The Data Journalists handbook defines data literacy as, “the ability to consume for knowledge, produce coherently and think critically about data.” It goes on to say that “data literacy includes statistical literacy but also understanding how to work with large data sets, how they were produced, how to connect various data sets and how to interpret them.”
At General Assembly, we’d like to imagine a world where you don’t need a Ph.D. in Statistics to have a data-informed conversation about your business, your health, or your life in general. Over the past year, we’ve embarked on the journey to build a more data literate world through education offerings that meet the diverse needs of our students.
In building these courses, we’ve sought advice from data scientists, analysts, and hiring managers to determine the critical skills you need to become data literate in today’s workforce. We discovered that it isn’t just a concrete list of skills, but a mindset geared towards data—a way of approaching problems beyond “gut instincts.”
Here, we’ve proposed a few simple questions that will help you start to view the world through the lens of data.
If you thought the introduction of the commercial Internet changed mass media, take a look at what’s in front of you today. Behind the sites of your favorite newspapers and blogs (yes, even this one), publishers are using data to create better audience experiences. For anyone who has ever considered working with data as part of their career, there are now more opportunities than ever to bring media and data together. Here are some of the most important technologies to have on your radar.
Big data is just what it sounds like; data so big that it’s not easily processed through conventional methods. However, once this large data set is eventually distilled down, user experience can play a huge role in making sense of the reports and leading the charge for user-centered solutions.
User experience (UX) is the bridge between big data analytics and the end user. The richness of big data being collected by all types of companies has unleashed a treasure trove of information for user experience designers. UX designers can create more robust solutions for users by analyzing these enormous data sets.
Can data improve the future of our humanity? You better believe it. “Big data” is more than just big businesses. Every day, social impact groups are finding new and creative ways to act upon the information that they’re generating. They’re using data to surface new information, uncover underserved communities, and track performance over time. Here are 5 very different organizations that are using data, in new and creative ways, to improve the lives of people around them:
For many people, data feels like an avalanche of information. No matter how proficient we are with Excel, statistical software, SQL, or Google Analytics, it’s often tough to know where and how to take your first steps. Should you create a chart? Should you try to find a correlation between the trend you’re observing and revenue? How do you know whether your findings are statistically significant—and for that matter, what the heck is statistical significance?
At the end of the day, these questions are less intimidating than they seem. Data is a tool that human beings created for other human beings. As a result, it’s up to you to create your own constraints for analysis. You choose your terms. You choose the questions you want to answer. You choose the techniques that you want to deploy. You’re in control.
Here are three tips to help you wrangle your next report.
Data visualization is a form of visual communication where data is presented in a pictorial or graphical format. By presenting complex data sets in a visual way, people can comprehend and analyze the information set faster and more clearly.
The Data Analysis Circuit is a 10-week online course where students learn how to conduct an end-to-end analysis of a dataset by using SQL, Excel, and data visualization.
In the above Info Session, Seiya and Ilya from General Assembly talk about our newest course, Data Analysis Circuit. They’ll cover the benefits of this 10-week mentor-driven online course, what the course covers and who the course was designed for.
Never in my life would I have considered myself a data storyteller. While I had always been good at math — taking multiple levels of calculus throughout my years of high school, college, and grad schools — numbers didn’t really interest me. I was more interested in disciplines I felt were “solving real problems,” like sociology and government. Eventually, I majored in English because I enjoyed the challenge of interpreting and communicating complex ideas. Plus, someone once told me, “Girls can’t be good at math.”
By moving beyond analysis into prediction through data science, General Assembly Hong Kong’s DAT graduate Anson Au has brought unparalleled performance and efficiency to traditional practices in the construction industry.
Before coming to GA, Anson was already an avid learner, having completed both an MSc and MBA at HKUST. In his current role as head of IT projects at Alliance Construction Materials, he sought to use data and technology to improve the performance in the traditional construction materials industry.
However you want to come at your next career or business idea, we at General Assembly have a class to help you do it. With on-campus courses in 12 cities—including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, London, Sydney, and Hong Kong—and online classes available everywhere, it’s just a matter of making your next move. Which will it be? Here are a few questions to help you find an educational opportunity that fits your goals and lifestyle.