DATA LITERACY CAN Open the world to possibilities

With the volume and velocity of data in the world today – investing in data literacy training is as important as investing in technology.

The stories below prove that organizations with a data-literate culture have enhanced performance, uncovered insights and made smarter decisions that have helped them thrive.

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Finding the Recipe to be Data Driven

Every company wants to be data-driven nowadays – or at least they say they do. But one of the main hurdles towards realizing this is the belief that access to data should be limited to a few specialist roles. This approach almost always results in bottlenecks and prevents access to an organization’s most valuable data. Fortunately, at JBS USA, our culture is defined by easy access to data and the powerful innovations that it creates. And this in turn requires a data literate workforce. 

Building a data literate workforce

JBS USA is an organization driven by innovation – we want every single corner of the company to be able to explore the potential benefits of making smarter, data-driven decisions. There’s no question that this policy results in dividends – our astounding growth over the decades is proof.

To ensure that we engrain a data-centred culture within our organization, we needed to provide training to everyone interested in using data. We currently offer a three-day training course to any employee who believes they may be able to use data within their job. Employees learn how to load data and relevant applications, as well as use functions such as pivoting, scripting, and designing a data model. They experiment with creating tables, graphs, and other basic analysis tools. The point is to make sure everyone is exposed to the fundamental elements.

Providing continued support to employees

We have found that most people don’t learn by analyzing widgets and abstract concepts. The real learning happens when employees go back to the job equipped with new skills developed during training and applying what they’ve learnt to their own data. Our business intelligence (BI) team is then on hand to provide them with the assistance they need to go from a screen full of numbers to realistic, useful insight.

For example, we run “collaboration hours” once a week, where one of our data experts is available to meet with anyone who needs help developing a dashboard or a specific research project. We let people find their own interests and then provide them with the support they need to develop expertise.


Investing in change management to real see results

Building a data-driven organization is largely psychological. You can't make your organization smarter, and then stifle the resulting suggestions. That’s why we also encourage innovation amongst our employees and have created mechanisms for communicating new concepts to leadership. This more inclusive approach to innovation and change management is a necessary component of a business intelligence environment.

Of course, no company wants to transition to becoming data-driven simply for the fun of it. Enterprise leaders want results. While other organizations beg employees to think outside the box when facing critical problems, our staff upskilled in data literacy see opportunities for innovation as a perk of the job. That difference means we are nimble enough to quickly adapt to market changes and take advantage of the possibilities.

We’re not expecting to create data scientists during this training. Instead, we cover the basics.
Becoming data literate is not about teaching employees a single skill: it is about demonstrating a commitment to lifetime learning.

Using data and business intelligence means having a much better picture of the interior environment of the company. We are rarely surprised by internal trends that have gone unnoticed for years.


With multiple teams across the organization having access to data, we’re able to tap into different perspectives in order to reveal new insights and analysis.


With people in every corner of our organization regularly performing robust reports, we have been able to experience truly enviable expansion over the last ten years.


Easy access to data tools helps drive a culture 
of innovation throughout our company, enabling employees to explore the benefits of making 
data-driven, smarter decisions.

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Powering data curiosity and transformation

Radiall is an electronic components manufacturer, with over 3,000 employees based throughout the US, Europe and Asia. Over the last few years, we’ve been growing at an impressive rate – our yearly revenue doubled between 2012 and 2019, from €200 million to around €400 million.

To support this growth, we had to quickly scale and adapt our processes. This included introducing a more powerful analytics solution and ensuring our employees swiftly upskilled, so they were able to get to grips with all the new data.

Teaching data curiosity

As we transform our approach to business intelligence, a major focal point for us is instilling data literacy and a curiosity for data. Without a genuine sense of wonder for what we can learn from the data, our employees will never be able to truly maximize the potential of business intelligence. We’ve found that this is perhaps the slowest frontier to conquer in our transformation journey. Changing our systems and data collection tools is relatively easy compared to changing human minds and behaviour.

Finding our data heroes

We have found that most people don’t learn by analyzing widgets. Establishing data heroes within the company has been a key part of our company’s data success. Our heroes fully embrace the potential of learning to analyze data for use within each of their own parts of the business, and it has started to completely change how many of our teams operate.

We have already seen significant benefits and are still only scratching the surface of the tools at our disposal. To scale the data side of our business, we are working on getting all employees on-board. We have our data pillars in place and by empowering data literacy across the organization, we can engrain a data-driven culture.

A key factor in this is the integral role played by our Finance department as our team of financial controllers led the platform deployment, shifting and modernizing our approach. This means that developments are carried out much more quickly and match up with business expectations right from the start. As a result, our business intelligence deployment strategy is both agile and reactive to business needs.


Tackling the reporting headache

While we’re still in the early phases of the company-wide data initiative, we’re already starting to see a lot of promise, fueled by the increased data literacy among our employees.

For example, reporting used to be a very time-consuming task. With our new Qlik data analytics tool, it has spared us weeks of back office work. As the team becomes increasingly adept with handling all our data, we’ve set ourselves a goal to reduce the time spent on reports by a full day each month. Imagine what you could do with twelve extra days of work each year!

Our productivity gains have increased significantly due to the shorter reporting and planning production lead time. The shared control of a database between IT and financial team has also given us greater agility to adapt to changing environments.

Tools can be powerful, but they don’t matter if we can’t get people to use them properly.
Excitement + data literacy = the winning formula for data transformation.

We have been spared weeks of back office work on reporting, ultimately saving us 12 days a year.


We’re upskilling all our employees in data literacy, not just the IT team, so that they have the ability to adapt to changing environments more quickly.


With new data pillars and processes established, our data heroes are helping to engrain a data-driven and data literacy culture across the business.


As our yearly revenue doubled to €400 million in just a few years, empowering our employees in data helps us scale processes to support this growth.

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Fighting Crime with Data

We receive tens of thousands of calls every week. But our ability to successfully respond to each emergency depends on the data we have available and how quickly we can draw actionable insights from it.

But we soon realised that providing the tools for data analysis isn’t enough. Police officers need to feel confident handling data too.

Understanding, challenging and applying data means we can identify trends, which helps us spot risks.

We can focus information to make smarter decisions around critical situations. And we can monitor workloads – so we’re better placed to protect the community.

Armed with data literacy

While many officers already had some level of data knowledge, we realised we needed to create a competent, free-flowing data literate culture across the entire organization.

Relevant data can be made available the moment it’s needed. We just needed to point officers in the right direction and equip them with the skills to effectively make the most of it.

By dividing the county into smaller teams, we were able to provide more focused data literacy training. Our internal champions shared their data knowledge within their own teams. We were even able to use data generated from the project itself to identify those who needed extra help.

Case closed

Democratizing data and improving data literacy skills has had a truly positive impact on the Avon and Somerset Police. We’ve improved productivity, efficiency and effectiveness.

Not only have we reduced crime by sharing knowledge of known offenders, but by putting officers in the right place at the right time – we’ve prevented it from even happening.

Our professional judgment is now better informed and we’re proud to say we set the standard for other police forces nationwide.

Relevant data can be made available the moment it’s needed. We just needed to point officers in the right direction.

Roughly 150 people go missing every week and many of these are children. By sharing data we now have a much more joined-up approach to tackling the problem.


Monitoring call demands means we have better insight into the availability of officers. We’re now recognised nationally as one of the best performing forces.


Data analysis helps us identify high risk offenders on a daily basis, enabling us to make better informed decisions around prioritising resources.


Our officers and staff are now more confident making decisions and have more manageable workloads, enabling them to better serve the public.

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Data Gets Kids Home Faster

As a U.S. based non-profit children’s healthcare system, Nemours is committed to providing life-changing medical expertise and research.

Holding a huge amount of data from electronic health records across the country, we realized that if we could better access and analyze this information and these results – we could drive improvement. 

We’ll be able to provide outstanding care, advance the shift in clinical research, and boost positive outcomes for our young patients. 

Data literate associates enable us to make better treatment decisions and improve the experience for every child in our care. 

The Data Swagger Sessions

Many of us didn’t know what data was available, let alone how to read, analyze or even interpret it. So, we created an educational series called the Data Swagger Sessions.  

These bite-sized tutorials aimed to inspire everyone. They showed us how data could be used in our everyday work to provide actionable insights and inform better decision making.

Beyond learning about existing applications and data sets, attendees also learned how to use available technology to generate actionable and timely insights at the point of decision making. 

Our citizen developers and citizen analysts are armed with the skills to take ownership of data sets. Acting as the point of contact for the team’s data queries, they now add more value by ensuring their answers provide greater detail. By anticipating and predicting any future questions the teams are likely to have around that initial enquiry – we’ve really helped speed up problem solving.  

Prescribing better care 

Opinion-based medicine can be problematic in the medical world. But delivering the right data at the right time helps us provide care that has already been proven to be successful in that particular circumstance.   

Leveraging data to evaluate learnings and outcomes has helped us create new evidence-based clinical pathways and standard work processes, thus reducing risk and positively impacting patient care.

Our doctors and nurses can now start every day with a snapshot view of patient-first metrics. Displaying standard metrics around appointments, patient flow, and revenue cycle management helps us better plan ahead, improving the overall patient experience and our ability to deliver the highest level of care. Data has been a real miracle cure for us at Nemours. 

Beyond learning about existing applications and data sets, attendees also learned how to use available technology to generate actionable and timely insights.

By using data to create clinical pathways, we’ve introduced procedures that ensure every child receives the same high-standard of care.


We now have data literate decentralized citizen developers and citizen analysts across the organization that help their teams use data effectively to improve operational processes and patient care.


With a deeper knowledge of how previous decisions have impacted patients, we can now deliver the right care programs.


One citizen developer has saved us tens of millions of dollars by analyzing our billing and revenue cycle data so we can introduce better processes and identify opportunities faster.

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Data creates solutions on tap

As demand for our innovative, energy-efficient boiling-water taps grew – Quooker rapidly expanded into new regions.

But by growing at such a pace, understandably challenges hit us. Our forecasts weren’t accurate, which led us to question our data. Very quickly we realized that we needed to invest in the tools and technology that would enable us to trust our data. 

But more importantly, we needed to invest in our workforce so they could understand our data and use it to make brilliant decisions. 

A free-flowing data literate team

Before introducing new data analytics tools and platforms, we needed to roll out an educational program to train our teams to effectively handle data. 

Our teams are now able to look at data themselves and act quickly. This crucial shift from being informed by data to being able to understand it, interpret it and share it has improved collaboration – bringing everyone closer together. It’s helped us find solutions to our daily business challenges and has helped us deliver success globally.  

An independent workforce means they no longer need to rely on management to get involved in the granular detail when it comes to daily decisions. This has resulted in a real culture shift across our organization - giving everyone a sense of responsibility. 

The future looks hot for Quooker

Data cannot completely eliminate any risks involved with future growth – suppliers can still have material shortages, make a mistake or go bankrupt. But having a data literate team means they can now understand why problems arise, manage them better and even spot them before they might occur. 

By democratizing access to accurate, trustworthy data we’ve transformed how we operate as a business. Excitingly we’ve created a new generation of confident, data literate decision makers that’ll help us stay well ahead of the competition.

Having a data literate team means they can now understand why problems arise, manage them better and even spot them before they might occur.

Uncovering new insights led to the development of Quooker Flex, the world’s first boiling water tap with a pull-out hose.


Greater control of our entire supply chain flow has helped prevent critical issues from happening and enabled us to save at least €50,000 a year.


Empowering employees with data has helped them increase productivity. Which in turn, has enabled the organization to grow.


Our data literate employees have a guiding hand in driving business growth and in the process their careers are thriving.