ODI Resource - Data literacy and the UK Gov

Created By:  Magnus Smidak
Last updated: 15 May 2024

This report examines the UK government's approach to data literacy within both its workforce and the general public. It emphasizes the importance of a clear understanding of data literacy, distinguishing it from technical skills, and highlights the government's efforts through various initiatives to enhance data capabilities across sectors.

The report by the Open Data Institute (ODI) provides an in-depth analysis of the UK government's initiatives to enhance data literacy within its workforce and the broader public. It stresses the importance of everyone having the opportunity to understand how data is used, advocating for a comprehensive understanding that encompasses critical thinking about data beyond just technical skills. The document scrutinizes the National Data Strategy (NDS) and various public sector efforts, highlighting the challenge posed by the lack of a consistent definition and approach to data literacy across government strategies.

The findings suggest a notable emphasis on technical data skills, with foundational data literacy—essential for informed decision-making and policy implementation—lagging behind. While recognizing promising initiatives for improving data literacy among government employees and senior leaders, the report points to a gap in programs aimed at the general population. It concludes with recommendations for a unified approach to fostering data literacy, emphasizing the need for clear definitions, aligned government efforts, and expanded public engagement to cultivate a data-literate society.

Category: Characteristics » Use of data and intelligence Data maturity Data maturity » Data lifecycle Data maturity » Skills and capability