EDUCAUSE Data Literacy Institute

Data Literacy Institute Details

The EDUCAUSE Data Literacy Institute is designed to empower higher education professionals to use, leverage and communicate with data. This institute provides foundational knowledge needed to facilitate effective data-informed decision-making. Participants will get a comprehensive view into the information lifecycle and hands-on practice with each step from data discovery and evaluation to leading and influencing change through data storytelling.


Learners will examine the why and how data matters in higher education. By the end of this competency, you will be able to:

  • Recognize and communicate the value of data to your higher education institution.
  • Examine the data lifecycle - from collection through processing to storage and preservation and the varying perspectives at each step.
  • Identify your organization’s data governance policies, understand leading practices in data governance in higher education and assess alignment with your institution.

Learners will explore key challenges in higher education using methods and tools to locate needed data, and understand data access processes and data definitions. By the end of this competency, you will be able to:

  • Explain the importance and nuance of research questions or user questions when identifying data sources and submitting data requests.
  • Describe the importance of asking questions to clarify the challenge/issue being researched.
  • Identify internal and external data sources available to you and relevant access processes and timelines.
  • Detail the meaning of data elements and determine whether the data suits your analytic needs.

Learners will identify and evaluate the quality of data in the context of a defined area of inquiry. By the end of this competency, you will be able to:

  • Identify various data categories and types.
  • Critically evaluate the quality of a dataset for completeness, accuracy, and timeliness relative to your context of inquiry.
  • Examine the initial data question and determine if revision is needed based on available and/or collected data.

Learners will recognize and advocate for appropriate and secure data handling procedures. By the end of this competency, you will be able to:

  • Discuss how to identify and classify different types of data.
  • Locate and articulate your institution’s information security and privacy policies.
  • Evaluate how federal and state regulations impact the handling of higher education data.
  • Support best practices regarding data sharing, storage, and preservation and/or destruction.

Learners will recognize various elements and principles for visualization, interpretation, and evaluation of the results. By the end of this competency, you will be able to:

  • Recommend ways to communicate data clearly, coherently, and in ways tailored to the needs of the target audience (including visualizations).
  • Interpret findings most meaningful to the defined challenge/issue.
  • Provide relevant background and context for data narrative.


Faculty Application

Interested in becoming a faculty member for an EDUCAUSE Institute? Learn more about the process here.

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