Anthony Hendrickson, the dean and a professor of business intelligence and analytics at Heider College of Business, has framed probably the most eye opening academic truth of this decade in one sentence. He says that the best institutions have to provide education for today as well as for tomorrow. And the tomorrow for the students of this generation is not remotely similar to the tomorrow expected by students in the last decade. The fourth great revolution after the cognitive revolution seventy thousand years ago; the agricultural revolution twelve thousand years ago and the industrial revolution less than two hundred years ago. The technological revolution as we call it is spearheaded by the manipulation of data. The case for data literacy, therefore does not need much of an introduction.
What is data literacy?
Data literacy refers to the general awareness of the power of data and how it is used around the organization. This has two levels or aspects. One is that an employee needs to know the importance of a particular piece of data and have some idea about how that data can be used. The other thing is a knowledge of the data security protocols. Understanding where the line is when it comes to utilizing data generated by a third party.
Why is it crucial?
Data fuels the evolution of the technological era. The access to data and the ability to use it properly becomes the difference between success and failure for a company. In a condition like this having a workforce that understands the role data and makes things easier for the data analytics professional is a great boon.
We mentioned the skills for tomorrow earlier. The tomorrow we are looking at may necessitate the generalization of data analytics skills. It is likely that it will not be the forte just of the analysts.
What are the steps being taken
A lot of universities are including data analytics education in their business administration curriculum. Especially subjects like fintech are putting a lot of stress on analytics education because big data analytics has become an essential part of financial services.
Apart from that a lot of private institutes, some in collaboration with universities, are providing high quality and focused training. In fact these institutes contribute greatly to the analytics talent pool.
Can anyone learn analytics?
To an extent, yes; anyone regardless of their background can learn analytics. They may find it difficult to move to advanced analytics or more complex areas of data science without a firm base in statistics and mathematics, but everyone can gain data literacy and be more employable in any sector, whatsoever.
The opportunity at hand
The nationwide lockdown is a good opportunity to try a big data online course. The basic overview of the field will help you get started and then you can move forward according to your comfort.
Data literacy is the future of successful employment; hence it is better not to ignore it and get going while there is time.