Weaving a Data Literate Culture within the Enterprise at Data Summit 2023

Prioritizing data quality is step one to becoming data-driven. However, what is step one to improving data quality? In most IT suites, the argument is better processes, better data fields, and better technology.

Kasara Weinrich, principal consultant, future of work, ADP disagrees. Organizational data literacy is the most important step to truly achieving great data quality, data-driven decision making, and data management.

At Data Summit 2023, Weinrich talked about this during her session, “Data as a Second Language: Every Layer of Your Organization Needs to Be Fluent.”

The annual Data Summit conference returned to Boston, May 10-11, 2023, with pre-conference workshops on May 9.

According to Weinrich, those fluent in data as a second language can identify and understand data sources, analyze them to generate insights, and use those insights to make better decisions that increase organizational value.

“I find the connection to data and humanity is a lot more aligned than one may think,” she said.

According to Gartner, data literacy is the ability to read, write, and communicate data in context including an understanding of data sources and constructs, analytical methods and techniques applied, and the ability to describe the use case, application and resulting value, she cited.

“If you look more holistically as to what good data looks like, it’s all about data entry,” Weinrich said. “Upscaling the human beings behind the processes is just as critical as the people making decisions with the data.”

To measure the data literacy within an organization, teams should ask:

  • How many managers can construct a business case based on concrete, accurate, and relevant numbers?
  • How many people within your business can draw direct lines from their actions to business outcomes?
  • How easy is it to pull together information from cross functional teams within the organization to make data driven decisions?

To foster a data literate organization you should communicate, train, assess, and repeat, she explained.

Communicate the importance and outcomes of having a data literate organization and culture. Train your employees to become more fluent in data as a second language. And asses their ability to identify and understand data sources, analyze them to generate insights, and use those insight to make better decisions that increase organizational value.

“Create an active data culture,” Weinrich said. “Democratize the trusted data you have and harness that data for positive change.”

Many Data Summit 2023 presentations are available for review at