Welcome to the EDUCAUSE Data Literacy Institute! The goal of this program is to develop the foundational skills critical for leading change through effective data-informed decision-making.

By the end of this institute, participants will be able to:

  • Navigate the "Information Lifecycle" and understand each stage's purpose and value
  • Speak knowledgeably about key concepts related to data security, privacy, ethics, and governance
  • Respond to key questions with results from your own data analysis
  • Prepare an effective presentation using data visualization principles
  • Leverage data to lead change at your institution


During the program, learners are expected to dedicate approximately 5-10 hours per week (synchronous and asynchronous) to have an engaged and successful learning experience. We ask that participants actively plan the time they will spend on the institute each week, even on a daily basis.

Once a week, we will hold a live, synchronous online meeting to discuss resources, activities, and projects in support of the five competencies. These meetings will be a combination of short talks, discussion, and opportunities for questions. We highly recommend you attend all live sessions.

All sessions will take place 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
Start Date: January 24, 2022

Live Sessions:

  • Week 1
    - Monday, January 24
    - Wednesday, January 26
  • Week 2 — Wednesday, February 2
  • Week 3 — Wednesday, February 9
  • Week 4 — Wednesday, February 16
  • Week 5 — Wednesday, February 23
  • Week 6 — Wednesday, March 2
  • Week 7 — Wednesday, March 9
  • Week 8 — Wednesday, March 16

Institute Competencies

Each competency includes the following components:

  • Introduction: Overview, learning objectives, and activity checklist
  • Learning Materials: Readings, videos, and websites that contain the key content and information you will need to progress through the competency
  • Recommended Resources: Readings, videos, and websites that provide additional information relevant to your professional development
  • Activities/Assignments: Practice activities and assignments
  • Reflections: Summary and highlights of each competency and your actionable goals

Competency 1: Introduction to Data Literacy

Learners will examine the key concepts of data literacy. By the end of this competency, you will be able to:

  1. Navigate the "Information Lifecycle" and each stage's purpose and value
  2. Articulate the value of data governance within the context of higher education
  3. Discuss the importance of critical thinking in data literacy

Competency 2: Data Security, Privacy, and Ethics

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

  1. Explain how FERPA, HIPAA, and other federal privacy regulations impact the handling of data
  2. Review your institution’s security and privacy policies
  3. Examine ethical issues associated with data application

Competency 3: Data Management Principles

Learners will explore methods and tools of data and metadata use, management, storage, and preservation. By the end of this competency, you will be able to:

  1. Identify internal and external data sources
  2. Examine data management workflow from collection through processing to storage and preservation
  3. Articulate common data classification schemas and data curation requirements
  4. Define metadata and its purpose
  5. Identify sources and types of metadata

Competency 4: Data Selection and Evaluation

Learners will identify, retrieve, 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:

  1. Explain the importance of research questions or user questions when identifying data sources
  2. Examine quantitative, qualitative, primary and secondary categories of data
  3. Identify internal, external, and new data needed to address a defined area of inquiry
  4. Critically evaluate quality of datasets for errors, problems, completeness with context of area of inquiry

Competency 5: Data Analysis

Learners will conduct data analysis, interpret and evaluate the results of their analysis, and draw conclusions about a defined area of inquiry. By the end of this competency, you will be able to:

  1. Develop a data analysis plan that includes exploratory analysis and appropriate data analysis tools and techniques based on the inquiry
  2. Conduct exploratory data analysis, evaluation of results, identification of discrepancies, and comparison to other findings
  3. Identify data sharing protocols for storing and preserving one’s own data

Competency 6: Data Visualization and Presentation

Learners will visually and verbally communicate their conclusions in easy-to-understand and meaningful ways to open dialog with target audiences. By the end of this competency, you will be able to:

  1. Identify and select findings most meaningful to the defined area of inquiry
  2. Convert data into accurate, actionable, and meaningful visual representations
  3. Discuss ways to communicate data analysis outcomes clearly, coherently, and in ways tailored to the needs of the audience

Competency 7: Data Leadership

Learners will develop strategies for cultivating a data-informed campus culture. By the end of this competency, you will be able to:

  1. Understand how data and analytics can address higher education challenges
  2. Describe the elements of data governance in the context of higher education
  3. Develop a plan for improving data governance at your institution