Why data literacy matters now more than ever

Last year, Felix, our CEO, wrote about why data literacy — which Gartner defines as “the ability to read, write and communicate data in context” — is an invaluable skill for knowledge workers today. He shared our commitment to helping others “speak” data, just as one might speak a second or third language. 

Earlier this month Collibra and Carruthers + Jackson opened applications for the third annual CDO Summer School, which provides guidance, training and support for data leaders and aspiring CDOs. A lot has changed in the last year, but as I reflect on the evolution of the program since its inception, I’m struck by how the value of data education has only increased. 

Right now we’re all working in a virtual world, connecting and collaborating with colleagues over Zoom meetings instead of a conference room. As we adjust to this new normal, we’re looking to data to help us answer questions, some of which we’ve never had to ask before, and we’re using that data to make critical decisions that will help guide us forward. 

If you’re navigating through uncharted territory in all of this, you’re not alone. We’ve heard from our community that many teams are collaborating with data in new ways. There is an urgency to improve access to trusted data and build a strong data culture to collaborate together effectively. But to collaborate on data, everyone must be speaking the same “data” language. Data literacy is a key part of these, and ultimately, it’s up to CDOs and data leaders to lead the data-first mindset and expand data literacy more broadly. One of the most valuable aspects of the CDO Summer School curriculum is that it’s not just about leveling up your data skills — it’s about learning how to be an advocate for data with many different stakeholders. 

If you’re interested in becoming a proponent of data literacy in your own organization, I encourage you to apply today for CDO Summer School. Applications close July 17. 

P.S. Collibra also provides another great avenues for exploring data literacy: 

  • A robust set of courses and certifications from Collibra University. There are over 30,000 data citizens enrolled, and the self-paced learning paths offer beneficial training for everyone from recent college grads to CDOs.