Overcoming the Fear of Data

Data is a massive part of today’s workplace and is only getting bigger. The use of data has extended beyond the specialists, and data education has been improving for the rookies. Yet, many are still having trouble overcoming fear of data. 

Companies are pushing towards data-driven practices and data is available to more employees. They are encouraged to utilize it to improve insight and performance.

Some companies are even going as far as creating their own data universities. Despite the additional training, a cloud of fear still looms over the use of data for many employees.

Overcoming Fear of Data

Many professionals are not taking advantage of this increased access. There is still an uneasy feeling of working with data for those that are not accustomed to it. In this guide, we will highlight some reasons behind this uneasy feeling and how you can overcome the obstacles to using data.

Overcoming Fear of Responsibility

With the growth of data access across organizations comes an added responsibility for every user. Data contains sensitive information, and that fact alone is enough for some to avoid utilizing data. Making matters worse, it is now a common occurrence for organizations to be in the media for data misuse, a data breach, and everything in-between.

But the added attention to data safety has created benefits, as organizations are enacting clear protocols when dealing with sensitive data. Moreover, your company should have a stable hierarchy of who can access certain data.

Data professionals in your organization have the most access to data, while others have access where it is needed. As an employee, you should only have access to data you are trained and prepared to use. Additionally, when training with new data software, employees are given sample, “pretend” data to practice with. There is no pressure of making a mistake, so you can learn comfortably.

Overcoming Fear of Inaccuracy

Many who are beginning to learn how to use data believe there is a steep learning curve. They think that if you can’t code and don’t know advanced statistics, you will not understand how to work with data. Due to this, many are worried that the conclusions they come up with in their analysis are simply wrong. The data experts of your company work to validate the integrity of your organization’s data so that by the time you access it, you can be confident that you have the correct information.

In fact, it does not take an analytics expert to be able to perform simple actions with data to gain insights. Analytics software is becoming more user friendly, where minimal to no coding or SQL knowledge is necessary to be able to examine your data.

Learning to use data in small steps goes a long way in developing your analysis skills. Organizations have also been promoting a number of ways to learn data skills while in the office including:

  • “Lunch and Learns”
  • Educational conferences
  • Increasing number of software licenses
  • Incentives for data use


In the data-driven workplace, data is becoming available to a larger group of people. With this, there is learning and training required so employees are prepared for data use. There will be growing pains associated with this transition, but this is nothing to fear and should be embraced as we are heading to a more analytical workplace.

About Patrick Gibson