Data literacy “creates new upskill opportunities at Galp”

More than just creating data scientists, Galp’s data training programme aims to add value to the organisation and its employees´ professional careers in a transversal and comprehensive manner.

Knowledge is power and data is value. This is the premise that is leading more and more companies to focus on the definition and implementation of data governance strategies designed to guarantee the creation of added value, better informed decision-making, and, above all, to ensure the company´s competitiveness in the market. Elisabete Fonseca, head of the Data Strategy & Transformation department at Galp, believes that organisations willing to invest in the expansion of data literacy internally “will have a clear competitive advantage”, whereby, she adds, it is of paramount importance “to take the human factor into account and to involve people in this transformation, ensuring they know what´s happening and where we're going, and that they understand the data lifecycle and the impact their actions have on it”. Demystifying the issue of data, making it concrete and accessible to everyone, sharing and involving people in this process, and training them for this world of data, is a priority at Galp.

The Galp manager was one of the guest speakers on the Digital Leader Panel, at IDC Future of Intelligence, AI & Automation 2022, adding her perspectives to those of Nuno Brás Pinto (Lusíadas), Ricardo Chaves (BPI) and Ricardo Gonçalves (Fidelidade), in a debate hosted by Bruno Horta Soares (IDC).

With respect to the new data literacy programme launched by Galp in December last year, Elisabete Fonseca explains that this professional training initiative strives to “meet the organisation’s real objectives” through four paths of learning – Data Fundamentals, Data Operations, Data Excellence and Data Strategy, which comprehensively cover the different needs involved. To date, the programme created in partnership with Porto Business School and IDC, and which will be available for two years, has already benefitted more than 350 Galp employees and classes are full until September. “There has been enormous interest in the programme and the feedback received has been really positive”, she says.

Elisabete Fonseca was a member of a panel at IDC Future of Intelligence 2022, at which she shared Galp's vision on data

The main objective of the initiative is to reach all of the company's 7,000 employees, particularly due to the fact that this training programme is geared to a wide range of different profiles. “We wanted it to be transversal and to meet various types of needs. We don't all need to be data scientists, but we all need to know how to read, write and think 'data’”, explains Elisabete Fonseca. When designing the four paths of teaching, the intention was to “predict content and opportunities” for everyone, from the front line to the most strategic areas. Each employee can choose the path of learning best suited to their role or professional ambitions. “This was a way of enabling Galp to raise its level of data literacy and to open up new upskill opportunities to people, generating a positive impact on the organisation as a whole”, she points out to Energiser, stating that “the impact of the programme has already been felt in the field, with a greater awareness of the issue and also the type of conversations we´ve started having with each other”.


The advantages are clear as far as the organisation is concerned. On the one hand, the literacy programme “helps people to gain a better understanding of the transformation we are experiencing and of their role in it”. On the other, it enables employees to find new ways of contributing to the common purpose of regenerating the future, be it providing an improved customer service or generating more value, “being able to use data in an increasingly relevant manner and taking greater advantage of all the other levers the organisation is implementing in order to become data-driven”. “When we understand the advantage of basing our decisions and analyses on a set of contextualized and validated data, and, moreover, when we understand all the resources that need to be activated to access it, we learn, in an almost natural manner, to be more relevant in the questions we raise and the requests we make”, she says. Indeed, this change is already noticeable on the ground, Elisabete Fonseca guarantees. “[Data] requests are already better thought out and focused. They always have a purpose,” she confirms.

In addition to the four paths of learning, this literacy programme will continue to evolve. “An “on the job coaching” programme for key functions in the data world is nearing completion, and will be launched before the summer. Furthermore, more technical training activities are also available”, the manager reveals.

The power of data has been in the hands of each and every one of Galp's 7,000 employees since December.