The growing need for data literacy in business leaders

Data literacy

Data-driven business decisions have become crucial when navigating uncertain times. Business data analytics is the interpretation of numerical sets to highlight important trends and patterns, it relies on facts and figures, presenting useful information for business leaders. Whereas, data science is the broader field that data analytics falls into; machine learning, artificial intelligence and data warehousing are just a few other subsects within the broader data science industry. Data is used to understand nuances in the world, solve problems, invent new products, and create greater efficiencies. IBM conducted a study which revealed that across 50 countries, 120 million professionals have been required to upskill for data literacy and working in digital environments.   

The intricacies of complex data science for business can seem overwhelming if you are not data literate and haven’t worked with data before. However, it is a great advantage when business leaders are data literate. Data literary provides them with more power through a deeper understanding of the collection of data sets within their business, allowing them to stay easily informed. Becoming a data literate business leader will not only just enhance your managerial skill set and boost your ability to navigate 21st-century business environments, but also present you with opportunities to further expand into new areas. 

What is data literacy? 

Becoming data literate involves gaining the skills and understanding of the business data analytics collection process and its insights. Senior business leaders are not expected to code and build data warehousing software; however, business intelligence (BI) leaders are expected to interpret and utilise data to their full advantage when making business intelligence decisions.  

Data literacy is becoming familiar and comfortable with working with data, learning how to identify efficiencies, trends, issues and insights. BI analytics is a powerful asset and data-literate leaders are paving the way forward in so many industries around the world. 


Business data analytics breakdown 

Quickly growing as one of the world’s most valuable assets, business analytics has grown exponentially into a diverse industry with different subsects. Successful business leaders will need to utilise business data analysis when making high-level and strategic decisions. Gaining an understanding of the different types of data will help business leaders become data literate. 

Five key data definitions are as follows: 

1. Transactional Data 

Transactional data records the primary source of your business’ income, it counts the business transactions that come in and out. Essentially, it is your revenue and expenses, the core numerical status of your business.

2. Master Data 

Master data provides a context for transactional data, it is data about the broader business network. It provides information around the employees, manufacturers, contracts, policies, and more. Some examples of master data are the records around your employee’s personal details, manufacturers shipping times, etc.  

3. Reference Data 

Reference data is used to classify or categorise existing data. By creating reference data, companies can extract insights and trends. Some examples include country codes, units of measurement, etc.  

4. Reporting Data 

Reporting data uses all of the above information across different periods of time to outline business performance. It can be in customised reporting periods to fit a specific business’ needs. 

5. Metadata 

Metadata defines and categorises other data sets. This provides an extra layer of understanding as it is the background information for existing data, it can relate to the author, timing, and creation of data sets.  


Data success in Australia: a case study 

Origin Energy faced a tough challenge of predicting customer’s energy consumption as Australia’s unpredictable weather is hard to track which can result in fluctuating and unexpectedly high bills for members. With intelligent business data analytics, Origin was able to use precise forecasting models to create stable, predictable, and individualised energy costs for each of their members. This accurate use of data science for business modelling enabled customers to receive steady monthly energy bills, allowing for easier household budgeting. Origin used data to transform a key part of their business strategy and it yielded great results with an increase in customer loyalty.   


Exponential data growth in business demands data literacy 

The use of business analytics (also known as bi analytics) is becoming standard in business decision making, and embracing data and analytics will help place your business at the forefront of the market with great results. This rapid growth and development demand data-driven leaders who can make calculated business decisions. If you want your business to see sustained economic growth, becoming data literate is crucial to success.  

Learning business analytics is a component of upskilling into the best business leader you can be. Undertaking an online Master of Business Administration will give you these necessary tools. Griffith University’s accelerated online MBA offers business leaders a modern business toolkit and includes courses such as ‘Data Analysis’, training the next generation of modern business leaders to become data literate. Learn how to use data and make confident business decisions today.  

For more information about studying business analytics with Griffith University's online Master of Business Administration, call us on 1300 737 945 or book a call with an Advisor today. 

A guide to jobs and salaries for MBA graduates
Previous article
6 essential entrepreneurial skills learned in an MBA
Next article