Time to add data literacy to your Modern Data Stack

Jan 11, 2022

A few weeks ago Looker invited me to a webinar in which the Head of Analytics of a Dutch fintech asked me: “How do I make sure that more of the business teams are adopting Looker and how can I increase the number of decisions they make based on data they can explore with the tool?” This wasn’t the first time I’ve seen a company struggle with adoption of analytics tools. Companies are eager to put a Modern Data Stack in place – including the analytics layer – but forget to put the final layer on top: data literacy.

Analytics layer

The analytics layer sits on top of the Modern Data Stack and is now the end of the conversation: the tools in the analytics layer help users to consume and explore data. Examples of tools in the analytics layer are: Power BI, Tableau, Looker and ThoughtSpot. Users use the tools to get insights, create visualizations and for the development of dashboards and reports. Modern data analytics tools enable large numbers of professionals to explore data through a user interface. 

Move away from old processes

Organizations should not stop with the analytics layer: it only gets them so far. They should also get away from their decades-old process of business professionals waiting for data experts to generate dashboards and asking data experts to explore data to get ‘why’ questions answered. If they forget to upskill professionals and stick to these processes they will still suffer from slow and less-informed decision-making which harms overall company performance.

Data literacy layer

That’s why with Data Booster we propose to add a new layer to the Modern Data Stack: the data literacy layer. With this layer, every business professional – whether data explorer or data consumer – can acquire the right skills to make use of the analytics layer. And similar to other layers in the Modern Data Stack, traditional solutions should be replaced. With a data literacy layer, organizations like Uber can move away from classroom training and replace it with online data literacy learning. Examples of tools are DataCamp and StackFuel. 

Every layer with your data

Unfortunately with tools like DataCamp and StackFuel another problem arises: these would be the only tools in the Modern Data Stack without your own data. Although both tools offer good data literacy course content, they work with off-the-shelve data sources such as the famous Titanic dataset or movie data. That’s where Data Booster comes in as a great alternative: every data literacy course on the Data Booster platform is fully customized to your organization. Whether this is a Data Literacy Fundamentals course or Data-Driven Decision Making in Power BI, learners will always learn with your organization’s business questions, data sources and key metrics.

In closing, the Modern Data Stack should go beyond the analytics layer. By offering a data literacy layer with the right upskilling tooling you enable every business professional in your organization to make use of the Modern Data Stack. This will enable them to understand what is happening and why this is happening and make better and faster decisions based on these insights. This will significantly improve the ROI on the investment in the Modern Data Stack and improve overall company performance.