Solving the Data Literacy Gap

This past week my youngest son learned an important word in life. Possibly the most important word ever spoken. ‘Why’.

Now he repeatedly will ask me ‘why’ for just about anything. ‘Why’ questions help him and other kids make sense of the world around them that they are just beginning to learn about. These ’why‘ questions also help accelerate their learning of the world.

Adults are no different: we need to continue to ask the ‘why’ questions in order to grow and evolve and innovate. Today the Internet of Things (IoT) and the ability to gather data in so many different ways and realms has opened up and given businesses the ability to ask ‘why’ and find answers to help them run their business, more than ever before. In the world of data and analytics, asking why and being able to get to the answer is a crucial skill set. The companies that can harness the data, answer those important questions, and then make informed decisions will have the competitive advantage.

This is why this skill set is increasingly in demand across all industries and job types. Analytics and data visualization skills are frequently ranked as one of the top skills hiring managers and companies are looking for. According to a recent article, Data Analyst will be the hottest corporate job of 2016.

At the same time, according to a recent CNN report, over 8 million Americans alone are looking for a job, and many of them do not have the necessary skills to apply for those jobs. What is being done about it? Universities are adding in analytics-related majors and minors and companies are trying to pivot faster to create more on-the-job training to address the skills gap. A report from the Oceans of Data Institute (ODI), calls for “bringing data literacy to 100 million students by 2021, with the ultimate goal of everyone becoming data literate over time" by developing resources, training teachers, and making sure data literacy is incorporated into educational standards.

At Qlik, we recognize the importance of asking why and the value of having workers be data literate. Students preparing for careers in today’s global data-driven environment need to raise the bar to succeed. They need exceptionally strong analytical and data literacy skills, along with the tools and know-how to keep pace with rapid change. Over the last several years, we have been providing free software and learning resources to universities through our Academic Program.

To continue to meet a growing demand, Qlik is excited to add a Data Analytics curriculum to the program which covers analytics and visualizations. This curriculum can be used by professors to help ensure that they are instructing with the best course material. It is not sufficient to just teach people how to create a bar chart, if they don't know how to interpret it, and ask basic analytic questions of it. Students need to understand ‘why’ and be able to interpret data in an analytic way; this curriculum will help them with that.

In addition, we are also pleased to announce that Qlik is now providing free access to our self-service online learning platform, Qlik

Solving the Data Literacy GAP
by :
Kevin Hanegan 
Qlik Vice President of Knowledge and Learning

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