketeer and Data Enthusiast

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