Jennifer Belissent, Principal Analyst

Show Notes:

Most firms want to leverage data more efficiently. But according to Forrester’s insights-driven maturity model, fewer than 10% of firms are truly insights-driven and more than half of decisions made in businesses are based on gut instinct rather than quantitative information. What’s creating this gap between the desired and actual state?

In this episode of What It Means, Principal Analyst Jennifer Belissent describes the challenges organizations face in moving to an insights-driven model. “We’re expecting people to be able to make decisions based on data, but we’re not necessarily teaching them how to do that,” Belissent says. “People are confused about what data literacy is and what it means.”

For starters, terminology matters: Digital literacy and data literacy are not the same, yet many workers may use them interchangeably. Second, technology’s important for data delivery, but it’s not all that matters. Providing access to raw data alone won’t change business culture — training users how to turn data into insights that matter to their role will transform the culture from one that makes decisions based on “gut feeling” to one that is truly data-driven.

Belissent outlines the four steps to set up an effective data literacy program, citing real-world lessons learned from a variety of industries from wireless carriers to food service. “It starts with awareness, then there’s comprehension, expertise, and, lastly, scale,” she says.