Forget Data Literacy – Think Decision-Making Literacy

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Read more about author Jason Foster.

Making decisions is essential to our life. We make decisions every day, several times a day. Sometimes, these decisions are small, like what we will wear today or what we will eat for breakfast. Other times, the decision might be bigger, such as what job to take or whether to move to a new city. No matter how big or small the decision might be, though, it’s important that we make it correctly and efficiently.

Unfortunately, many of us struggle with making good decisions. It’s easy to get stuck in analysis paralysis, where we can’t seem to make a choice. Or we make bad choices because we’re not thinking things through properly. This can lead to all sorts of problems in our lives, from missed opportunities to wasted time and money.

Data is key to making good decisions. It helps us understand what’s happening in the world around us and figure out what might happen in the future. Data comes in many forms – from research studies to customer surveys – and can be used to inform nearly any decision. That’s why it’s so important for everyone to be able to access data and use it effectively. 

As technology advances, so does the way that data is collected and used. The need for individuals who are data-literate – able to understand and use data in decision-making – has never been greater. 

Corporations and governments are now recognizing the value of data literacy and its importance in achieving success. While many data curricula and literacy programs cover the fundamental skills such as coding and technical know-how, there is still a gap when it comes to translating these skills into the real world. Data literacy needs to include how to think critically and strategically too.

Not everyone in an organization needs to know everything about data: Coding and programming are not necessary for tasks such as marketing and sales. However, as businesses become more data-driven, skills such as interpretation and analysis are becoming relevant for everyone. Businesses need employees who are not only good at working with data but also good at using it to make decisions to improve the business.

Most of us think about strategic decision-making in terms of big, sweeping changes to our organizations and are generally thought of as a C-Suite or managerial process. However, tactical decisions made daily by experts within an organization are also important and can have a big impact on our success. 

By ensuring data literacy curricula helps or encourages data experts with strategic and critical thinking, they will be able to provide more insights and become an even greater asset to organizations.

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