Financial & Data Literacy – Leveraging Data with Understanding & Insights
By James Hickman, Managing Director
South Africa Qlik Master Reseller
At the United Nations’ World Data Forum, the International Statistical Institute shared their definitions of data literacy:
- Data literacy is the ability to read, create and communicate data as information
- The desire and ability to constructively engage in society through and about data
Today’s rate of technological innovation is moving as slow as it ever will be. Every day, advancements are made, and old technology and approaches fall by the wayside. An integral part of this development is data; so the question becomes, how do we embrace change and learn more from our data?
Financial & Data Literacy
John Paul Kirton, CEO of Modernising Management the producers of the Analytics2Insights service believes that, in a world of data, advisors and CEOs/CFOs must drive financial data literacy. “Financial data literacy is the next evolution of the accounting practice! For many years, advisors (bookkeepers, accountants, CPAs) have been delivering processing, compliance, tax, accounting and reporting services to their customers creating financial literacy within SMEs, across the globe. The status quo for an SME is to pay for processing, reports and ad-hoc advisory services. But in today’s world, is this enough?”
Forrester Says We Are All in the Data Business Now
“Data is the new oil and the new era of business is based on taking advantage of your data. Your data contains insights that you can’t discover through a report that has been pre-configured on someone’s standards and based on historical data,” adds Kirton. “Businesses have a lot of moving parts and your financial data cankeep you up to date with all of them.”
Steps to Embracing Data Literacy
With the right training, you’ll be able to meet MIT’s definition of data literacy; being able to read, work with, analyse and argue with your data.
- Read: Understand the data you are looking at within a visualisation
- Analyse: Interpret the data and visualisations
- Work With: Explore your data from and across any dimensions
- Argue With: Question the data to ensure it’s correct and your conclusions are accurate
Can you Explore Your Data?
“Our accounting partners inform us that 10 to 15% of companies have both the management culture and maturity to utilise analytics,” confirms Kirton. He agrees with this assessment, and shares the following stats:
- 24% of business decision makers are fully confident they can read, work with, analyse and argue with data
- 32% of C-suite (senior leaders) are viewed as data literate
- 21% of 16-24-year old’s are data literate
- 85% of data literate people are performing very well at work (data literacy drives higher enterprise performance)
- 94% of people who use data in their current role believe data literacy helps them perform better and gives them more credibility
- 78% of business decision makers said they would be willing to invest more time and energy into improving their data skill sets
How is Data Literacy Achieved?
The current low level of data literacy and financial data literacy creates a massive opportunity:
- Change is necessary in the advisory space to ensure value-based services are delivered
- Engage in data literacy training
- Invest in an insights driven analytics platform like Analytics2Insights