Data Literacy Research Findings


In 2015, FabRiders helped School of Data undertake its first research project to understand data literacy efforts around the world.  We published a series of blog posts on the School of Data website to share our findings. This is a repost of the Introduction, the links below will take you to the posts on the School of Data website. The goal in posting them as blog posts is to provide them in an accessible format, benefitting both data literacy practitioners and a wider network of peers. Hopefully, this examination of techniques and methodologies currently employed by actors within and outside the network can provide with a pool of knowledge to be used in building and developing data literacy efforts.

For this research project we aimed to examine the effectiveness of current data literacy efforts, particularly in relation to social change work. This research is specifically aimed to empower the School of Data Steering Committee to take strategic decisions about the programme going forward and along with the School of Data network members, build on the successes to date.  We specifically looked to answer the question: What are the recurring topics when speaking about data literacy in social change/justice work?

The Data Literacy Research Finding blog posts have appeared on the School of Data as follows:

  1. Defining Data Literacy
  2. Data Literacy Methodologies
  3. Measuring the Impact of Data Literacy Efforts
  4. Which Business Models for Data Literacy Efforts?
  5. Improving Data Literacy Efforts
  6. List of resources we used during our research


Mariel Garcia provided research assistance and Dirk Slater from FabRiders provided research advisory. Guidance for the work was provided by Marco Pires, School of Data Coordinator; Milena Marin, former School of Data Coordinator and Katelyn Rogers, Project Manager at Open Knowledge International.

We are especially thankful to the following people who advised us during this process:

  • Javiera Atenas (Management Science and Innovation Department, University College London, United Kingdom),
  • Becky Faith (Department of Computing and Communications, Open University, United Kingdom),
  • Rahul Bhargava (Center for Civic Media, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States),
  • Silvana Fumega (University of Tasmania, Australia)
  • Fabrizio Scrollini (Iniciativa Latinoamericana por los Datos Abiertos, Uruguay).

The following people were gracious enough to provide us with insightful interviews that helped us develop our research: