Every one of us has this strong innate desire to get the best for our lives. Possibly due to our survival instinct that we behave that way. Every time there is a decision point, we will take some time to think about it, for instance, what will be the outcome of each decision, is the outcome what you desire the most, what are the pros and cons of each decision. For instance, which college to go to, which major to take up, which job offer to take up, shall I do a pass/fail on my modules and how will it impact my career opportunities, which project vendor shall I go with, etc.

Where every individuals and organization are, is a product of all the decisions that we have made in the past. Decision-Making will not stop as the individual traverse their personal life and career.

What if I share with you that given the technology age we are in and going forward, we now have a tool that can help us move forward? The tool can help us make better decisions... IF we understand how it works. Welcome to the digital age, where data is a by-product of it, data that can now be easily accessible, and processed by computers. If you want to get the best for your life, you now cannot run away from understanding how data works. It cannot guarantee you the best results, but it sure can help you make more informed decisions. The ability to understand how data works is what I called Data Literacy, an essential skill in the Knowledge Economy and beyond.

Building Data Literacy

Below is a list of areas that you might want to visit to learn more about how data works. Understanding these areas can help you make more a informed decision, be it for individuals, jobs, or careers.

  • Relevant data is needed

Sounds very simple but how many of us can identify relevant data?

  • Data Collection

How to collect the best quality data possible? How was data collected for the satisfaction survey?

  • Data Bias

Data can be biased too. How is the survey audience selected, what is the potential bias with the selection?

  • Data Quality

Data can be missing, not captured accurately, can have duplicates, etc. How to get the best quality data possible?

  • Data Quantity

Do you have enough data to make a robust decision? For instance, if I want to predict monthly sales 12 months forward, how much data shall I need?

  • Data Integrity

How much can you trust the data you collected? How sure are you that your survey audience gives you an accurate answer?

  • Extracting Data and Processing Data takes time

Because of how data warehouse is structured, there is a need to think about how to join tables and extract the relevant data. Relevant data will then need to be transformed before it can be processed. All these stages take time, to think, to design, and to execute, either through point-and-click tools or programming like SQL, Python, and R.

Your Career Depends on it!

Given the push to Industry 4.0 and digitization of businesses, lots more businesses will be collecting data. They will like to do something about it since most business understands there is value to be gotten from it. Being data literate can put you on a strong foothold for your career, preparing you for what is definitely going to come. Data science and artificial intelligence is an industry where the more relevant experience you get, the more valuable you are going to be. So start now, build up your data literacy! It will be a skill and knowledge that will benefit you for a lifetime.

If you will like to find out more about building up your data literacy level or perhaps even for your organization, have a chat with me, link up with me on LinkedIn or my Twitter (@PSkoo). To keep abreast of my thoughts and my data science experience in life, consider subscribing to my newsletter below. :)

All the best and have fun in your learning journey! :)