Is data your friend?

by | 4 Sep, 2018 | 0 comments

A new taster course on UTS Open helps learners explore how data can be used (or misused) to tell stories.

Unless you plan a permanent digital detox and to live off-grid, you need to know about data and how it can be used (or misused) to tell stories. And even then you’ll need to understand facts and figures to engage in climate change debates!

Enter Journey through data – a new UTS Open taster course that takes about 8 – 10 hours to complete. In this free course, learners are shown how to ask more questions of the kinds of data and statistics that confront us on a daily basis.

Exploring data requires curiosity and an inquiring mind, as Dr Kirsty Kitto and Dr Simon Knight say in 4 ways to build data curiosity. It’s a matter of learning how to ask the right questions so you can check the many and varied claims that people (particularly the media) make based on data.

How to journey through data?

Kirsty guides learners through a dataset that looks at how world energy consumption is changing over time. Energy consumption and its impact on climate change is a topic that the media has represented and (mis)represented in many ways. In Journey through data learners get to explore real-world data on this issue in an interactive way. By the end of their journey learners can tell their own data stories using some of the statistical tricks of the trade.

Try it yourself! Visit the visualisation below and play with the data. Select the ‘Normalise data’ filter,  and see how the data changes. Choose a country/region and see how Australia’s coal consumption compares. Can you see how many different stories might be told from this data?

 

Visit the energy consumption visualisation below

Data visualisation screenshot linking to https://uts-datavis.netlify.com/?chartOnly=false,tab=country&normalise=false&select=coal&filter=Australia,China"

 

UTS cares about data literacy

Journey through data accompanies another UTS Open taster course just recently released, What does Facebook know about you?

With the support of the postgraduate.futures team, the team from CIC (Connected Intelligence Centre) are gradually building a data literacy series that gives learners a taste of what it’s like to study at UTS and the flexibility to gain entry to further study in micro-subjects.

Watch out for more data literacy taster courses on UTS Open coming soon!

Want to be more data savvy? Why not check out the courses on UTS Open? (You can use your UTS staff email but you’ll need to register and set up a new password.)

Feature image by Franki Chamaki.

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