Today’s data and analytics tools make it easier for organizations to visualize data quickly and easily. At the same time, an influx of data has left organizations unable to fully tap into their data resources. According to a McKinsey Analytics Survey, only 8% of companies achieve analytics at scale. To bridge the gap, organizations need people who have the analysis skills to explore the data as well as the critical thinking skills to add narrative and context to their findings. Additionally, they need to understand the business context beyond their purview.
Looking back on my data journey, I’ve come to realize that the most important foundation of a data team is a thriving community. As a civil engineer earlier in my career, I was eager to solve problems. I knew that having technical expertise was important to understand data, but it was not the sole requirement. As my career progressed, I took on roles where I collaborated with multiple teams, gathering requirements for product enhancements and data solutions. What I have learned is that businesses that value data literacy need to create ways to immerse their people in the language of data. The most effective way to do this is through community engagement.