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Data Literacy Academy, which transforms organisations through data literacy upskilling of all employees, has raised more than half a million dollars in its pre-seed funding round, for its online learning platform and change programme services, which has been led by Haatch Ventures. The $525,000 funding will be used to accelerate go to market across Europe, North America and the Middle East, as well as grow the international network of educators.
Data Literacy Academy – whose mission is to help 10,000 businesses achieve data literacy by 2030 – offers educational courses for people at every stage of the data literacy journey. Working directly with data leaders in a business, it supports them to roll out a data literacy programme at scale across all teams.
The UK Business Data Survey 2022 found that 85% of all UK businesses handle digital data, rising to almost all for those with 10 or more employees. Despite this, there is a dearth of data skills, with around a quarter of businesses saying their sectors have insufficient data skills, and almost half (46%) of businesses admitting to have struggled to recruit for roles that require data skills.
Upskilling and empowering employees to be more data literate has a multitude of benefits, including improved decision making, more innovation and productivity, and better employee and customer experience.
The programme teaches employees at all levels how to engage with and benefit from the data their organisation holds, ultimately bridging the gap between data experts and business teams. All classes are taught live by leading members of the data community, including data leaders from organisations including Gymshark.
Businesses like The Football Association, Ministry of Defence and Wesleyan are among the 30+ companies who took part in a recent private beta programme, which included hundreds of employees from the organisations involved.
Greg Freeman, CEO and Founder of Data Literacy Academy, comments: “Pre-seed funding is a hugely exciting time for any start-up – it’s the launchpad from which the future can develop. Having the backing of industry heavyweights like Jason Foster gives me even more conviction in our mission to become the go to educator for data literacy amongst business users. Data-led, data-literate organisations are the future of business, and we are proud to be helping them and their employees get there.”
Fred Soneya, Co-Founder and Partner, Haatch Ventures: “Addressing the global skills gap is a priority for governments and organisations around the world. Initiatives like Data Literacy Academy are critical to driving positive change in this area, by making learning about data interesting and relevant. We look forward to supporting the business through the next phase of growth.”
Other investors include Ufi Ventures as well as Jason Foster, Founder and CEO of data and analytics strategy consultancy, Cynozure – which was recently ranked 45th on the Sunday Times Top 100 Private Companies list – who has also been named a non-executive director at Data Literacy Academy. Jason brings a wealth of experience in the data space, having previously led the data team at Marks and Spencer. He is also the author of ‘Data Means Business’, a guide for business leaders to generate value from their data.
Jason Foster, CEO and Founder of Cynozure, comments: “As businesses become increasingly reliant on data to aid more accurate decision making, data literacy is becoming the differentiator in achieving business success. Having worked with hundreds of businesses on their data strategies over the years, it is clear that real value can only come when employees know how to interpret, engage, and make decisions with data. Data Literacy Academy is supporting businesses to do exactly that, through a highly engaging, easy-to-use, and scalable platform.”
Helen Gironi, Director of Ventures at Ufi Ventures: “Ufi invests in vocational technology to build adults’ skills for work. There is a huge gap in data skills, which is holding both businesses and individuals back. We are really impressed with the targeted and successful approach that Data Literacy Academy is taking to help businesses develop a data-driven workforce”.