In case you missed the announcement by the Linux Foundation yesterday, a team led by Patrick McGarry and others at data.world has made freely available a set of course materials designed for anyone looking to increase their skills working with data. The materials can be found at datapractices.org/courseware.
Why is this announcement so significant?
This is a big deal for anyone interested in the advancement of data literacy around the world because it represents the starting point of an open and free repository of materials that anyone can access to build their knowledge and skills, or to use to teach others.
- The content is “a collection of knowledge from many experts and practitioners across the data ecosystem” so it represents a wide set of expertise
- It’s a “vendor neutral community”, meaning it won’t be connected in any way to the growth aspirations of any one company
- The entire effort is an outworking of the Manifesto for Data Practices, which delineates values and principles that anyone can read and sign
- It’s an open source movement, housed at the Linux Foundation, with materials editable on GitHub, and available under the CC BY 4.0 license
What does it include?
Out of the gate there are course materials available for the Data Project Lifecycle, including modules for:
- Kicking of a project
- Sourcing data
- Profiling and preparing data for analysis
- Data exploration
- Analyzing and reporting
- Conducting a post-mortem
A quick glance at a few of these modules indicates that they include data files, exercises, conceptual slides, and more. The second curriculum on Culture and Practice has a module on building a data-driven culture, with more listed as “coming soon”.
Data Literacy, LLC applauds the team at data.world as well as all who contributed, and the Linux Foundation, for providing such a valuable and rich set of materials to help improve data literacy around the world!