erwin Expert Blog Data Intelligence

What Is Data Literacy?

Today, data literacy is more important than ever.

Data is now being used to support business decisions few executives thought they’d be making even six months ago.

With your employees connected and armed with data that paints a clear picture of the business, your organization is better prepared to turn its attention to whatever your strategic priority may be – i.e. digital transformation, customer experience, or withstanding this current (or future) crisis.

So, what is data literacy?

Data Literacy

Data Literacy Definition

Gartner defines data literacy as the ability to read, write and communicate data in context, including an understanding of data sources and constructs, analytical methods and techniques applied — and the ability to describe the use case, application and resulting value.

Organizations use data literacy tools to improve data literacy across the organization. A good data literacy tool will include functionality such as business glossary management and self-service data discovery. The end result is an organization that’s more data fluent and efficient in how they store, discover and use their data.

What Is Data Literacy For?

For years, we’ve been saying that “we’re all data people.” When all stakeholders in an organization can effectively “speak data” they can:

  • Better understand and identify the data they require
  • Be more self-sufficient in accessing and preparing the data
  • Better articulate the gaps that exist in the data landscape
  • Share their knowledge and experience with data with other consumers to contribute to the greater good
  • Collaborate more effectively with their partners in data (management and governance) for greater efficiency and higher quality outcomes

Why is Data Literacy Important?

Without good data, it’s difficult to make good decisions.

Data access, literacy and knowledge leads to sound decision-making and that’s key to data governance and any other data-driven effort.

Data literacy enables collaboration and innovation. To determine if your organization is data literate you need to ask two questions:  

  1. Can your employees use data to effectively communicate with each other?
  2. Can you develop and circulate ideas that will help the business move forward?

data literacy and data intelligence

The Data Literacy and Data Intelligence Connection

Businesses that invest in data intelligence and data literacy are better positioned to weather any storm and chart a path forward because they have accurate, trusted data at their disposal.

erwin helps customers turn their data from a burden into a benefit by fueling an accurate, real-time, high-quality data pipeline they can mine for insights that lead to smart decisions for operational excellence.

erwin Data Intelligence (erwin DI) combines data catalog and data literacy capabilities for greater awareness of and access to available data assets, guidance on their use, and guardrails to ensure data policies and best practices are followed.

erwin Data Literacy (DL) is founded on enriched business glossaries and socializing data so all stakeholders can view and understand it within the context of their roles.

It allows both IT and business users to discover the data available to them and understand what it means in common, standardized terms, and automates common data curation processes, such as name matching, categorization and association, to optimize governance of the data pipeline including preparation processes.

erwin DL provides self-service, role-based, contextual data views. It also provides a business glossary for the collaborative definition of enterprise data in business terms.

It also includes built-in accountability and workflows to enable data consumers to define and discover data relevant to their roles, facilitate the understanding and use of data within a business context, and ensure the organization is data literate.

With erwin DL, your organization can build glossaries of terms in taxonomies with descriptions, synonyms, acronyms and their associations to data policies, rules and other critical governance artifacts. Other advantages are:

  • Data Visibility & Governance: Visualize and navigate any data from anywhere within a business-centric data asset framework that provides organizational alignment and robust, sustainable data governance.
  • Data Context & Enrichment: Put data in business context and enable stakeholders to share best practices and build communities by tagging/commenting on data assets, enriching the metadata.
  • Enterprise Collaboration & Empowerment: Break down IT and business silos to provide broad access to approved organizational information.
  • Greater Productivity: Reduce the time it takes to find data assets and therefore reliance on technical resources, plus streamline workflows for faster analysis and decision-making.
  • Accountability & Regulatory Peace of Mind: Create an integrated ecosystem of people, processes and technology to manage and protect data, mitigating a wide range of data-related risks and improving compliance.
  • Effective Change Management: Better manage change with the ability to identify data linkages, implications and impacts across the enterprise.
  • Data Literacy, Fluency & Knowledge: Enhance stakeholder discovery and understanding of and trust in data assets to underpin analysis leading to actionable insights.

Learn more about the importance of data literacy by requesting a free demo of erwin Data Intelligence.

erwin Data Intelligence


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