Data fluency is increasingly important for today’s organizations. Colin Sloman discusses why and how Cognican can help.

Data is everywhere. Improvements and innovations in digital technologies mean that data is created constantly. At a click of a button, we can access this raw data in seconds. In the past, gathering data was difficult and often took weeks to clean and analyze. With the increasing availability and volume of data (and tools to analyze it), organizations are awash with potential insight.

However, a key challenge is that organizations lack the capabilities to turn this information into insights that aid decision-making. Gartner's Annual Chief Data Officer Survey found that 'data literacy' was frequently cited as a major roadblock to implementing data-driven initiatives. 

I have been in numerous meetings where I've been presented with mountains of metrics and impressive dashboards that have left me asking, "So what? What does it all mean, and what should I do next?” Data only becomes valuable when you can extract insights from it and use those insights to develop actions.

How Do We Help Businesses Turn Data into Insight?

Adapting to a more data-centric culture has brought many opportunities and challenges for organizations, including Cognician. As a result, our approach to analyzing data has evolved as we continue to build greater data fluency. A great example of this is our work with a multinational pharmaceutical company. 

Our client's goal was to activate an organization-wide shift towards increased digital fluency whilst replacing old systems and software. Through a multi-day challenge on our platform, teams were introduced to various disruptive technologies such as blockchain, drones, and machine learning and were invited to think of possible ways to apply these in their everyday work. 

A feature of our platform is that people are given an opportunity to reflect on what they have learned. This ability to share qualitative observations generates a large volume of text that we can analyze. So we asked ourselves how we could draw insight from the roughly 1.5 million words shared by teams across the organization. The text was too numerous to analyze manually but represented a treasure trove of potentially innovative ideas.   

Through this program and many others, our research team developed a machine learning algorithm based on Natural Language Processing. We can now extract, summarize, and classify ideas and themes shared by program participants. Our proprietary Insights Analysis approach is one of the ways we help our clients turn the data collected on our platform into actionable insights.

Activating Data Fluency in Your Organization

How can you help your employees become more data literate? 

We can help your employees understand the 'why' behind using data and help them turn data into insight. The Cognician employee activation platform can help your business activate data fluency in two ways. Firstly, our ready-to-go Data Fluency Foundations Quest introduces fundamentals that demystify data analysis and activate a strong foundation for data fluency. Employees at all levels can learn how to examine everyday data, explore data visualizations, learn how to tell a data story, and more. 

The second way we can help your organization activate deeper data fluency is by creating a custom learning experience. Recently, a multinational consultancy recognized that rapid advancements in big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are happening so quickly that organizations can’t develop their talent fast enough to meet analytics skills demands. So, we collaborated with our client to create a custom learning experience designed to jumpstart key analytics capabilities in the organization. Further, this digital coaching program allowed participants to delve deeper and develop the skills and mindset required for data-driven decision-making.

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Working knowledge of data science is no longer the realm of 'numbers people', it's a requirement to stay competitive. Across a wide breadth of sectors including retail, finance, human resources, healthcare, communications, and manufacturing, improved data fluency will enable businesses to make confident decisions, answer key questions, and track success at pace. 

Are you ready to reap the benefits of an improved understanding of data analysis? Cognician can provide your organization with a broader introduction to data literacy, a deeper, more focused learning experience, or something in between. Contact us today to learn how our employee activation experiences can help you activate new cultures and mindsets.