LOK SABHA ELECTIONS 2019: INDIA DECIDES

Don’t ignore your data: How a lack of data literacy is costing your business

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Jan 3, 2019, 5:27 pm IST
Updated Jan 3, 2019, 5:36 pm IST
The low level of data literacy within your workforce has large-scale repercussions for your business.
New-age analytics platforms such as Qlik can tackle the data literacy challenge.
 New-age analytics platforms such as Qlik can tackle the data literacy challenge.

Numbers do not lie.

Never have these words held more meaning than in today’s data-driven day and age. Data, information, and statistics have become the veritable lifeblood that modern-day organisations thrive on and prosper. There’s a catch, though. The statement is incomplete by itself, for it only tells half the story. There’s an unspoken second part to the aforementioned adage that usually gets overlooked. Numbers, indeed, do not lie – but only to those equipped with the skills to extract the truth from the data.

 

To fully understand the implications of this argument, consider this: according to a recent study commissioned by Qlik, merely 24% of the global workforce is confident in its ability to read, work with, analyse, and argue with data. 

Of course, this information can be read as a data point by itself. But, if you are able to look beyond the surface and understand the actual story behind these numbers, you will begin to see how alarming the situation actually is. Nearly three-fourths of working professionals today have no idea how to manage the information that they handle as part of their day-to-day responsibilities.

Why a lack of data literacy within your organisation should worry you

The low level of data literacy within your workforce has large-scale repercussions for your business. Why? Because data drives decision-making. If your employees are unable to understand and interpret the data that they have access to, they will not be able to take accurate decisions to drive the maximum value for your organisation.

To the contrary, it is entirely possible that the decisions taken due to such incomplete understanding of information will end up hampering your business instead of growing it, eroding your organisation’s competitiveness and damaging its market credibility. In today’s hyper-competitive business landscape, no organisation – be it big or small – should be taking such chances.

How new-age analytics platforms such as Qlik can tackle the data literacy challenge

The obvious solution to this situation, of course, is to ensure that the employees that you hire are adequately data literate and are comfortable with handling data as part of their professional responsibilities. Given the low levels of data literacy, however, such a turnaround is not possible without a significant investment of capital and time – and is not guaranteed even with it.

So what do you, as a business owner, do to address this growing disparity? You turn to technology to find the solutions to the questions it poses.

Qlik, for instance, shortens the journey from discovery to insight through an easy-to-use visual interface which collates, combines, and projects data from across multiple storage environments onto the end user's screen in an easy-to-consume format. This interactive interface encourages users to self-service their own data queries by asking their own questions and finding the relevant answers through a non-linear exploration of all the available data.

Moreover, through such guided exploration of information, business users can not only get more accurate and contextual insights delivered to them at the point of decision-making but can also realise enterprise value that would otherwise remain hidden. Empowered by data-driven insights, your workforce can make more confident and accurate decisions to optimise their decision-making process – and to add greater value to the larger business operations.

According to the recent Qlik Data Literacy Index, enterprises which have higher levels of corporate data literacy can realise additional enterprise value to the tune of $320-$534 million. This should not be viewed as an added incentive on top of the current business performance, but the value lost due to inadequate management of two of the business ecosystem’s most important resources: employees and data. Whether or not your business can realise its true potential depends on how soon you acknowledge this challenge – and the steps you take to combat it.

-- Arun Balasubramanian, MD, Qlik India

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Deccan Chronicle and/or other staff and contributors to this site.

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