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New certification measures data literacy skills

Organizations that struggle with assessing the skills of data scientists in the job market have a new weapon in their recruiting arsenal. A certification has been introduced that measures a person’s abilities in data management and analytics, and can aid in the hiring or development of qualified data scientists.

The certification has been announced by The Data Literacy Project, the community dedicated to making society fluent in data. It is the first globally recognized certification that will enable individuals to document and demonstrate their data literacy skills.

This free certification has been developed by leading academics and data literacy specialists at Qlik, supporting the company’s role in the Data Literacy Project’s mission to enable individuals at every stage in their data literacy journey.

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According to the Project, the great challenge in today’s so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolution” is not capturing data, but turning it into actionable insights. Companies across all industries need employees to gain insights from data to sustain their value and drive competitive advantage.

There is a significant global skills gap, the Project noted, with just 24 percent of employees worldwide confident in their ability to read, work with, analyze, and argue with data. Data skills are in high demand, with Qlik’s Data Literacy Index showcasing that one-third (36 percent) of business leaders would be willing to pay more to data literate individuals.

This free certification was pioneered by the Qlik education team and led by Qlik’s in-house academic Kevin Hanegan, and is promoted as the first comprehensive measure of an individual’s data literacy.

“Unlike the many existing technical qualifications for data analytics, data science and big data, this world-first exam will enable candidates from all walks of life to attain a physical certificate that attests they have the skills needed to succeed in an increasingly digitized workplace,” the Project announcement said. “These include both hard skills like understanding and interpreting data as well as soft skills like creativity, problem-solving and communicating.”

“The potential for data-informed decision making across all roles and business functions is massive,” said Kevin Hanegan, chief learning officer at Qlik and a former professor at the University of California and Oregon State University. “Data literacy has been proven to positively impact organizations’ enterprise value by up to 5 percent, so it is little surprise that this skillset is becoming highly valued. We’re excited to help individuals demonstrate their data literacy without embarking on more technical, data analytics qualifications that may not be appropriate to their level.”

The certification is based on responses to a 70-question examination which measures performance in the data skills that support better business decision-making, including:

  • Analyzing, asking questions of, making decisions and communicating with data
  • Interpreting business requirements
  • Understanding how data is built, used and transformed in order to analyze and tie back to business objectives
  • Utilizing visualizations to make data-informed decisions

Following the two-hour examination, successful candidates will receive a physical certificate and a badge for their LinkedIn and CV certifying to employers their ability to read, work with, analyze and argue with data.

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