From Literacy to Acumen: Opportunities for Librarians in Undergraduate Data Science Education

2018-05-30T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Sarah Young
With the rapid growth in data access and availability, there has been a growing need across sectors for expertise in turning data into actionable knowledge. Data science has emerged as a discipline to address this need and data science programs are increasingly common in institutions of higher education. In May 2018, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine published a report to present a vision for the future of data science education at the undergraduate level. The report highlights the need for a curriculum that teaches “data acumen”, or the ability to “make good judgements and decisions with data”. Given the infancy of this discipline, and current efforts to shape its future, librarians have an opportunity to work with educators to enrich the data science curriculum to realize the National Academies’ vision. I map existing information literacy and data information literacy frameworks to the framework of the National Academies for data science education. I identify areas of synergy and potential new competencies that will be needed to support this cross-domain discipline. I also examine curricula in undergraduate data science programs to consider current opportunities for librarian engagement.