Data literacy for digital transformations – business education for the 21st century
With the advent of automation, humans’ role has become to do what computers cannot. Many more white-collar workers—perhaps all of them—will end up “working with data” to some extent.
Digital transformations aim to use data to provide insights and guidance that computers alone cannot. Interpreting data insights requires “data literacy”; skills which are doubly important for anyone working alongside, supporting, leading, or hiring a data science and analytics team.
What is data literacy?
Data literacy is the ability to identify, locate, interpret and evaluate information and then communicate key insights effectively. (Australian Public Service Commission, 2018)
We believe data literacy means a non-expert level of ability to competently turn data into useful knowledge, and apply that knowledge to drive effective decision making. All professionals will need to be data literate in an automated, decision-focused future.
“Data Literacy for Everyone” covers a broad range of what are now important business skills, including:
- an appreciation of the language of data
- understanding uncertainty (expressed as probabilities) and complexity
- interpreting relationships in data (multivariate correlation) and visual representations of them
- reading visual representations of data
Critical thinking skills for reading data insights are becoming core skills for 21st century workplaces. The course covers how to think rigorously and abstractly about evidence-based decision-making and manipulate data accordingly. It introduces a range of skills and applications related to logic and critical thinking in such areas as forecasting, population measurement, set theory and logic, causal impact and attribution, scientific reasoning and the danger of cognitive biases.
The course is highly recommended for managers and workers who have not had quantitative work as the basis of their career to date, for business analysts and for many IT professionals. The main tool used will be Microsoft Excel, and other tools for data manipulation, data analysis and data visualisation will also be introduced, with hands-on exercises. There are no prerequisites beyond high-school mathematics; this course has been designed to be approachable for everyone.
Educational support for digital transformations
Effective digital transformation requires more than technology and skilled specialists. It means that the humans in the organisation are not left in the 20th century, but acquire the skills necessary to be productive in the 21st.
This course is specifically designed to support digital transformation efforts in organisations big and small. Think of it as business analytics training for the whole organisation. Training your staff in data literacy as a business capability will improve your organisation’s ability to succeed in making data analytics and analytics insights an integrated part of the business process. The natural extension course for managers is Data-Driven Decision-Making.
- What is data literacy, and why it is essential
- Diving deeper into to the world of data
- Logic, critical thinking and structured reasoning
- Why uncertainty matters and how probability is essential for describing it
- Data-driven decision making
- Associations, relationships and complexity in data
- Using data to look into the future (forecasting and time series)
- The scientific method, correlation vs causation, errors and biases
- Regression, machine learning, and AI can automate processes for you
Course content may vary from this outline, and will be driven by class learning needs. This course may also be offered under other names.