What Is Data Fluency & Why Does It Matter?

The rise of data analytics has brought numerous buzzwords with it: predictive analytics, big data, descriptive analytics and data fluency, among countless others. But just because a broad term is often used to describe more complex systems and processes, doesn’t make it void of meaning.

Above machine learning, business intelligence and real-time analytics, data fluency might be the biggest obstacle to organizations making sense of their data and gaining a long-term competitive edge.

Data Fluency — What Is It?

Like being fluent in a language, data fluency enables people to express ideas about data in a shared language. In a business context, data fluency connects employees across roles through a set of standards, processes, tools and terms. Data fluent employees can turn piles of raw data into actionable information because they understand how to interpret it, know the data that is and isn’t available, as well as how to use it appropriately. Data fluency rejects the idea that only a select few are gatekeepers of information, instead spreading knowledge, widening data access across an organization, and as a result, improving decision-making for everyone.

Why Data Fluency Matters

Every company wants to be more data-driven, but only a select few businesses are reaching their goals. For businesses falling short, cultivating a data-fluent company culture is the answer.

Data fluency drives decision-making. When a company culture promotes the accessibility, interpretation and relevancy of their data, teams make confident decisions, and faster.

The power of knowledge discovery motivates employees to ask more questions, knowing the answer is only moments away.

When teams and departments across an org are on the same page with data, it’s easier to define KPIs and track past success. This part often turns into a debate stemming from disparate data, but with data fluency, there’s a single version of the truth to work off.

Finally, data fluency promotes curiosity within the organization. When employees are learning new things, they’re usually more engaged in their roles, leading to smarter questions, better data analysis and higher overall productivity rates.

Your company won’t become data literate overnight, but with a tool like ThoughtSpot, data fluency is a short-term inevitability.

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