How do our partners use the data skills framework?

Tue Aug 20, 2019
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The ODI Skills Framework provides a balanced view of the skills an organisation needs in order to build an open, trustworthy data ecosystem, and manage harmful impacts. 

The Skills Framework is designed to help leaders identify better ways to make an impact quickly, to clearly communicate their plans, and to develop the long-term capabilities they need. 

The Open Data Institute works with companies and governments to build open, trustworthy data ecosystems, where people make better decisions using data, and manage harmful impacts. Our focus is on changing the behaviour of individuals in their roles as stewards, creators and decision-makers. 

To do this we partner with leaders to build a culture of openness and trust around data, by helping them identify then develop the practical skills, advice, tools and networks they require. As an independent, non-profit organisation the ODI helps them take a holistic view of what they need, in order to deliver long-term change. 

The ODI Data Skills Framework is one of the key tools our partners use to get started. It is the basis for making  better decisions about where and how to build capacity and capability.

Why use the ODI Data Skills Framework?

With the support of the ODI, organisations like Arup, the BBC, Deutsche Bank and the Coop use the Data Skills Framework to design and implement data skills programmes that are focused on strategic impact.

The Data Skills Framework provides our partners with a holistic view of data skills by breaking the domain into topics and showing how these topics connect. This makes it easier to understand where to start, and where to focus.

The ODI Data Skills Framework

The “Introductions” topics are the basics that everyone in an ecosystem needs –  fundamental data literacy that provides the foundations to work with data. This leads to a range of applied skills, grouped into themes.

These themes – Publishing, Management, Business, Analysis and Leadership – are drawn from research that shows that, in most circumstances, a carefully balanced set of data skills is needed in order to build an effective and trustworthy data ecosystem.

Leaders can use this balanced viewpoint to identify whether their current approach covers the range of skills they need to get results, and then find better ways to make an impact quickly, to communicate their plans clearly, and to develop the long-term capabilities they require.

Without the balanced, holistic view of data skills the Data Skills Framework provides, it can be hard to identify ways to break down silos and build the broad range of capabilities that sustain growth. The framework helps build programmes that help everyone feel more comfortable with data while challenging those who are already practitioners.

Balance is critically important. For example, a focus on governance and a risk averse approach will stifle analysis and innovation. Conversely, innovation without ethics can lead to loss of trust.

How can you use the ODI Skills Framework?

If you’re leading strategic work in your business or developing capacity you can use the Data Skills Framework to:

  • Make better decisions about where and how to build capacity and capability
  • Confidently communicate your vision for data 
  • Develop a more engaged workforce by taking away the fear of data
  • Lead your sector by developing a viable data infrastructure.
  • Eliminate siloed data initiatives
  • Benchmark your progress against peers
  • Balance short term needs, like GDPR, with the need to build longer-term capabilities.
  • Mitigate the risk of ethical issues.

Want to use the ODI Skills Framework in your work?

If you need help building your programme we’re looking for new partners who want to work with us to explore how data skills can help deliver change in their organisation and their sector. As an ODI partner, you’ll join a network of innovators and sector-leaders, contribute to research and publications, and benefit from consulting and training tailored to your needs.  

The first step is to fill in this form and we’ll be in touch to discuss ways to work together.