With Data Literacy and Analytics More is More, Not Less

There is TED talk by Malcolm Gladwell during which Gladwell discusses the fact that we were actually better off when we only had two kinds of spaghetti sauce to choose from. Today, we stand in supermarket aisles in confusion amid so much more choice.

For those of us who wish to date ourselves, there was always something to watch on the TV when we only had four channels to choose from. Now with TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus and Apple TV+ all vying for our attention, there are times when you may spend 30 minutes trying to find something that appeals. On a more serious note, there are some studies which suggest that general practitioners actually made better medical decisions when they had less diagnostic data at their disposal. Less, as the saying goes, appears to be more.

In modern business and more specifically, with the data revolution, this is being turned on its head – we hear that, in only the last two years, we’ve generated as much data as we did in all years prior. By 2025, IDC predicts that the global datasphere will grow to 175 zettabytes. We also hear that data is now more valuable than oil. For those who remember, “Googlewhacking” —finding a unique two-word term that produces only one search engine result — was a pastime. I wonder if such a thing even exists today with the proliferation and amount of data available to us on our internet-connected devices.

Turning to data sets that are slightly more manageable in size, I recently presented to a group of HR professionals on what to consider in building a People Analytics ecosystem. It seems like a simple question to answer. Pull your data from your Human Capital Management system, put it in your visualization tool and all those data sets will magically morph into nice looking charts and tables. But, for those looking to understand, explore and push data-driven, people-centric decisions further, stopping here would be falling short.

Our current People Analytics tool connects information from no less than 14 different data sets, and we have only just gotten started. We have many more data sets, which can provide so much more insight and value to the users of the tool. However, the more data we add, the more risk there is for the user has to get lost and misinterpret what they are looking at. This is why Qlik is so passionate about driving data literacy at every level of business-decision making.

Putting the data in the hands of decision makers is what we strive for. Our goal is to provide them with the ability to query multiple sets of data; compare, correlate and test theories; and examine and discover insights about their organization. However, this will only happen when decision makers can do this in an uninterrupted fashion that delivers all the data to their fingertips in real-time.

My advice: Add as much data as you can, simplify your tools’ views, double down on data literacy in your workforce and enable people through Analytics.

Good luck!

With #dataliteracy & #analytics, more is actually more, not less. Read the blog post by our own @tom_ricks to learn more.

 

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