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Demystifying Data Science 

By Julia Gusman, Managing Consultant

Data Literacy: Your Pathway to Business Insights 

Data science is often portrayed as a complex and intimidating field, surrounded by a veil of mystery and hype. While data science certainly has its place, the reality is that robust data literacy can often be more valuable in quickly generating actionable business recommendations. 

Data Literacy: The Foundation of Data Science 

Data literacy is the ability to read, interpret, and communicate data effectively. It empowers individuals to make informed decisions based on data, without necessarily delving into the intricacies of advanced data science techniques. Sometimes, all that’s needed to derive meaningful insights is a solid understanding of basic data concepts. 

Excel: A Tool for Data Literacy 

Take, for example, the analysis of students’ test results using Excel. The raw data itself may seem meaningless, but by creating a histogram to visualize the distribution of scores, patterns quickly emerge. If the histogram shows a skewed distribution towards the lower end, it could indicate that the test was too difficult. On the other hand, if the distribution is skewed towards the higher end, it could suggest that the test was too easy. 

Turning Data into Actionable Insights 

With this simple analysis, a business recommendation can be made. If the test was too hard, adjustments can be made to future tests to ensure they are more balanced. If the test was too easy, additional resources can be provided to challenge students further. This demonstrates how a robust understanding of basic data concepts and solid data literacy skills can quickly generate business value. 

Data Literacy vs. Data Science 

While data science certainly has its place in complex analyses and predictive modeling, many business scenarios can be addressed effectively with strong data literacy skills alone. In some cases, the simplicity and accessibility of tools like Excel can be more than sufficient for deriving actionable insights and making informed business decisions. 

Our Data Literacy Course: Empowering You with Data Skills 

Designed for beginners, our data literacy course teaches essential skills using Excel. Covering topics like descriptive, exploratory, predictive, and prescriptive data analysis, as well as data visualisation, the course includes hands-on exercises and real-world examples to reinforce learning. By the end of the course, participants gain skills and confidence to work with data effectively. 


Data literacy is not just a stepping stone to data science; it is a valuable skill in its own right. By mastering basic data concepts and tools, individuals can quickly move from raw data to actionable business recommendations, driving value and efficiency in their organisations. So, while data science may have its place, never underestimate the power of data literacy in unlocking the potential of your data. Join us on this exciting journey of data literacy and empower yourself with the skills to make informed business decisions. 

To sign-up to our public courses visit our Public Training Calendar

Or get in touch with us today to find more about Data Literacy or how Altis can maximise your business performance. 



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