The Importance of a Data-Literate World


Imagine that five percent of the world’s population is data-literate. It is incredible, right? Now, what if that number reached 30 percent? Visualize the assumptions that you could challenge and the innovations you can develop. Data offers an incredible opportunity ahead of us. It is powering the incredible rise of companies such as Airbnb and Uber. In brief, it allows people to monetize their most static assets, including their cars and houses.

We live in an extraordinary world, where the capacity to generate and store data has reached inordinate proportions. The solutions to our problems lie within that data. Climate change, customer service, and healthcare will never be the same. The data behind electronic medical records, clinical record, and billing is enough to transform the treatment of diseases and delivery of healthcare. In fact, the magnitude of changes in these areas is determined by the amount of data generated.   

According to the Big Data report, the United States is estimated to have 2.5 million data-literate professionals by 2018. It is one percent fewer than the projected population. That’s why they consider data to still be in its Dark Ages. In spite the recent achievements, people still consider their personal experience and instincts when making a decision. Organizations still lag on how they approach data, how they conduct analysis and how they automate learning.

How to be Data-Literate

According to an article published by the Harvard Business Review, a data literate individual understands what data means, recognizes when it is used in inappropriate ways and draws the right conclusions. These skills enable a person to use data as part of his or her decision-making. Since data defines opportunity, it is important that data literacy is enhanced. While metrics and statistics are valuable, it is also important to surround data with more contexts and lower the charges of using them. To unlock the potential of data, people and organizations need to evolve. 

Unlocking the Potential of Data

As it turns out, data also has shape, which has meaning. The shape of data gives you everything you need to know about it. By knowing the shape of data, you will determine where you are, where you have been and where you will be for the next years to come. In understanding it, you will know what is important, reduce the number of questions, and accelerate the discovery process. To truly unlock the value of data, attention should be given, and questions should be set aside.

The knowledge that lies within data will illuminate the conversation in healthcare, climate change and customer service among many others. It will improve the delivery of healthcare and boost the diagnoses and treatment of diseases. It will give companies a clearer picture of the customers. In a few words, it will give the public the necessary information to protect the planet for future generations.

 Living in a data literate world improves our way of life. Using data in every decision-making process raises more accurate results. Since data is still considered to be in the dark ages, it is important that data literacy is increased to prepare a better world for the next generation. There is potential here, and we should work together to unlock the value. Why should we do that? Consider this. If at 5% great innovations have been made, how much more can we do with 10, 20 or even 30 percent? 


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