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Data science and data literacy are critical as we live in an increasingly data-driven society. Greater data literacy among all students will create more data-savvy graduates, who will meet workforce demand and better position the US to meet challenges, whether they relate to the economy, national securityAI, health, education, or manufacturing. Investment in data science and literacy education will pay dividends for personal well-being and for building a modern workforce.

Below you will find one-pagers created by The American Statistical Association (ASA) and DS4E that you can use when discussing data science and data literacy in conversation with policy-makers, administrators, educators, and students. 


Data Literacy and the Workforce

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Data science and statistical jobs are among the fastest growing and most highly rated. With industries becoming more data-centric, the need for data professionals and skills continues to rise, creating significant job growth and economic stimulation. Improved access to data literacy education would (1) prepare Americans for the growing demand of high-paying job opportunities, (2) expand and transform businesses and create new ones, and (3) strengthen the workforce and keep more data-related jobs in the US.

Talking points:


  • Demand for data skills is high and projected to stay high. 

    • ​The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts more than 32% growth for data science and statistics employment from 2021 to 2031, significantly outpacing the average growth rate for all occupations. This robust demand, coupled with the attractive wages offered for data science and statistics skills across sectors, underscores their value in today's economy. LinkedIn includes analytical skills in its list of top 10 in-demand skills.

  • Explosion of data is creating businesses and transforming existing ones. 

    • The emergence of data science has expanded and created new sectors and job opportunities. Data science has become pivotal to innovation in the tech sector and industries such as manufacturing, health care, agriculture, finance, and retail. AI is transforming existing industries and creating new professions, such as data ethics, data privacy, and artificial intelligence, which diversify the economy and open new avenues for growth.

  • Data literacy strengthens America's competitive edge. 

    • With data talent in high demand globally, other countries are investing billions in data education. Increased investment in data science education will strengthen the US workforce by helping American workers capture more data-intensive jobs and helping companies find and retain top talent locally. It will also drive growth in the digital economy. It's a strategic imperative for maintaining America's leadership in technology and innovation.

Data Literacy and the Workforce
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Data Literacy and National Security

Our world increasingly relies on data and computing to make critical decisions, better predict the future, and keep the nation safe. Understanding data science and statistics enables security experts to analyze trends and unusual activities, aiding in the early detection and prevention of potential dangers. Data literacy is critical to fostering a new generation of data scientists who will help protect national security in a number of ways, including the following:

Talking Points:


  • Threat detection and prevention 

    • ​Data literacy and expertise allow national and cyber security professionals to discern patterns and anomalies within intelligence reports, social media, and other sources. This skill is crucial for identifying potential threats, whether they come from cyberattacks, terrorism, or other security risks. Understanding data science and statistics enables security experts to analyze trends and unusual activities, aiding in the early detection and prevention of potential dangers

  • Intelligence analysis

    • ​Data literacy is fundamental for intelligence agencies dealing with a surfeit of information from various sources. Data science and statistics help analysts distinguish reliable information from noise, fostering more precise conclusions. Analysts, equipped with data literacy skills, can scrutinize complex data sets, decipher patterns, and extract actionable intelligence, thereby aiding preemptive measures against potential terrorist attacks.

  • Border security

    • ​Data literacy bolsters border security by facilitating the analysis of extensive data related to travel, immigration, and customs, such as passenger manifests and biometric information. Mastery in data analysis aids in identifying potential security risks, discerning patterns of illicit activities, and augmenting border control strategies, thus ensuring effective border management and preventing illegal activities.

  • Adequate national security workforce

    • Data is the fuel for the fast-evolving cyber landscape, and the above examples are only a preview of the increasingly sophisticated challenges on the horizon. It is imperative that we adequately fill national security jobs with US citizens who know how emerging technologies work and can master thenext ones—before our rivals do.

Data Literacy and National Security

Data Literacy and AI 

As artificial intelligence (AI) permeates our lives and continues to evolve, the significance of data literacy and data science knowledge is tangible. Just as traditional literacy and numeracy are vital, data literacy is now an essential skill for individuals to be able to capitalize on AI benefits in their personal and professional life, understand how to navigate risks, and take advantage of the exploding demand in AI and data-related jobs.

Three reasons why greater data literacy is required in the AI area:


  • Mastering the AI-Driven Future

    • Statistics and data literacy empower students to make informed decisions and harness AI's power to optimize strategies and enhance productivity in their work and personal life. Leveraging AI-driven technologies provides a competitive edge in a wide variety of jobs, not just those in the tech sector.

  • Understanding the risks of AI 

    • Every AI model has limitations and makes assumptions. With data literacy, students can identify biases and understand the limitations of AI, ensuring ethical AI governance and contributing to a positive societal impact. Understanding the limitations and when to question the outcomes produced by an AI system may avoid harm if the AI output is flawed or biased.

  • Getting a job in AI or a related field 

    • ​In the AI era, the demand for data-driven professionals is rapidly increasing in industries such as health care, finance, marketing, and technology, as they rely heavily on data analysis and interpretation. A strong foundation in data literacy opens doors to careers in AI, data science, and technology-driven fields, offering exciting opportunities for growth and innovation.

Data Literacy and AI

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Data Literacy Abroad
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