Data literacy and data fabric: weaving our digital future

Antonio Grasso
4 min readJul 14, 2022

Article in partnership with Talend.

The “Dunning-Kruger effect” describes a tendency to overestimate our abilities, even when we have limited skills or information about a given topic. Within a corporate setting, this phenomenon is particularly dangerous. I say this because it implies that the less familiar someone is with data, the more convinced they will be that they are doing well and that they do not need to know how to process information to make strategic, far-reaching, or long-term decisions.

This concern took hold while I was attending the Gartner Data Analytics Summit. As Talend’s experts were delivering a keynote entitled “Building trusted insights to achieve business outcomes”, they highlighted how to strategically use data to improve products, services, and support value-based decision making. “Data health”, they explained, is measured by how well a company uses data to support its business objectives.

I have already spoken at length about data health in a past article, which you can read here. Today, I want to draw your attention to its cousin concepts, data literacy and data fabric.

Those who are proficient in the former have the knowledge and skills to interpret and strategically use data, while the latter refers to an emerging design strategy that is characterized by a unified architecture and harmonious data management.

Data literacy

With the major upheavals of the pandemic, rising inflation, and supply chain shortages, businesses are becoming increasingly motivated to digitize their processes, streamline operations, sustain themselves, and learn how to navigate an uncertain future. More than the simple act of generating reports or anticipating and capitalizing on emerging trends, data is at the heart of many classes of algorithms. For example, machine learning — particularly cognitive automation — enables businesses to drastically expand operations and improve their efficiencies. This subset of artificial intelligence-based technologies mimics human behaviors to improve compliance and overall business quality, scale operations, reduce turnaround time, and lower error rates.

This is precisely where data literacy comes in. The term refers to a broad and valuable range of skills that enable teams to identify, organize, understand, use, and share data. Of course, the goal of these activities is to harness data so that…

Antonio Grasso

Entrepreneur, technologist, sustainability advocate | FRSA | B2B digital creator & influencer | Author, mentor, researcher, speaker | Founder & CEO