Definitive Guide to Data Literacy For All – A Reading List

(UPDATE – April 8, 2021) See this excellent new book by Jordan Morrow: “Be Data Literate: The Data Literacy Skills Everyone Needs To Succeed”, available at

Book: Be Data Literate: The Data Literacy Skills Everyone Needs to Succeed

Be Data Literate: The Data Literacy Skills Everyone Needs to Succeed

One of the most important roles that we should be embracing right now is training the next-generation workforce in the art and science of data. Data Literacy is a fundamental literacy that should be imparted at the earliest levels of learning, and it should continue through all years of education. Education research has shown the value of using data in the classroom to teach any subject — so, I am not advocating the teaching of hard-core data science to children, but I definitely promote the use of data mining and data science applications in the teaching of other subjects (perhaps, in all subjects!). See my “Using Data in the Classroom Reading List” here on this subject. See also the book “Data Literacy – A User’s Guide” and this book:

Book: The Basics of Data Literacy

The Basics of Data Literacy, available at

And see this book:

Book - Data Literacy: A User's Guide

Data Literacy: A User’s Guide, available at

I encourage you to read a position paper that I wrote (along with a few astronomy colleagues) for the US National Academies of Science in 2009 that addressed the data science literacy requirements in astronomy. Though focused on the needs in astronomy workforce development for the coming decade, the paper also contains more general discussion of “data literacy for the masses” that is applicable to any and all disciplines, domains, and organizations: “Data Science For The Masses.”

Two “…For Dummies” books can help in those situations, to bring data literacy to a much larger audience (of students, business leaders, government agencies, educators, etc.). Those new books are: “Data Science For Dummies” by Lillian Pierson, and “Data Mining for Dummies” by Meta Brown.

Finally, here is one more that I believe is an excellent data literacy companion: The Data Journalism Handbook.

Update (April 2016) – The following site has a wealth of information on the use of “Data in Education”:

Data Mining For Dummies

(Read more here:

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Follow Kirk Borne on Twitter @KirkDBorne

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