Why your data literacy training should be customized

Sep 9, 2021

Today’s largest and most successful organizations use data to their advantage when making business decisions. Taking such a data-driven approach to business means that everyone should be able to understand the “why” behind using data and “how” to do so. 

At Data Booster, we help companies to become more data-driven and make great decisions fast by offering customized data fluency courses. 

Why? Because we know that it can provide enormous value to companies. Research shows that companies with strong data driven culture are:

  • 2x more likely to be in the top quartile of their industry’s financial performance
  • 2x more likely to use data when making decisions
  • 5x more likely to make decisions much faster than market peers

However, to accomplish this companies need to choose between off-the-shelf or customized data literacy training. 

According to professor Douglas Laney, author of Infonomics, companies often fall into the trap of offering generic data literacy training and certifications. If the courses do not take into account company specificity in terms of data, analytics, architecture or organizational culture, then it’s not a true data fluency program.

Before jumping into the advantages of offering customized data fluency courses for your organization, let’s first better understand what it means:

  • Customized = to make or change something to suit the needs of the owner or user; to build, fit, or alter according to individual specifications (Oxford Dictionary)
  • Data fluent = having quality discussions, a common use of measures, and shared appreciation for the meaning of your unique data

With this in mind, when designing Data Booster’s data fluency platform, for us it was clear that we should focus on individuals and teams instead of one-size-fits all for every organization. 

Customized programs can focus directly on skills and knowledge professionals need in an organization. Once you decide what your company needs, a training program can be completely personalized so it becomes a perfect match.

These are the most important reasons for customizing your data training program:

Increase engagement of new and current employees

Are you in a fast-growing organization that is onboarding large numbers of employees every month? It is key to make them familiar with the organization, the people and the culture, but also with the data driving the decisions in the business. This will help give new employees a clear understanding of the business and help them add value as quickly as possible.

But current employees can also benefit from being comfortable with exploring data for decision-making. By offering customized training to these employees, they will become less dependent on asking others to explain data sources and metrics. The ability to explore data themselves will give employees autonomy and empowerment which results in lower turnover. And as you know, retaining employees in today’s booming job market is crucial.

Address important company challenges

Custom training can help ensure an organization effectively meets its learning goals by creating learning objectives based on business goals. The two best ways to create relevant content for corporate learners are to:

  1. Customize it with the skills the learner needs to have and 
  2. Use real-world examples. The more learners recognize themselves in the example, the easier it is for them to understand how to apply the lesson while on-the-job.

Furthermore, a course can be used to address pressing business needs and can be adjusted and re-adjusted as the business changes. This is exactly what Uber did: After a customized course on improving performance in the Rides vertical, Uber focused the next course on growing its Eats business.

Fastest way to close the gap between where your learners are and where they need to be

If speed of implementation is your priority you purchase off-the-shelf. But as you know that often means only checking the box. The real speed comes from how fast your employees are able to pick up the skills and knowledge they require for success in their job.

With customized data literacy training employees close two gaps at the same time: they do not only learn about asking the right data questions, acquiring the data, analyzing the data and ultimately taking a decision. They also get to know your data sources, instead of learning more about movie data or other publicly available data. Unless you are Netflix or Disney, your learners will learn at twice the speed.


If your company wants to quickly check the box with an off-the-shelf data literacy training, there are easy ways to do that. However, if you want to have the real benefits in terms of engaged employees, solving important company challenges and having learners learn at twice the speed, we recommend looking into customized alternatives.