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Data Literacy

TRY 2013 Presentation

Amber Leahey

on 26 March 2015

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Transcript of Data Literacy

Data Literacy, or DL:
the (sometimes) forgotten stepchild of IL

Why DL?
The End!
Common Mistakes
DL 101
Data Literacy Essentials
How do / should we evaluate data & stats?
Mapping film attendance demo
Using visuals for non-data intensive subjects
Attend the poster presentation for more on this topic with Wendy Traas!
Why is this important for everyone?
How is this useful for students?
Why is data literacy important?
Data Literacy in Canada
Results from the IALS, 2003
Level 3 is considered to be the desired threshold or the “…minimum for persons to understand and use information contained in the increasingly difficult texts and tasks that characterize the emerging knowledge society and information economy.” - IALS Report, 2003
"Average proficiency scores of those employed are higher than those who were unemployed or not in the labour force." -IALS Report, 2003
3 common mistakes w/ data & statistics!
1. Interpreting tables, charts, graphs, and maps!
1. Identify the population under study;
2. Identify the variable(s) presented in the table;
3. Identify the measuring unit used (frequencies, percentages, rates, etc.);
4. Read the information presented in table cells or axis (for charts & graphs).
Interpreting the data
2. Understanding rates of increase!
What’s wrong with these statements?
“There are now at least 85,000 Elvis [impersonators] around the world, compared to only 170 in 1977 when Elvis died. At this rate of growth, experts predict that by 2019 Elvis impersonators will make up a third of the world population.“
-The Naked Scientists 3rd December, 2000.
“When Elvis died in 1977, there were an estimated 37 Elvis impersonators in the world. By 1993, there were 48,000 Elvis impersonators, an exponential increase. Extrapolating from this, by 2010 there will be 2.5 billion Elvis impersonators. The population of the world will be 7.5 billion by 2010. Every 3rd person will be an Elvis impersonator by 2010."

Rates of increase do not necessarily remain constant over time!?
3. Fruit - Packing?
Drop in cholesterol levels after 4 weeks of eating oatmeal for breakfast
Actual Drop in cholesterol levels after 4 weeks of eating oatmeal for breakfast
Questions matter! Cherry-picking
vs. Statistics
vs. Information
How are statistics derived from data?
one way to think of unemployment is as an economic concept

Unemployment rate = unemployed workers
total labour force
Sample Population
Labour Force Survey
Not in Labour Force
Participation Rate
Canada's unemployment rate (March, 2013) 7.2%
Where did the data/statistics come from?
How were the data collected or statistics computed?
What are the/my data saying?
Locating & Selecting Resources
Have they been peer-reviewed?
How do I determine what is an appropriate source?
Research question?
Creating & Analyzing
Accuracy and Reliability
Is there metadata / documentation?
Do you understand the formats used?
What is / are the units of observation?
.txt , .sav?
What sort of comparisons are being made? Are they accurate, or are they apples and oranges?
Evaluating, Assessing & Presenting
Questions being asked?
What is the context?
Reliability (time-series)
Responsibility & Limitations
Contribution to existing knowledge...
Example from Census
DAta Literacy for non-data intensive subjects
Using data in unexpected ways and places
Data and statistics aren’t that scary
Improve overall literacy and confidence
Informed citizens
Be different; spark your interest; encourage discussion
Data are sexy
Approval of euthanasia/mercy killing
Sources for teaching with data & stats
Open & International data http://www.offstats.auckland.ac.nz/
Public Opinion Polls (<odesi>)
Google Fusion Tables & Google Charts
Calculating per capita film attendance, by country
"Cinema attendance by country", UNESCO Institute for Statistics, March 11, 2003.
Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/med_cin_att-media-cinema-attendance
Data Literacy
What do we mean?
"Data literacy is the ability to consume for knowledge, produce
coherently and think critically about data. 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."

- Nicolas Kayser-Bril, "Data Journalism Handbook"
Media and public discourse
Consumers of data
"Statistical literacy is the ability to read and interpret
summary statistics in the everyday media: in graphs, tables,
statements, surveys and studies."

-By Milo Schield in "Assessing Statistical Literacy: Take CARE" Ch 11 in Assessment Methods in Statistical Education, pp. 133-152. Wiley 2010
Critical thinking skills
“Data literacy is the ability to interpret and use multiple data
sources effectively to improve teaching and learning”

- Nancy Love
Evolution of Ethnic Origin question:
Language and the Census
IALS Report, 2003
Steps in Reading a Statistics Table. 2005. https://www.oirs.ulaval.ca/files/content/sites/oirs/files/Tableau-Version%20traduction_Eng.pdf
Adapted from: Seife, Charles. Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception. New York : Viking, 2010. pg 295.
Adapted from: Seife, Charles. Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception. New York : Viking, 2010. pg 295.
Statistics Canada, 2013.
Statistics Canada. 2013
IALS Codebook, 2003
Leading Questions. Yes Prime Minister. Accessed from Youtube
Data represent one year's worth of attendance
Variables: Attendance, Population, Country
What can we do with these data?
But wait!?
Comparison across countries!
Walter's LibGuide!
Full transcript