Why Data Literacy Is The Key to Business Intelligence

The digital world is changing at a rate that has never been seen before. We’re entering a period where every single decision a person (as an employee, consumer, or voter) makes can be picked apart and analysed. Increasingly, businesses are adopting these analysis techniques and investing in new technologies (like artificial intelligence and machine learning) to take advantage of this new source of intelligence. 

According to the Gartner survey 2018, Cloud solutions and BI/Analytics are considered the strongest technology solutions for achieving a company’s goals – and so are attracting huge amounts of investment from most businesses across the world. 

On paper, advances in data analysis (such as predictive analytics and machine learning) are fantastic news for the future of organizations embracing the data revolution. However - data services and professionals do not come cheap, and subsequently any investment into the data infrastructure of a business will be large. The question needs to be asked though, who is going to interpret and communicate this data? Even if you’ve invested millions into your data infrastructure, and you’re producing the best, most insightful dashboards the world has ever seen – if your employees don’t know how to interpret the data they see and convert that data into actionable tasks, then it becomes a wasted investment. 

Data literacy is the answer! The data literate employee understands what the output of an analysis means in a practical sense and can communicate and interpret the results of said analysis. They can then take the business intelligence derived from the analysis, and then convert it into actionable intelligence (information that can be acted on to create a specific change). 

So how can a company improve its employee’s data literacy?

  1. Hire additional data scientists, business analysts or consultants to interpret the data 

  2. Invest in training and development for their employees in data literacy 

  3. Invest in further technology that simplifies the output of machine learning or analyses

The first option will garner great, quick results, with a short turnaround time. It will almost guarantee positive results from the investment as they will be investing in people who have a career and experience in handling data. The only downside is, over a long period of time this may prove to be quite expensive. 

The second option vastly lowers the expenses associated with hiring new employees to handle your data literacy problems, as it essentially “cuts out the middle man”. Your current employees will receive training in data literacy, and they can apply it as part of their current job spec. This benefits the organisation as it will increase awareness and ability in data literacy throughout the whole organisation, rather than relying on a small number of employees to carry out a very important role in the business’s future. The downside to this compared with option 1, would be that although there will be training in data literacy – there won’t be the level of experience and knowledge to support the employees throughout the data literacy journey. 

The final option presented gives the organisation almost a hybrid of the first two options – technology that simplifies data analysis and machine learning (such as Tallinn Machine Learning) processes, making the data outputs more easily read by the average employee. This may have a more expensive initial cost, but the benefits that can be reaped are huge. It reduces the need to hire a lot of data scientists, whilst simultaneously reducing the need to necessarily train a lot of the organisation to be a higher level of data literate. 

How Peak Indicators Can Help

Obviously, the best way to do it is to blend the three options provided! With Tallinn Machine Learning, Peak Indicators can offer all three of the options posed above with our Fast-Track Machine Learning service.  

Tallinn Machine Learning itself is a platform developed by Peak Indicators, that will eliminate the need for an organisation to spend time, effort, and money hiring data scientists in order to get a foothold in the world of machine learning. No coding experience is required as Tallinn performs all the steps of a ‘traditional’ machine learning approach, without the need for the experience of a data scientist to step in. 

As a part of this service, Peak Indicators will provide a fully trained, experienced Data Scientist on-site for a period of time. They will deliver both the initial expertise and training required to get your employees up to scratch using the Tallinn Machine Learning platform. Once they are finished, your existing employees will be capable of performing complex machine learning functions using the Tallinn Machine Learning platform – without the need to hire new data scientists. 

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