Data Literacy

What is data literacy? There are many resources that explain data literacy, but one person who explains data literacy well is Tim Stobierski. Mr. Stobierski is a marketing specialist and contributing writer for Harvard Business School Online, who writes about data literacy. His compelling 2021 article explains: “Data literacy is a term used to describe an individual’s ability to read, understand, and utilize data in different ways. It doesn’t require an individual to be an expert—as a data scientist or analyst might be considered—but rather to show an understanding of basic concepts, such as different types of data, Common data sources, Types of analysis, Data Hygiene, Tools, Techniques, and Frameworks.” (p. 1).

Data Literacy is increasingly important today. It’s crucial to discuss the ethical implications of data collection, especially how it can disproportionately affect marginalized communities. Additionally, the potential for bias in data should not be overlooked. A lack of diversity in data science can perpetuate systemic inequalities, making it essential to address this issue in data literacy education. These issues are discussed in Chapter 1 as well as articles included in the appendix. Organizations and individuals are inundated with vast amounts of data. It empowers individuals to make informed decisions, identify trends, solve problems, and effectively communicate insights derived from data. Data can empower organizations and individuals to share information and collaborate. Data is to be shared and explored by individuals to gain skills and knowledge. (“The 2020 Global State of Enterprise Analytics”, 2020)

With data being consumed by many people and platforms, individuals need to understand and analyze the data they encounter. Data literacy is not just about understanding numbers and statistics but also about being able to interpret and communicate the insights derived from the data. It involves understanding the context in which the data was collected, the biases that may be present, and how to use data to make informed decisions. In today’s digital age, data is everywhere and being data literate is essential for success in many industries. Data literacy also involves understanding the ethical implications of collecting, analyzing, and using data and the importance of privacy and security. Overall, data literacy is an important skill for anyone who wants to be able to understand, analyze, and communicate insights derived from data.