An Empirical Examination of the Factors of Data Literacy

Ravi Nath, Joseph Kirby

Creighton University, Omaha, NE – USA, Bellevue University, Omaha, NE – USA

Cite: Nath R., Kirby J. An Empirical Examination of the Factors of Data Literacy. J. Digit. Sci. 4(1), 3 – 20 (2022).

Abstract. To fully leverage the abundance of data and how data enhances decision-making, people must be data literate. Data literacy (DL) encompasses a set of interrelated skills in data management, data analysis, and the ability to interpret and communicate the results. Measuring an individual’s DL level is an important first step toward designing and developing educational programs to improve one’s DL skills. This paper considers a DL measurement scale referred to as the Global Data Literacy Benchmark survey and then explores the underlying constructs of this instrument. Data gathered from 311 university students across five universities in the United States is analyzed to identify and interpret the underlying factors of this DL scale. Also, the differences in DL scores among various subgroups of the students are investigated. The results show the existence of three DL factors. Also, the DL scores vary considerably among students depending upon the study areas and the comfort levels with data and analytics.

Keywords: Data Literacy, Factor Analysis, Global Data Literacy Benchmark survey.

The authors thank Ms. Jane Crofts, founder of Data To The People, for allowing us to use this instrument for this research. We also want to thank the students for participating in this study.


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Published online 12.06.2022