Enterprises today know firsthand the immense difference between having data available and having the ability to use that data to actively drive better business outcomes. The key differentiator between the former and latter situations? How well employees are able to access, understand and implement data insights in their decision-making processes, which in turn affects how much of an impact data has on company performance over time.

It’s important for businesses to consider how they can help employees get the absolute most from modern data analytics. Start with these three ways to empower users of analytics tools.

Empower Users with Data Literacy Training

A survey from Forbes Insights found nearly half of executives believe empowering their workforces is key to achieving their desired transformation into a data leader. Still however, 58 percent of respondents say the biggest challenge in successfully leveraging customer data analytics is simply the skill levels of employees.

What’s the takeaway here?

According to Forbes; “Employees at all levels of the enterprise need to be involved in the process of discovering, analyzing and acting on the insights arising from customer data,”.

Gone are the days where strategizing and decision-making happen between data specialists and executives behind closed C-suite doors. The new paradigm puts the “average” employee in the driver’s seat, helping them pull relevant insights from company data and use their findings to make advantageous decisions.

A little bit of data literacy training can go a long way toward getting employees — especially those outside the data and IT departments — comfortable with using and interpreting data as a routine part of their workflows.

According to the experts at Harvard Business Review, here are some of the top data-related skills companies believe their teams are currently missing:

  • Asking the right questions
  • Understanding which data is relevant
  • Interpreting data in useful and meaningful ways
  • Creating easy-to-understand visualizations
  • Telling a story to help decision-makers see the big picture and act accordingly

Data literacy training can help employees of all stripes learn to do these things with confidence, while helping everyone become fluent in the common “language” of data.

Boost Accessibility of Data Analytics Tools & Insights

The next step is maximizing the accessibility of data analytics tools and insights across your organization. After all, the less accessible and convenient it is to work with data, the lower employee adoption rates tend to be.

Embedding analytics directly into the business applications and portals people already use puts tools and dashboards full of insights where users already spend time. So, it’s a logical next step for them to use these tools and access these insights regularly. Consider the advantages of this model over requiring users to access a completely separate interface every time they have a question, or want to check up on a chart.

Data analytics platforms like ThoughtSpot also offer mobile analytics, which allows users to create and interact with pinboards full of metrics on the go. This is particularly useful for workforces with remote sites or lots of traveling involved, as everyone throughout the org can get and stay on the same page through shared mobile analytics.

Harness Both Search- and AI-Driven Data Analytics

When people have ad hoc questions, or need to create specific data visualizations, they can turn to search-driven analytics tools. But what about all the questions going unasked? This is where artificial intelligence comes in.

AI-driven analytics use advanced algorithms to mine data for patterns, outliers and relationships between data points that may have otherwise gone overlooked — or at least would have required many, many hours from analysts to find. Harnessing search- and AI-driven analytics offers a more robust approach to pulling actionable insights from within data.

At the end of the day, helping employees get the most from your data analytics software will drive more positive business outcomes.