The Power and Responsibility of Data

  • October 7, 2020 • 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
  • Zoom

In this panel discussion, the Libraries’ Data Services team will address:

  • what it means to be data literate
  • storytelling with charts and infographics
  • storytelling with maps
  • storytelling with code and algorithms
  • how Data Services supports data literacy on campus

This virtual event is free and open to all. Registration for Zoom link to come soon.

People often point to “the data” as evidence for action. While it’s true that data gathering, description, analysis, and communication has enormous potential for research and decision making, it requires intentional planning, management, solid methods along with transparent methods documentation, and data sharing, to be trustworthy.

The truth of the matter is, data communication, whether through maps, charts, or infographics, can only tell part of the story — usually the part that the communicator deems important. Often, readers are not prepared to ask critical questions to understand if a data presentation is meaningful or accurate because they aren’t data literate.

In Data Services at University Libraries, we often work with students, faculty, and staff who want to tell a data story but don’t understand the mechanics. They underestimate the complexity and time commitment to creating something worthwhile. This is compounded by tools that are easy to use and allow the creation of visualizations without understanding the data itself. Data literacy is a core skill for those users to obtain before attempting analysis.