The DataIQ Data Literacy

Data has been a prime focus for investment over the last decade, ever since the World Economic Forum described data as a new asset class in 2012.

In that time, adoption of data and analytics has been steadily maturing in most organisations.

To leverage the data foundations that have been put in place requires new ways of working, a shared language and a culture of evidence-based decision-making.

That is what makes for a data literate company.

Yet DataIQ research has revealed that data literacy lags significantly behind data maturity, in some cases by a factor of more than 600%.

To close that gap, we have created the Data Literacy Programme – a membership-based suite of learning and development tools designed for data departments and their business stakeholders.


How does DataIQ define data literacy?

DataIQ has spent the last decade in conversation with data leaders, their teams and stakeholders. Based on this insight into their practices, opportunities and challenges, we have crystallised this definition of data literacy:

“Data literacy is a mindset that makes sense of the organisation, its market and customers through the use of data, combined with behaviours that share data definitions, assets, language and ways of working.”

This embraces the hard skills that have been embedded in data departments, as well as the soft skills (eg, data storytelling, data visualisation) that are important to its effective operation.
It also recognises the need for shared working practices, agreed data governance and ethics, and the application of critical thinking to business problems by both stakeholders and data practitioners.


Why is this different from other definitions?

The most commonly-used definition of data literacy is “the ability to read, understand, create and communicate data as information.”
While useful, this is too limited.

It emphasises numerical and language skills that should have been developed during education and identified among candidates during hiring procedures.

It does not further the orientation of data skills onto business problems or the adoption of data into business thinking and processes.


What does the programme cover?

Our Data Literacy Programme has been designed as a modular solution to the misalignment of data skills between data departments and business stakeholders.

Delivery can be exclusively to data experts and data producers within the data office, to data consumers within the organisation, or to a blend of both.

It all begins with our Data Literacy Assessment – a rapid survey of attitudes and skills among the target population. Based on this, we recommend a tailored learning pathway structured around the following core modules:

  • Understanding your data foundations

  • Creating a data-driven culture within your organisation

  • Building trust and an appreciation of your data assets

  • Developing stronger relationships with your business stakeholders

  • Enhancing data storytelling and presentation skills to inform decision-making

  • Data interpretation and translation between the data office and your business users

  • Understanding your data ecosystem – from production to consumption



Network icon blue

Interested in
joining DataIQ?

Join our membership network 
of over 250 global senior data 
AI leaders.