Empowering a data literate society

By Clare Ambrosino, President of Parliament Street

In today’s Fourth Industrial Revolution, data is key to unlocking new insights, ideas and possibilities. But experts estimate that only one-third of us can confidently understand, analyse and argue with data, so there aren’t enough people with the expertise to manage, interpret and create value from it.

For public and private sector organisations alike, the lack of these skills prevents them from driving greater efficiencies and providing even better services. For individuals, data illiteracy will be a roadblock to thriving in modern industry.

To help address the severe skills gap, last week saw the launch of the Data Literacy Project, a global initiative that aims to create a community that will ignite richer discussion and develop the tools that needed to shape a confident and successful data literate society.

I was invited to attend the launch where Rick Jackson, CMO of Qlik, the founding partner that initiated the Project, reiterated the upmost importance of data literacy to the modern economy. In fact, by 2020 half of organisations will lack the AI and data literacy skills needed to achieve business value from data.

With a cost opportunity of $500 million for large data literate organisations, as calculated by the Data Literacy Index, it is little surprise that the Data Literacy Project launches with a number of significant founding partners: Cognizant, Experian, Pluralsight and Data to the People.

The Project has three declarations for how it will achieve its goal of creating a data literate society:

  • Inspiring major organisations globally to make data literacy an imperative;
  • Creating the most accessible and comprehensive global data literacy educational resource ecosystem; and
  • Empowering educational institutions globally to place data literacy into the mainstream curriculum.

Working with its founding partners and advisory board, the Project will be establishing a roadmap for how it can work with public and private organisations, policy makers and industry bodies to make these commitments a reality.

We will be closely following this exciting initiative. As we embark on the Highway to Tomorrow, these initiatives will be critical for ensuring that both the current and future generations have the skills needed to excel and maintain the UK’s position as a digital powerhouse.

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