Technology is key to the future of the UK. Unlocking its full potential will depend on the data literacy of our citizens and our workforce.


Yet these skills are not being taught in the UK’s schools. The consequences are significant for our economy and society. According to NESTA, data-driven companies in the UK are already struggling to find talent with adequate data-related skills. In our cities, while the average citizen may be comfortable with using the Internet, the majority of UK citizens have little experience with using data to make decisions. As data increasingly drives urban innovation, this is a barrier to active participation in local civic life.


Information technology will continue to transform the way we work and live in the UK. From solving urban problems in Smart Cities to succeeding in tomorrow’s data-driven organisations, data literacy will become an essential 21st century skill for the next generation.

What are the core data literacy skills?


Data questions, ethics, acquistion, preparation, analysis and communication.

What is data literacy?

Data Questions


Setting the question and scope for what is the focus of the investigation. 

Data Ethics


Identifying the sensitivities in collecting, analysing and sharing data. Implementing procedures for treatment of the data.

Data Acquisition


Collecting the data needed to answer the question set. Understand the validity of the data source.

Data Preparation


Involves assessing the data in preparation for analysis. Assess sample size, anomalies, bias and completeness.

Data Analysis


Use appropriate techniques to draw out findings from the data. For example statisical, mapping and charting techniques.  

Data Communication


The ability to use the data to tell a story.  

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