Companies want to be insights-driven, customer-obsessed, and future fit. This journey includes investing in data literacy or spending on tech. In 2022, 75% of surveyed US business decision-makers said that they are adopting enterprisewide data literacy, and companies are projected to spend $4.7 trillion on technology globally. But if tech execs think that these investments alone will improve insights-driven decision-making … think again!

Unclear Directions by Photo by <a href="">Javier Allegue Barros</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>
Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash


We Are Not Moving The Needle On Insights-Driven Decision-Making

According to Forrester data, data and analytics decision-makers report that they made 48% of business decisions based on quantitative information and analysis in 2022, inching backward from 50% in 2021 and 49% in 2020. Additionally, the number of firms reaching advanced insights-driven maturity has stalled between 2019 and 2021. If increased technology spend and more data literacy training isn’t moving the needle on smart decision-making, what will? Its time to rethink our people, processes, and practices so that business teams can realize their full insights-driven decision-making potential.

Take An Employee-First View Of Data Literacy

Let’s look to the field of psychology for some inspiration. In 1943, Abraham Maslow first introduced the hierarchy of needs. The theory suggests that, before people can reach self-actualization, a state in which one realizes their full potential to perform creative activities and critical thinking, they must first satisfy a series of basic needs, such as shelter, food, and security. The absence or uncertainty of these basic needs over an extended period disables an individual from reaching and sustaining their full potential. One can’t reach the top of the ladder and realize their full potential at work if the lower rungs, the more basic home-care needs, are missing.

Let’s return to the world of data. Imagine that the top of the ladder is advanced insights-driven maturity instead of self-actualization. Think about your organization — if you want to climb the ladder to a state of data-driven decisions, what rungs must you scale first? What needs must your team satisfy before it can realize its full decision-making potential? We invite you to join us on December 6–7, 2022, for this year’s Data Strategy & Insights Forum, where we will introduce the determinants of data literacy, an employee-first view on improving their insights-driven decision potential.

(coauthored with Research Associate Evan Megan)