Data literacy 101: how to use data for bigger social impact


14.00 – 15.30,  2 September 


This workshop aims to provide the basics of data literacy combining theory and practice. By using co-creation, participants will develop an action plan on how to actually implement data strategies.


Data is everywhere. Data is messy. Data is daunting. But it can also have a huge impact in solving challenges if used and communicated effectively.
Data literacy is as important as financial literacy or the ability to read and interpret a text. Even non-technological organizations deal with data all the time, whether it is the number of initiatives in which they are involved, the demographics of the users helped, or the money spent in human resources. Data is also the source for research on how to solve the issues of the city/country in which an open lab is located, for example. However, sometimes, data is disregarded because it is seen as complex and people from non-technical fields do not know how to turn that into meaningful information which can be used and communicated.
As digital is a huge part of our daily lives, data and communication are gaining importance. Being data literate is an important leverage to support the activities of social open labs.


This workshop aims to provide the basics of data literacy combining theory and a practical approach. The initial part will focus on data literacy concepts (what is relevant data, how to look for it, collect/compile/store it, how can it be used and visualized). The approach will be theoretical, with practical, real-life examples of application for open labs.

The goal is not only to provide some knowledge on data literacy, but to give participants an opportunity to develop their own action plan on how to actually utilize data literacy know-how and acquired knowledge on best practices in their open lab. This second part will be devoted to developing an action plan that can fit the participants’ needs in their organization and be exploited by other team members as well, thus expanding the reach of the knowledge gained. In order to do so, co-creation methodologies will be used.



In the end of the workshop, the participants will have a complete action plan, tailored to their needs/their organizations’ needs. The action plan will provide the steps on how to start using data in their organization to accomplish their mission and activities, aiming to have a stronger influence on their end-users and within their networks. It will include actionable steps on data literacy fundamentals, how to use free tools/tools already available at the organization to reach their goals and have a more significant social impact by using data to communicate results, for example.


– The participants will gain knowledge on data literacy: how to look for relevant data, how to collect it, how to compile it and how to use it to enhance the impact of their activities.

– This will be done using practical examples, but also taking into account the needs of the participants which will allow them to adapt the knowledge and implement it. The participants will also be able to pass on the knowledge to team members and co-workers at their organization.


The proposed agenda is as follows:

10 min – Short ice breaker and introduction: The aim and flow of the workshop will be presented. A short icebreaker will be done using Miro to introduce facilitators and participants.

15 min – Theoretical brief:  Facilitators will provide a short introduction to data literacy fundamentals using best practices and real examples. The conceptual brief of the exercise and its outcomes will also be shared. Participants are encouraged to share ideas during and at the end of the theoretical/conceptual brief.

35 min – Development of an action plan for databased social impact: Peer support for developing and creating an individual action plan following a canvas and instructions provided by facilitators. 

20 min – Debriefing: Participants are encouraged to exchange their action plans among peers for further feedback/discussion.

10 min – Final reflection: Final remarks and questions


This workshop is for people interested in data, but with basic or no data literacy skills at all. The focus will be on data literacy for social impact, so it is more tailored for people working at social open labs/organizations, but it might also be useful for other organizations. We encourage more than one person from the same team/organization to join and learn together.



To allow a more tailored approach to the development of an action plan for data literacy and social impact