The ability to leverage data in order to drive operational efficiencies and improve decision-making across organisations is capturing executive attention and attracting data.
According to Gary Allemann, MD at Master Data Management, the increasing reliance on data means that there is a need for businesses to look at investing in skills development as the country is sitting at a crossroads.
“For large South African businesses who are job creators and drivers of the economy, the question is: are we going to build local knowledge worker skills rather than outsourcing our economy to other countries?” says Allemann.
Allemann states that, we can look at examples such as eLearning, which is becoming an option to build data management and data literacy competence. Businesses need to invest in building a knowledge-based economy in South Africa and think very long, hard and carefully before they outsource knowledge work to other countries because, ultimately, we need to have an economy built around knowledge workers if we want to be competitive.
“An important skill that is growing in prominence is the principle of data literacy, which is basically the ability to understand data and what it is used for in each unique business context. Employees with data literacy or data skills can apply techniques to derive meaning from data and communicate their findings deliver increase business insights. Data literacy helps organisations compute the importance of data not only at an analytical level, but also to enhance and meet the operational goals of a business, says Allemann.
Data is the gatekeeper, not just for analytics, but for operating efficiently as a business under the 4IR. In effect, as we move business operations from the physical into the digital domain, there is no more physical business; everything is data.
He further adds that, data literacy needs to become second nature for businesses to be able to deliver an omnichannel experience.
“Building data literacy skills is critical because if businesses can’t understand how to leverage their data to deliver a consistent message and experience across various interactions with customers, then they’re going to stop talking to them,” he concludes.
Programs such as eLearningCurve’s Data Literacy Certification (DLC) provide knowledge workers at various levels to understand the many dimensions of data, while data specialists can build advanced data management skills through the Certified Information management Professional (CIMP) accreditation. This provides a growing curriculum of data management training covering multiple specialist areas.
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