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Key skills for turning data into knowledge

The University of Konstanz has joined the Data Literacy Charter– first graduates in the ADILT programme

Data literacy is the ability to work systematically with data, put it into context and critically assess them. The University of Konstanz has now joined the Data Literacy Charter that was initiated by the Stifterverband and its partners. By doing so, the university commits to "implementing measures to expand understanding of data literacy and promote greater acquisition of knowledge and skills in the area of data literacy", as stated in the charter. By rolling out its Advanced Data Information and Literacy Track (ADILT) programme in 2020, the University of Konstanz started a programme that teaches comprehensive data literacy skills to students from any subject. Its first participants graduated in the autumn of 2021. For the University of Konstanz, data literacy is a central competency for people in the 21st century.

Four fundamental questions
By joining the charter, supporters express their shared understanding of comprehensive data literacy and its meaning in the education process. They consider this ability as key for systematically turning data into knowledge, a competency of decisive importance in a world defined by digitalization. Digital literacy includes the ability to gather data critically, and to manage, evaluate and use this data. Where data is meant to support decision-making processes, four fundamental questions demand competent answers: What do I want to do with this data? What can I do with this data? What am I permitted to do with this data? What should I do with this data?

"The Data Literacy Charter is a perfect fit for the University of Konstanz's values. With our ADILT programme, we strive to teach our students to handle data and information, not only technically correctly, but also critically, responsibly and in a well-informed manner. In addition, we understand data literacy to be a key element of social participation," says Professor Michael Stürner, Vice Rector for Teaching at the

Interdisciplinary focus
The ADILT programme is designed as a university focus area that is open to students of any subject. Data-based methods are not only employed in the natural and social sciences, but increasingly in the humanities, too. In addition, many questions involving data and information literacy as well as digitalization are interdisciplinary topics that are best approached and discussed from multiple perspectives.

The new programme is part of the comprehensive e-science strategy in the institutional concept "University of Konstanz – creative.together", which is funded under the Universities of Excellence funding line of the German Excellence Strategy.

Key facts:

  • The University of Konstanz has joined the Data Literacy Charter
  • Data literacy is the global ability to work with data competently
  • With its Advanced Data Information and Literacy Track (ADILT) programme, the University of Konstanz now provides students with interdisciplinary training in data and information literacy that concludes with a certificate