Director of Thought Leadership at King of Prussia-Based Qlik Advocates for the Upskilling of Future Workforce
Data literacy is considered one of the most in-demand and important skills for the future workplace, but what is data literacy and how does it benefit you?
As the Director of Thought Leadership Communications at King of Prussia-based Qlik, Zuzana Eden is forever passionate about technology and teaching others about why data literacy is a skill that we all need, not only in our professional lives, but in our personal lives too.
Defined as the ability to read, work with, communicate, argue, and understand data, data literacy is just as important as critical thinking, time management, as well as many other hard and soft skills that employers place emphasis on for current and potential employees.
“Our most recent global survey showed that by 2030 business leaders anticipate data literacy to be as necessary as using a computer,” said Eden. “For any business, it’s key for all employees to be data literate, no matter what their job role. It has become an important part not just for businesspeople but for everyone.”
You may think that data is factual and like numbers, 1 + 1 = 2. But that’s not always right. We can all interpret data in different ways led by our inherent biases. And data presented in a silo can tell a very different story to when it is presented within a wider context. Think of it like a photograph that has been cropped to only tell you one part of the story and to not allow you to see the whole picture. That can happen with data too. That’s why data literacy skills are so important.
We need to teach everyone to be curious and ask questions of the data in front of them, whether it’s a photograph or a social media post you’ve seen online. You need to be able to challenge what’s in front of you and validate what you’re seeing.
One such way of driving greater data literacy across society is through Qlik’s Data Literacy Project. Established before Eden joined Qlik, she runs the project with her enthusiasm to create platforms that allow people to read and utilize data in the workplace and beyond. She sees the importance of creating a data literate world and dedicates herself to sharing tools to upskill everyone, no matter what job title they have. And this is vital when Qlik’s research shows that almost 90% of business leaders globally expect team members to explain how data has informed their decisions, but only 11% of employees actually feel fully confident in their data literacy skills.
That is why Qlik offers courses, workshops, and a skill assessment test to aid people in their journey of understanding and using data in their jobs and in their daily lives — and over 55,000 people have taken the test.
“What is the goal?” Eden asked. “We are trying to upskill our workforce. So, if an individual is searching for a new job, this skill opens more job opportunities no matter what their field. We are helping people navigate from education to practical, everyday life.”
If modern workforces are looking to accelerate their path to success, then hiring workers with data literacy skills or training their employees in the matter of data literacy is the key to progression.
To further inspire a data-literate world, Qlik advocates for the need of more academic programs where all students can learn how to use data in their careers. The current profession of data science is coveted, yet there is a need for these scientists in all professions.
Through investing time and effort to complete the process of becoming data literate, you obtain a competitive advantage. Data literacy helps avoid misinformation, information overload, and helps with finding new strategies for company success.
“You don’t have to be a data scientist to use data. It’s for everyone. For example, Human Resources can use it to study employment and what works best for their company. Finance can use it to predict trends,” she said. “We do not want to minimize this skill to one person; we want to maximize its use.”
Qlik partners with different organizations who also believe in the importance of data literacy to help them upskill their workers and spread the mission of learning.
“With data literacy, we can tackle complex problems worldwide and create a better future,” said Eden.
Learn more about Qlik and The Data Literacy Project.
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