Extension CED Now Offering Data Literacy Workshops

May 30, 2019

Sandra BurkeIn recent years, more and more information and news come to communities, leaders, and consumers in the form of numeric or graphic data. It is essential that Iowa’s communities, leaders, and residents be able to use these data to make educated and wise decisions on critical issues and policies.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development (CED) is now offering data literacy workshops to help Iowans learn the skills needed to understand, visualize, interpret, and practice with data relevant to communities, organizations, and counties. 

The data literacy workshops can include a wide variety of topics, reviews of the data included in the Data for Decision Makers profiles, or an in-depth look at selected measures, indicators, and trends. 

The workshops can also provide participants with knowledge and skills to discuss data and bridge to applications and decision making with the data. 

The specific topics and modules to be included in any given workshop will be decided in conjunction with the client group and their interests and preferences and will be two to three hours in length. 

Topics and modules are highly interactive with activities and group discussions to engage and enhance learning and understanding by the participants. Examples of topics and modules include:

  • “Walk-through” ISU Extension’s Data for Decision Makers: county, city, legislative districts
  • “Walk-through” the Health Data for Decision Makers: county health profile reports
  • Examine trends and compare and contrast among counties and cities
  • Making and interpreting graphs and other visuals
  • Mapping concepts along with access to ISU Extension’s Indicators Portal mapping capabilities
  • Using and understanding the American Community Survey
  • Using and understanding concepts such as sampling for surveys, margins of error, mean and median
  • Indicators and trends for race and Hispanic origin
  • Indicators and measures for income and poverty, adjustment for inflation
  • Population trends including age, income, households, immigration, and English-language learners
  • The data behind the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s County Health Rankings and Road Maps

Groups or communities interested in these workshops can contact Sandra Burke at 515-294-9307 or scburke@iastate.edu.