Qlik, Accenture unveil blueprint for firm-wide data literacy

Qlik and Accenture have issued their Seven Principles of Data Literacy, which are tenets intended to help organisations advance their journey to enterprise-wide data literacy and increase data-driven decision-making by 58%.

The principles, spelled out in a 24-page document and described as a blueprint to accelerate a company’s business toward its data-driven future, is expected to help organisations – no matter what stage they are at in their journey – holistically understand the steps needed to help their employees seize the opportunities of a data-led future. 

The seven principles to data literacy success include: 

  1. Foster a culture of humility and curiosity where everyone is confident to question data and insights. 
  2. Put training into practice by empowering employees to use their skills every day.  
  3. Be inclusive in offering training to everyone from the intern to the CEO.  
  4. Focus on outcomes by being clear on the problem you want to solve.  
  5. Measure the impact on employee satisfaction and engagement in training. And longer term on the ROI on the business. 
  6. Adopt a systemic perspective that encourages conversation and collaboration between different departments.  
  7. Invest in technology that meets both the user and your business’s needs.

The blueprint was launched in collaboration with the Data Literacy Project, an organisation which is on a mission to drive data literacy across society, of which Qlik and Accenture are founding members.

The recommendations go beyond just training. The Seven Principles within the blueprint embrace the essential behavioral change needed to reach a state where people confidently, actively and instinctively analyze and question the data that’s in front of them and use it to drive decisions on a day-to-day basis.  

Last April, Qlik released a report titled Data Literacy: The Upskilling Revolution, in which findings show that C-level appreciation of data-driven decision-making has skyrocketed over the past two years. 

The report is based on insights from influential industry experts and a global survey of over 1,200 executives and 6,000 employees.

Qlik found that 90% of global business leaders say that data has enabled them to better navigate the uncertain business environment created by the pandemic and that it was critical to the success of their organization in this period (80%). This group now predict that data literacy will be the most in-demand skill by 2030. 

 There is a huge gap between expectation and reality when it comes to data literacy skills within organizations today. Over half of company leaders see their workforce as confident in data literacy skills. 

However, only 11% of employees feel fully confident in this area, resulting in a concerning 46% of employees still frequently making decisions based on gut feel, rather that data-led insight. 

Data literacy is essential to building a successful data culture. Over nine in 10 data literate employees strongly agree that they regularly review and use data to inform their decisions (95%) and a similar number cite that their actions are often triggered by data insights (89%) – a 58% and 59% increase when compared to employees that are not fully confident in their data literacy skills.