Data Literacy

What is data literacy, and why does it matter for your organization?

What is data literacy, and why does it matter for your organization?

What is data literacy?

Data literacy is the ability to read, work with, analyze and communicate with data. It’s a skill that empowers all levels of workers to ask the right questions of data and machines, build knowledge, make decisions, and communicate meaning to others.

Why is data literacy important for your business?

IDC, global provider of market intelligence, forecasts a ten-fold increase in worldwide data by 2025. Increasingly, data-driven organizations will produce data literate employees that contribute more to their roles and help businesses sharpen their competitive edge in an aggressive global economy.

It’s a strategy that can transform your business, while building loyalty with a workforce that’s energized and empowered by your investment in their professional development.

More resources:

“Large enterprises with strong corporate data literacy have shown up to 5% higher enterprise value — $320 - $534 million.”

Data Literacy: The Upskilling Evolution

Based on insights from influential industry experts and a global survey of over 1,200 executives and 6,000 employees, our latest data literacy study found that the data literacy crisis shows no sign of slowing down as the gap between expectation and reality continues to widen. Revealing the pressures on organizations and individual employees as we continue to move toward a data-oriented and automated workplace, the study helps you understand the upskilling requirements needed to take full advantage of data – now and in the future.

Our latest report on Data Literacy: The Upskilling Evolution

Data literacy in today’s enterprise

Nearly every business is dealing with an incredible amount of data. But collecting it isn’t the same as understanding it — and we’re facing a critical skills gap. Low data literacy is holding many teams back, and stalling data analysis and digital transformation initiatives across the enterprise.

Data literacy in today’s enterprise

Business Leaders


“The more empowered employees are to read, write, analyze and argue with data, the more they will be able to contribute to their roles and the future of their organizations.”

Data Strategist and Best-Selling Author, Bernard Marr

How data literacy can advance your career

Qlik's recent survey showed that the vast majority — 85% — of data literate employees say they’re performing very well at work, compared with just 54% of the wider workforce. This represents a significant opportunity for businesses to transform existing cultures without much resistance from their employees.

Workers willing to invest more time and energy into improving their data skillsets

Illustration of global data literacy rates by country.

5 critical data literacy challenges for business leaders

Maintaining competitive advantage means that every employee in an enterprise — not just the data scientists — must be data literate for them to effectively contribute to the organization. Yet research has identified vast inequalities between people who feel empowered and proficient in using data, and those who don't.

1. Workforce resistance

2. No data champion

3. Lack of governance

4. Employee insecurity

5. Organizational silos

Discover how Qlik can help drive data literacy in your organization

We’re on a mission to provide the education, technology, and business strategies that create a data-literate world — where everyone can speak the language of data, and use it with confidence to make discoveries that change the game.

Regardless of the size or focus of your business, you can develop an in-house program by following our 6-step approach. As teams cycle through the program, literacy will deepen across the organization, and you'll enjoy a workforce that’s energized, empowered and loyal.

Download the Blueprint

Illustration showing the seven elements of the Qlik data literacy program.

Principle 1: Foster a culture of humility and curiosity

Principle 2: Encourage employees to put training into practice

Principle 3: Bring everyone on the journey

Principle 4: Focus on the desired outcomes

Principle 5: Measure the impact of your efforts

Principle 6: Adopt a systemic perspective

Principle 7: Decide what technology can meet your business needs

Get started on building a successful data literacy program