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  • Writer's pictureNicky Finlay

Developing data literacy skills in your business…

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

Technology and data aren’t going away, in fact, they will become more accessible and powerful. But technology & data alone will not automatically make a business successful. It will be down to how the business uses the capability that will deliver success.

Our previous Blog Why it is important to get your Business Data Literate covers some of the key reasons to get your business more data literate.

This Blog looks at how you can develop your internal data literacy skills, because unfortunately, there is often a barrier to using data and analysis to drive change within business, and that barrier is the fear of using data

​A poll of 2,000 adults revealed 30 percent confess their brain 'shuts down' when they see or hear the word data.

But despite 55 percent actively avoiding figures and data, half believe improving their skills would put them at an advantage in the current economic climate.

Source: Datacamp

We admit the data world can be very overwhelming - new terms, acronyms and methodologies are being invented and reinvented daily.

It’s confusing and can be hard to understand the nuances of every aspect of the data journey throughout a business, and there is often an invisible barrier between the technical and non-technical teams, which can be accentuated by using niche terminology. It can be like talking in a different language, which makes people switch off and fear data.

Therefore, it is important to develop a common data mindset throughout an organisation to view data as a valuable strategic asset, and enhancing data literacy is needed to make the change.

An organisation that can get all their teams (not just the technical or data teams) to utilise data in their daily activities, use it to story-tell and be the generator of change, will be the business that will be highly successful.

Data has traditionally been thought of as a single entity but in today’s environments, it is really an ecosystem that requires different roles to utilise it to perform different tasks both from the technical and the non-technical / business sides.

But how does a business develop data literacy?

We have worked with clients who have thought they needed a data scientist to solve their data skills and literacy issues but aren’t even really sure what they want them to do.

Often we find that when we take a step back and look at what the business wants to achieve, they already have some of the skills required, or with a little training can upskill different areas in the business to use data to support their functions. For example, by empowering marketers to be able to visualise and story tell with campaign reports, can highlight insights to support their future plans.

There are plenty of strategies that employers can take to help fill their gap in skills and develop existing employees to be more data literate for the needs of their businesses going forward.

At MoJo, when we work with businesses to develop data literacy, we look at it from 3 perspectives, Data Strategy, Data Culture and Data Skills. Here are just some of the approaches that can be taken to enhance data literacy amongst your teams.

Data Strategy

  • Develop a clear company-wide data strategy - work with data experts to develop your company’s data strategy and roll this out to the wider organisation and development of a data team.

  • Make data easy to access and use, so that everyone is telling the same story (a data strategy would be useful to make that happen).

  • Ensure all strategies are measurable - utilising tools such as SMART objectives (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) /OKRS (Objective Key Results) /KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

  • Create processes that require metric and performance evidence to be provided as part of the budget sign-off system.

Data Culture

  • Develop a data-driven culture. Encourage all staff to be inquisitive about company data. Work off a set of data rules and get everyone on the same page to make it the 'company way' in how best to use data to support evidence to deliver impact.

  • Live and breathe your metrics, make them visible and communicate how you are trending so you create familiarity with how you are measuring the company.

  • Encourage curiosity in data, data visualisation, and competitions to encourage the use of data for business ideas, growth, and test and learn.

  • Encourage a data champion within each team or department across the organisation.

Data Skills

  • Encourage training and the development of data skills - not just for an internal data team, but across other departments, where there is a need to understand and work with data to deliver outcomes.

  • Ensure everyone has the basic skills to be able to read and interpret data, do's and don'ts of what to look for and what are the common pitfalls in data use.

  • There are large numbers of data courses available or run Lunch and Learn sessions, where internal data and analytical experts can share their skills and knowledge.

  • Look at Data Analytics apprenticeships. If you need a data analytics team, consider developing internally utilising Government apprenticeship schemes.

If you’d like more information, please do get in touch at, we would love to chat with you.


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