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Fostering Data Literacy at the Helm: Empowering Government and Organizations for Informed Leadership and Management

Prof Ojo Emmanuel Ademola

By: Prof. Ojo Emmanuel Ademola

Per trending in management and leadership across governance and organizational platforms, apt decision-making is data literacy (DL) functioning as the central idea to drive every step in the formulation of policy and implementation. Such is consistent with the global advocacy for the boosting of DL and increasing demand for data use in Governance and private businesses. Such an attempt is indeed hoping to increase the awareness of the use of data among diverse groups of data users.

In 2019, particularly, during the pandemic, there is a noticeable lack of adequate capacity and technical expertise among the decision-makers to source and make applicable data more attainable and serviceable. Currently, with the support from the World Bank, Code for Africa, and many other global and national organizations with centrally dedicated winning strategies that are in use to achieve governance and business aspirations when leaders are data literate sufficiently.

For instance, with DL, the cloud is proceeding with its great uprise. Some declarations indicate that 92% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy, and 82% are taking a hybrid approach, combining the use of both public and private clouds. Similarly, the most recent Gartner report projects that cloud strategy will make up 14.2% of total transnational enterprise IT spending in 2024, up from 9.1% in 2020. The potential total annual value of AI and analytics across industries is estimated from $9.5 trillion to $15.4 trillion.

Nonetheless, the art and science of turning data into intelligence culminate in making strategies into both work on progress and solving problems associated with service delivery and delivering dividends of democracy as the main role of providing exemplary leadership. How can someone be an authentic leader or a winning manager of human resources when an appropriate data literacy level is lacking?

Functionally, data literacy should take the form of problem-solving techniques in the achievement of strategically designed objectives both in public and private institutions. Permit me to say that the more literate you are as a leader and manager, the more robust your problem-solving aptitudes escalate and win.

In a developing economy,  the target should remain one central idea of getting highly data-literate leaders into governance in various circumstances or elaborate organizations in the interest of National building. In this day of the unstoppable move of data analytics, enterprise boldly-in-tech, coherence of analytics and AI strategy, and more; it is evident that successes will revolve around the development of diverse, coherent analytics and AI techniques in handling the daily quality of work.

Permit me to provide a paradigm shift classification of DL by a working definition. Taking such variables into mind, DL will be an effective modern problem-solving tool, which is a fundamental understanding of what data is, what data sources are, how to read and write data, and how to articulate different kinds of data with aspiration driven by all available winning strategies for considerable digital transformation.

With this contextual approach to DL viewing, essentially there exist some conditions where DL is beneficial, especially to all. Also, the collaboration that exists among stakeholders remains coherently trending for the adoption of relevant winning strategies for digital transformation. For this purpose, some of these are:

First. It is of essential requisite for a leader to know when and how to access the right data to inform every step in decision-making. The awareness of what pre-existing data sets are available to your activity either private business or governance will ultimately determine the quality of the final decision.


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Second. The requisite intelligence is all about knowing how to create, collect, and successfully store data using the right information technology tool. It is safe to say that knowing will greatly determine how successful an individual will be in recruiting the tech-savvy to turn data into useful intelligence. A leader should be loaded with the right level of awareness that data could move as directed with the appropriate technology prowess.

Third. With DL, a leader will be able to understand what the data is saying, and how far the data could move with relevant tech solutions and thus, use it to make key decisions, with awareness of their potential outcomes.

Four. At this awareness level of data usage, a leader will be competently able to see and describe what the data is saying to the rest of the team using the right language, which does not in any way, the machine language, but as such, the essential vocabulary will make easy the further adoption of data for most associates to figure out effectively.

Five. With DL, the need for a leader to know if some data is potentially biased and the other selected type should remain a source of fulfillment in adoption. A leader who is data literate,  will understand how to use data in people analytics, and thus translate to enterprise management techniques in effective governance and highly productive business organisations.

Six. The level of awareness here is much of needing to find out whether data is valid and being able to clean data effectively. At this point, the turning of data into intelligence becomes a winning strategy for digital transformation.

Seven. A leader who is data literate will keep articulating strategies, particularly,  for digital transformation. Such a context could lead to effective working with assessment and capacity building to engage exemplary with various styles of problem-solving models and getting the decision right mostly.

In other words, DL is coming to be a prospect skills gap mending as an employee’s responsibilities change to the complexion of modern business needs, and public leadership shall become more challenging. Leaders must be extensively data literate to bring about digital transformation. When your employees have a good level of data literacy, your business can become more competitive in its field.

When leaders have the requisite essentials in DL, it might even make governance and other serious businesses more attractive to further prospect for new serviceperson who are looking to build their skill sets for the modern world to become the big fish available for the release of the dividend of democracy.

At this stage, you begin to hear from great minds in the leadership and management practices that, the main solution will suffice, and that with a data literacy plan, which could be part of the overall government and businesses upskilling strategy on one hand and winning strategies for all in the other.

Synonymously, the adoption of DL in leadership and management is indeed a coherent solution to major challenges in meeting the expectations of employees in organizations and that of citizens in Governance.

The application of advanced analytics and AI summaries at whatever level to grow and advance tech-driven interests, inscribing out decisive roles as transformers of productivity and competitive advantage. As always, corporations are looking for ways to efficiently adopt new use of possibilities to enable the acceleration of digital transformation while encompassing attractive and cost-effective models.

Kudos to leaders who demonstrated sufficient DL during the pandemic, as their institutions leaned successfully on the IT bureau to help them through the uncertain period.

What’s more, analytics and AI have received greater engagement and acquisition and will continue towards an unprecedented future of work. On this ground, the successes of governance and other organizational leadership should continue with the development through the deployment of a coherently designed analytics and AI strategy. This is an attempt to dive into the key suggestions for successful governance and organizations to construct winning strategies for digital transformation to discern and develop stability for seamless leadership and management.

In conclusion, leaders and managers with measurable levels of DL will indeed help Government and private organizations to quickly remake raw data into operative perspicuity and make convinced determinations at every instant. Such is a winning view that DL is a means to the adoption of winning strategies for digital transformation.

*Ademola is a pioneer Professor and the Chairperson of Professor Ademola Ojo Emmanuel Foundation.*


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