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Chief Data Office

Data Literacy

The data literacy program is designed to help state employees effectively use data to support decisions. This includes the ability to read, analyze, and communicate with data. The State is offering a number of avenues to pursue this, including training courses, video resources, and certifications.


The State is currently developing three training courses that will be available to state employees:

  • Introduction to Data Management
  • Effective Data Stewardship
  • Data for the Executive Leader

*These courses will be made available shortly to State of Maryland employees.


What is Data Literacy?

Data is being constantly created and consumed. Data literacy is the ability to interpret, analyze, and think about this data. To make informed decisions about a problem an individual relies on their data literacy to dig into this information. Thinking critically while reading and analyzing data is vital in this process. By doing this, the data consumer for themselves discerns the story the data presents. Being data literate empowers consumers to make data informed decisions rather than making decisions based on emotion or the whims of others.

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Data Collection

Data doesn’t appear magically. It is collected and documented from the world around us. How data is collected and stored is determined by the question being answered. Since it isn’t always practical to gather and analyze data ourselves, we rely on research. Where do these findings come from? Who are the researchers? Does the method of the study make sense? Answering these questions helps determine the quality of the data, and if it can be relied on.

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Data Privacy

Whether we realize it or not we are data. By providing third parties with our email addresses and other personal information we become part of a data set. Data about our lives is sensitive and should be kept secure, which is why we need to understand what third parties do with our data and the measures they take to protect our data. To do this we must understand the ins and outs of data privacy and our rights when it comes to data.

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Data Security

In a world where almost everyone’s sensitive information is accessible online it is critical to be aware of the tactics nefarious individuals use to breach data systems. It is important to be conscious of strategies to use to protect systems from attack.

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Data Mistakes

This video talks about how mistakes are made and sometimes there are intentional mistakes (Fraud) and how to detect them. When looking at the data, always check the data to make sure they are not biased or harmful.

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Data Context: Why it Matters

This video is about why data literacy is important and how it helps us make better decisions.

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Visualizing Data

This video talks about visualization and how to choose the best visual to represent your data.

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Key Misconceptions in Data Analysis

This video talks about key misconceptions in data analysis and how to overcome them.

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