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Bridging the Data Literacy and Digital Skills Gap

TechUK | Chris Greenwood | Feb 9, 2022

data literacy - Bridging the Data Literacy and Digital Skills GapChris Greenwood, UK Director for NetApp, a leading Cloud-led, data management company, looks at how data skills can bridge the digital divide.

The past year and a half in particular has thrust data into the limelight, with scientists and government officials alike making pandemic-related decisions based on the evidence of data. But it’s infiltrated business too, with companies collecting more data than ever before as they race to transform their organisations and adopt data-driven strategies.  Yet, one has to question if we truly understand data and how best to wield it, which becomes ever more pressing in the wake of the looming digital skills shortage.

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Experts across the board say digital skills are vital to economic recovery, post-pandemic. In response, urgent action is required – below, I’ve outlined five vital steps to help you get smart and close your data literacy skills gap.

1. Data literacy starts from the top:  Rather than attempting to establish a data-driven culture from the bottom-up, business leaders first need to understand the state of data in their organisations, and exactly how employees work with data.

2. Equip employees for data-driven working:  Beyond providing access to data, workforces must also be provided with the right tools, processes and methodologies that adhere to pre-defined best practices and enables them to access data as required to meet business goals.

3. Empowering future generations:  Business leaders must begin empowering future generations to discover and develop critical data skills, elevating learning experiences of today that are failing to support data literacy.

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4. Lower data literacy barriers with AI:  AI can be a powerful tool to help employees better interpret, wield and gain meaningful data insights, especially when working with larger, more variable information sets that simply can’t be processed by the human brain.

5. Employee upskilling (and evolution):  Finally, the most powerful asset in creating value from data is your people. Education and empowerment will be the true determining success factors in a data-literate world.

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