Understanding data science may seem a daunting prospect for parents. We want to provide parents with some background information on data science, data literacy and the kinds of actvities your children may undertake at school.

Data is a word we hear almost everyday when we turn on the news. Obvious signs of data such as graphs and charts are a regular feature in newspapers, on TV and on social media. However data is now in almost every aspect of our lives and those of our children. Many things we now take for granted either collect data or use data to optimise a product or service. Data is being used to plan our cities and understand our communities. As we move forward recognising data, being able to interpret it and take decisions using data will become an increasingly important skillset.

The Data Education for Schools programme is part of the Data-Driven Innovation (DDI) Skills Gateway, an eight year programme funded by the Scottish and UK government, aiming to offer young people in the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region (ESESCR) the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills needed for our data-driven and data-rich world.

Families play an important part in supporting learning, never more so than during the current Covid-19 recovery. This part of our website aims to provide an introduction to data literacy for parents to both explain why these skills are important and to help provide guidance on how you can support your children to become data literate.

What is Data Science and Data Literacy?

Data Science is the study of data. It involves developing methods of recording, storing, and analysing data to effectively extract useful information. The goal of data science is to gain insights and knowledge from analysing data and use thus insight and knowledge to understand our world and our behaviours a little better.

Watch this video for a brief introduction to data science

Data literacy is the ability to ask and answer real-world questions using data. This can be as simple as finding out if you are active enough by interpreting your fitness data to something much more complex like using data on housing, work and transport to decide how to design a new city.

Becoming Data Literate

No matter what job we have now or what jobs our children go on to have, being able to find meaning in data, recognise what it is telling you and understand its accuracy is becoming a critical skill for everyone. We want young people to be informed about their personal data, their data rights and how they can use data for good.

Data Science in Scotland

In 2018 the Scottish Government and the UK government awarded the Edinburgh and the South East Scotland City Region £8million over eight years to develop a programme of data skills through schools, colleges, universities and in-work training, to ensure that every citizen of the region can begin a journey of data education. Jobs requiring data science skills already exist across many sectors including agriculture and food security, banking, manufacturing, brewing and hospitality & tourism. The demand of these skills in all sectors is anticipated to grow significantly in the near future.

Data Education for Schools

The Data Education for Schools programme is working across the region’s primary and secondary schools to develop a data education programme that supports the beginning of this journey to data education. Find out more about the programme, what you and your child can learn about together and how you can get involved.