There is a plethora of online training resources available to business executives. For instance, Coursera offers this course on Executive Data Science Specialization and this one on Executive Business Analytics.
However, becoming data literate doesn’t necessarily require a Coursera course nor completing a certification in R or Python. There are alternative training options that can help executives and analytics practitioners from various industries. For instance, the Elder Research offers an Executive Strategy Session that can help develop an analytics strategy and project roadmap to support organizational priorities. The company also provides analytics training courses that range from half-day, focused skills sessions to 3-day, intensive data science proficiency courses. Learn more here, under Resources for Executives.
Seek Out Trusted Data Advisors
Some questions require expert, outside advice. Even the data literate need to consult masters on important matters. If you are in this situation, consider hiring a specialized, data analytics consultant.
A data analytics consultant helps businesses, government entities, non-profits, and universities find value in their data. They work with organizations to understand your goals and priorities in order to build and deploy models that deliver results and inform process stakeholders. Often, consultants work with in-house analytics teams to provide third-party validation of their models and methods and build an analytic center of excellence. It’s important to do your research to identify an excellent consultant you trust.
Build Relationships with Your Data Team
If you’ve recently hired new Data Scientists or Data Engineers, it’s important to establish a collaborative relationship between the technical team and business process owners as you plan your data strategy. They are the cross-functional team that will help you define the horizon of possibilities, so be open to their feedback. If an idea seems great to you, but they seem tentative, ask them why. While you may have greater visibility across the business, they will be more familiar with the nuances and limitations of your data.
Working together will ensure their efforts align with overall business strategy. You may want to mentor them in how to communicate the business value from their findings to key stakeholders to increase adoption of their results.