You might not realize this, but you have more responsibilities in your job as a webmaster or developer. It’s not enough to know code and keep websites secure.
You might be surprised to learn that 53% of companies are using data to make major decisions around the direction of the company.
What does that mean for you in your job as a webmaster? People are going to be relying on your expertise to interpret data to help guide them in their decisions. You need to understand data literacy as a part of your job.
Read on to learn what data literacy is and how you can become more data literate in your job.
What is Data Literacy?
Data literacy is a term that’s used to describe two groups of people. The general public and businesses.
For the general public, data literacy can be defined as the ability to determine fake news from actual facts. It could be as simple as fact-checking an article before you share it. It could also mean checking your sources and relying from reputable outlets for your information, not just social media.
For businesses, data literacy has a completely different meaning. Companies can track almost every aspect of their business. They can track productivity, sales, conversions, impressions, and marketing effectiveness.
There could be a million different data points for businesses. That can become a nightmare to work through. Data literacy means that companies distill the data down into smaller chunks to be able to make decisions.
Companies are encouraging all of their employees to become data literate so that decisions aren’t only made at the top. You can read more here to learn how companies are educating their employees.
Since consumers often view a company’s website as the first point of contact with a company, your role as a webmaster will expand to be able to understand the data related to the website.
How to Become Data Literate
You’re already an expert in putting a website together and maintaining it. You might even have a degree in computer science.
The good news about data literacy is that you don’t need another degree in statistics to read and understand data. You just need to follow these tips.
1. Know What’s Important to Track
It doesn’t matter if you’re reading data for a client or for your employer, you need to know what’s important to track.
As a webmaster, your main concerns should be with basic website analytics, such as bounce rate and time on site.
If you use Google analytics, you can dig deeper into user behavior and see how they use the website. You can see how they use the site and which pages are most important to them.
You can go down the rabbit hole there’s so much information available. That’s why your team needs to decide what metrics are the most important.
2. Know What Your Assumptions Are
When you analyze data, you’re going to make certain assumptions about user behavior. It’s important to note these assumptions when you’re analyzing data. It will help in the decision making process down the road.
If you’re to look at your site’s analytics and see that you have a high bounce rate and the time on site is only a few seconds, you can make a few assumptions about the website.
One assumption would be that your website is slow to load since people aren’t staying on your site. Another assumption that you can make is that the content on the site isn’t quite what the person is looking for or expected to see.
3. Use Data Visualization Skills
As a webmaster, your design skills are pretty sharp. Those skills are going to come in very handy. You’re likely going to be presenting your data to other people, whether that’s the marketing team or company executives.
People process data visually much faster than text, so you’re going to want to brush up on your data visualization skills.
4. Educate and Empower
As part of data literacy, you want to use data to educate and empower people. Take the time to not just present what the data is, but what it means.
When you take the time to educate the people around you about what the data means, you empower them to make better strategic decisions.
5. Get Comfortable Making Recommendations
People are going to look at you as an expert whether you like it or not. That means that you need to be able to present your findings and be able to make recommendations.
It’s a powerful position to be in because your recommendations can guide the strategic decisions of the company. Not everyone is comfortable with that level of responsibility.
It’s a position that you need to be comfortable with if you’re going to be relied on to interpret data.
6. Data Tells a Story
When you look at data, think of it as a story. It tells the story of customers and potential customers and how they use the website.
One way to tell a powerful story with website data is to match it up with the buyer’s journey. You know that when people are online, they have certain intentions. Some have the intention to educate themselves and others have the intention to make a purchase.
You can match your website’s data with the intention of users and tell the story of your customers.
Data Literacy Isn’t Rocket Science
One of the results of working in a connected world is that there is a ton of data to sort through. As a webmaster, you’re going to be relied on by company executives to read and interpret the data that’s related to their website.
Data literacy is important for webmasters, and it’s not too difficult to do. When you’re looking at data and interpreting it, know what your assumptions are. You also want to create charts that help others interpret the data easily so they can make important company decisions.
Are you ready to get started with data literacy? Check out these 10 web analytics tools so you can understand user behavior.