The 21st Century will see Data Literacy become a required skill; the challenge is that most people do not want to use the skills provided by Data Literacy.

There are some principals to Data Literacy that we must all apply to all aspects of our lives.

  1. How – How was the data gathered, was it a small sample or large? How diverse was the sample? Was it a “rigged” group i.e. hospital patients?
  2. What – What is being shown? What are you being told is being shown? Is this a point in time view or a trend?
  3. Why – Why is this being presented? What is the “Call to action”? Are the How, What and Why compatible?

By helping people to apply some thought to what snap decisions can naturally be, a business benefit. People critically evaluating.

Bias

A core function of Data Literacy is to challenge your own internal bias. Remember, bias is nothing to be ashamed of, but you should be afraid of it. Bias is often referred to as the “feeling” brain. When you don’t challenge your feeling brain you feel at ease. Therefore bias leads you to accept “facts” without question, it becomes self-supporting as you surround yourself with sources that support how you feel and over time your view will become more polarised. Do you ever wonder how two groups can have such radically opposed views? Unbelievably bias plays a large part in that variation.

Society benefits

As we all learn to become even just a little bit more aware of our bias and challenge ourselves to re-think our assumptions, we naturally look for data to help us in that. Seeking out data to help us make decisions is the definition of being data-driven. In business we keep hearing “We run a data-driven organisation” or “We have established a great Data Culture”, but unless you are prepared to set your bias aside how can you make that claim? Geordie Consulting is committed to making real change in business and society by working to make people and business data-led.