On Data-Literacy


The ability to parse written words in an endeavour to thoughtfully consider the ideas of others and the power to encode one’s own ideas in writing is, and has been since time immemorial, a critical factor in how we interact with and relate to our fellow human beings.

Spectre-like, there is an encroaching phenomena haunting Europe, which is perhaps even more informative than literate humans- the phenomena of “Open Data”. 

Governments are passed masters in the art of information aggregation for administrative purposes, a fact to which any holder of, say, a driver’s license can attest.

Much of this knowledge is created to propagate to the public, think of census statistics or law codes.
Until now it has been at times painfully difficult to access this information, consult the aforementioned driver’s license holders for verification.
The internet and the World Wide Web together constitute one of the most powerful social technologies ever created, enabling us to see ourselves and each other in new ways.

Open Data” refers to the practice of modern municipalities and corporations preparing structured information to make it available for general consumption, several noteworthy examples include ‘data.gov.uk’, ‘govdata.de’ and ‘data.gouv.fr’.

When the barriers of access to public data are reduced to a few keystrokes and mouse clicks there are tremendous insights and efficiencies that can be realized.

The Open Data Incubator for Europe (ODINE) is taking initiative in providing the critical infrastructure necessary to cultivate the first generation of entrepreneurs unlocking value from this information. The women and men working with ODINE are using data to tell stories, stories about you and I.

The extent to which we are able to understand and communicate with one another largely prescribes the effect we are able to have on the world around us and the effect it has on us.

In our modern world, to thoughtfully consider the ideas of others and the ability to encode one’s own ideas in data empowers us to think deeper and more critically about society and our place in it. This skill is called Data-Literacy and initiatives like ODINE are providing the impetus inspiring scores of people to develop their capacity to read and write in terms of data.

To learn more about how you can improve your own data-literacy visit: ‘edsa-project.eu’.