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Four essential soft skills for data-informed decision making

Last month on thedataliteracyproject.org our Chief Learning Officer Kevin Hanegan talked about how having the best analysis tools isn’t enough on its own to ensure solid data-informed decision making. We also need to use a variety of hard and soft skills to help us to interpret the information and to make the best decisions.

Data-informed decision-making is the ability to transform information into actionable and verified knowledge to ultimately make business decisions. And there is a concern that companies are not developing the hard skills and particularly the soft skills that are required to collect, transform and truly evaluate this information. If you can work on the four soft skills below, you will be well on your way to data-informed decision making success.

  1. Collaboration – Everyone will approach a decision from a different angle bringing different insights and knowledge, so it’s vital that we work with others to consider all aspects of the decision.
  2. Creativity and curiosity - Before you go ahead with a decision, you should first explore the reasons why your decision could possibly not work. This requires creativity and curiosity to come up with multiple scenarios and questions, in order to find the right solution.
  3. Critical thinking and self awareness - Bias often occurs subconsciously in our decision making as we are guided by our preferences, regardless of data to the contrary. We can reduce this bias by using the two soft skills above, and also by reflecting on our own personal views, and identifying if these are getting in the way of a decision.
  4. Analytical Storytelling - The process of bringing data to life to tell a well-constructed narrative. Communicating your insights to others in an effective way is a vital skill to ensure that you get the key messages from the data across.

You can ready Kevin's full article here: https://thedataliteracyproject.org/posts/what-is-your-data-eq

Alongside developing these soft skills, our Academic Program can also help you to improve your data informed decision making abilities, by getting you hands on with our industry leading analytics software, and giving you access to a wealth of training materials. The program is open to all University students and academic globally, and you can sign up today by visiting qlik.com/academicprogram.