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 US business decision-makers responded that they are adopting enterprise-wide data literacy, and companies are projected to spend 4.7 trillion dollars on technology globally. But if tech execs think that these investments alone will improve insights-driven decision making… think again!  

We are not moving the needle on insights-driven decision making
According to Forrester data, data and analytics decision-makers report they made
48% of business decisions based on quantitative information and analysis in 2022, inching backwards 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 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 & 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 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 (DoDL), an employee-first view on improving their insights-driven decision potential.

(coauthored with Research Associate Evan Megan)