Plug your People into your Data

For years, many organizations found it important to strive for data volume and invest in bigger databases and feature-rich platforms. Lost in the focus on size was the real prize—actionable insights in the hands of people who can do something about it. The first generation of business intelligence was about delivering complex, full-featured solutions designed for the IT team. Yet vast quantities of data collected by organizations remain disconnected from the people who might make use of it.  — From Data Fluency

Your ability to “connect” your people to your data is based on your organization’s data culture. A stronger culture gives you more opportunities to connect, a weaker culture means you lose traction with the your data.

How do you find out what your organization’s data culture is ? One way is to take databetter.org’s data fluency survey, perhaps to take it at regular intervals.

The survey will give you a way to see what’s going in your organization in regards to data and insights that will help you plan improvements.

 

Maximum Impact

To get the maximum impact, set up a yearly program to monitor your organization’s data health.

Thoughts for an Organizational Leader

The ability to be a conscientious data consumer is essential in today’s knowledge economy. We recommend that organizations establish a baseline score and track progress year over year. Furthermore, individual scores can be returned to employees in a confidential manner in order for them to establish a performance improvement plan with regard to data consumer literacy. Individual scores versus colleague scores can be evaluated to understand if there are gaps between self-assessed and perceived skills. — from “Data Fluency”

You can set up an organization account on databetter.org and have all your employees take the data fluency inventory. You will be able to see individual scores (scores are anonymous, but linked to your organization).

If you set up a recurring program you will be able to access the cumulative scores and the differences from year to year (or whatever period you want to cycle at).

Making Progress as an Individual

Even though the survey results are anonymous an individual taking the survey on this site has a personal account with a PIN number that will track their scores over time, regardless of the organization they belong to.

The training resources keyed to the survey sections can also be used by an individual who sees an area they want to improve in.

A history of improvement in data fluency survey scores could also be an asset to and employee, both within their current organization and as a reference if they move to a different organization.

Making Progress as an Organization

The data fluency survey can be used as a tool to measure progress in your organization and as a guide to how to improve.

We recommend that organizations establish a baseline score and track progress year over year. Furthermore, individual scores can be returned to employees in a confidential manner in order for them to establish a performance improvement plan with regard to data consumer literacy. Individual scores versus colleague scores can be evaluated to understand if there are gaps between self-assessed and perceived skills. — Data Fluency

There are training resources on this site that focus resources on the different areas covered by the survey. If you decide to try and make improvements in your organization they will give you a head start in planning the improvement project.

After you have carried through your improvement project you can have your organization take the survey again and see how much you have improved.