So there’s this growing and valid concern that Artificial Intelligence -‘robots’ – will take over our jobs in future, and put a lot of us out of work. And then enslave us. The days of cybernet and hyper-skilled cyborgs are upon us!
Ok, only part of everything I’ve just mentioned so far is true. AI is indeed positioned to take over a lot of jobs – but at the same time create more jobs. IDC predicts that starting from 2020, AI will be a ‘net job creator’ – generating over 2.3 million jobs while eliminating only about 1.8 million jobs.
This blog post explores this AI trend and how you can position yourself in your career through data literacy.
The ying and yang of Artificial Intelligence
The advent of AI is indeed a positive trend in the workplace; With a leverage from AI, individuals can focus even better on what the human brain is mainly designed to deal with – seeing the big picture, tackling complex issues in context and navigating interpersonal relationships with emotional intelligence.
Machines can be trained to carry out all kinds of non-routine cognitive tasks, and manual tasks will increasingly be the domain of more advanced robots.This implies that the society will benefit from greater, and cheaper productivity. The flip side to this is that many workers will lose their jobs. Research predicts that up to half of the manual worker population will be made redundant. For example, robots could replace truck drivers and in some fields like education and medicine, machines will increasingly play assisting roles to skilled professionals.
How can you stay relevant in an AI-driven society?
A more important role of AI is how it’s increasingly making data accessible to almost every employee, ‘techie’ or not. Data makes decision making at every level of organisation effective so data is not for a select few. The better you get at decision making, the more responsibility you are trusted with. Good decision making save time, money and energy and is the key to speedy results. Overall, this enhances your professional profile and career. This is why free access to data for every employee is critical for the success of any business.
The key to working more effectively with data is data literacy, which I call the ’21st century index of literacy’.
Data literacy, in the business context, it’s the ability for employees to derive meaningful insights from data and apply those insights in a way that benefits the organization.
Data literacy is as important as maths and English in the primary school classroom. Data literacy is a leverage every business needs so as to recognise and seize opportunities for growth and innovation in today’s competitive environment. Needless to say, a data literate workforce is a competitive advantage. Whether your organisation has a data literacy strategy in place or not, it is a responsibility you owe your career – to be data literate.
Data literacy skills include the following abilities:
- Knowing what data is appropriate to use for a particular purpose.
- Interpreting data visualizations, such as graphs and charts.
- Thinking critically about information yielded by data analysis.
- Understanding data analytics tools and methods and when and where to use them.
- Recognizing when data is being misrepresented or used misleadingly.
- Communicating information about data to people lacking data literacy, an ability sometimes referred to as data storytelling.
Where do you start in data literacy?
While most people are highly motivated to improve their ability to grasp and analyse data, the issue is that they don’t know where to start from.
A basic statistics course is the best place to start. The foundational knowledge and grasp of key data concepts that this provides is invaluable. There are numerous educational options available online, both free and paid.
The second step to increase your data literacy is access to as much organisational data as possible without threats to confidentiality data or mishandling. You need continuous access to information for the opportunity to work with and learn how to use the data efficiently.
If you need more guidance on this topic please feel free to contact me! I can make more personal recommendations on resources you can help build your data literacy.