How to Drive Data Literacy in the Public Sector


By Kevin Mills, Vice President, Coursera for Government

From the smallest unit of local government to international organizations, public sector agencies around the world are undergoing digital transformations that leverage new technologies to carry out core functions. This evolution demands new skills and knowledge, chief among them data literacy.

Yet successfully driving a data literacy program can be a challenging prospect for many organizations. According to The Data Literacy Project, 74% of employees feel overwhelmed or unhappy when working with data, despite 87% of employees seeing data as an asset.

Fortunately, it’s never been easier for the public sector to meet this challenge head on.

I’m excited to announce our latest e-book Driving Data Literacy in the Public Sector which builds on the lessons learned from our partnerships with government agencies around the world, including the Abu Dhabi School of Government (ADSG) in the United Arab Emirates and the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) in the United States, to explore how the public sector can successfully implement data skills development programs to establish a foundation of knowledge for all employees.

Data literacy—as we define it—is the capacity to read, interpret, communicate, and reason with data. It is a command of data in context, involving a grasp of where and through what methods data is sourced, how data is analyzed, how it can be applied to real-world use cases, and what practical value it may realize.

Today, data literacy skills no longer are solely the domain of technical specialists. Every government employee needs a baseline level of data literacy to solve problems, communicate, and make informed decisions.

A visual depiction of the different data literacy skills needed in the public sector, from foundational skills for all to skills that are needed by specific functions to advanced skills needed by technical teams

In this e-book, public sector leaders will learn:

  • Why data literacy is vital for improving government services through a detailed examination of the four main outcomes that data literacy helps achieve
  • How to launch, support, and show the ROI of a data literacy skills development program through the exploration of a framework created by our Solutions Consultants team
  • How Coursera can help support data literacy skills development within your organization

From cities to national agencies, the public sector can leverage data literacy skills to streamline their processes, attract and retain talent, and improve the lives of their citizens. We are already seeing firsthand how governments across the world are realizing the potential of a culture of data to effect positive change and I hope that this resource helps more organizations to do the same.

Download the Driving Data Literacy in the Public Sector e-book.

The post How to Drive Data Literacy in the Public Sector appeared first on Coursera Blog.

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