Exploring the many ways to improve Data Literacy
How can I improve my data literacy skills?
Improving data literacy skills is essential in today's data-driven world and if you are an individual looking to improve your own data literacy, or a team leader looking to improve your team's data literacy skills, you will find a wide source of training courses on offer with a simple google search.
But how do you know what is right for you or your team?
Start by looking at the individual or people to be trained - a clear demarcation is the business professional vs. the data professional. The former will most likely need data skills for business, and the latter business skills for data people. Subtle but important. And in neither case are we talking about developing hard core technical skills, rather the softer skills of interpreting, communicating, and using data in context so it makes a positive impact.
There are lots of courses on offer that range from self-study, online classes through to more immersive practical courses for teams to take everyone in the team on the same journey to becoming more data literate. Essentially for positive increases in data literacy, it is key to practice what is being taught, don’t just think about it as a theory or your data literacy capabilities and confidence will not really improve.
We’ll list a few good sources for courses below which are great for individuals. Often businesses will invest in courses as part of their employee development programs so see what may be available there first or what budget may be available for personal development which can help you shortlist some relevant courses.
For teams, you often need a tailored training package to work on specific needs and goals. MoJo’s Data Literacy program is designed to achieve just that so do get in touch to discuss your needs if team training is your goal.
Some training providers that are worth checking out are:
The Data Literacy Academy - https://dl-academy.com/course/
The Open Data Institute - https://learning.theodi.org/
The Data Escape Room - https://www.thedataescaperoom.com/
And of course MoJo www.wearemojo.co.uk
Remember, data literacy development is an ongoing process, you or your teams are unlikely to become data literate wizards after one course, so you will need to embrace continuous learning and actioning what is being taught to become more proficient in both understanding and using data effectively.
Some of the skills you could look to enhance are:
1. Analytical Thinking
The best way to develop analytical thinking is through practice. Encourage your team to regularly work on data-related projects and problems. Provide them with access to real-world datasets and tools for analysis. Practical experience helps solidify their understanding and develops critical thinking skills.
2. Data Visualisation
Data visualisation is crucial for communicating insights effectively. Encourage your team to learn about various visualisation techniques and tools. Effective data visualisation can make complex information more accessible and understandable.
3. Statistical Analysis
Conduct data literacy and statistical analysis training sessions for your team. Start with the basics of data concepts, including data types, sources, and formats. Gradually progress to more advanced topics, such as statistical and data analysis techniques, visualization, and interpretation. Tailor the training to suit different learning styles and knowledge levels within the team.
4. Data Management
Ensure your team has access to the right tools and resources for data management and analysis. Invest in software, libraries, or platforms that make data manipulation and analysis easier. Having the right tools in place can boost confidence and productivity.
5. Critical Thinking
Encourage your team to question assumptions and challenge data interpretations. Foster an environment where individuals feel comfortable discussing their ideas and findings openly. Promote healthy debates to arrive at the best possible conclusions.
Introduce challenges related to data analysis. This can be done through internal competitions or by setting up data puzzles and quizzes. This approach makes learning engaging and fun.
Regularly review and provide feedback on your team's data analysis work. Offer constructive criticism and highlight areas for improvement. Consider mentorship opportunities, where experienced team members can guide and support those who are still developing their analytical skills. Provide opportunities for team members to communicate and share their data analysis ideas.
Encourage team members to work together on data projects. Pairing less experienced individuals with more seasoned data analysts can help knowledge transfer and skill development. Collaboration also fosters different perspectives and problem-solving approaches. Consider mentorship opportunities, where experienced team members can guide and support those who are still developing their analytical skills.
Remember, improving data literacy does not happen overnight!
A one-off course is not the complete answer to improving data literacy, continuous learning will support any courses that are taken. Continue to explore online resources, attend workshops, webinars, and read books or articles on data analytics to continue to develop and keep up to date with data developments.
If you would like any further information to understand what is available to support developing data literacy in your team, please get in touch at email@example.com, we would love to chat with you!