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Developing Your Data Skills Programme

Long Term Evaluation Survey Results

The University’s popular Data Skills Programme is having a demonstrable impact on participants’ confidence in dealing with data according to the findings of a long term evaluation survey.  The survey also shows that participants have greatly improved their data skills and gained opportunities for advancement in their careers.

 “I now have a much deeper understanding of how to use Excel which has helped me to prepare datasets, perform analysis and visualise my data in a much faster and less stressful time.”

“It helped me find a job after my PhD; I'm currently a data scientist working in industry (and I love it).  So thanks for helping me improve my skills and landing a fab job.”

At the start of the programme, 60% of respondents considered their data skills at a beginner level and only 5% considered their data skills advanced.  However, the main benefit of the programme was an increase in confidence in dealing with data (81%), whilst many were able to develop specific skills (60%) like data visualisation (29%), data processing and analysis (21%) and Excel (21%).

The survey was carried out in February 2021 by completers of the programme over the past two years.  Responses were received from all staff and student types, though mainly Professional Services staff (42%) and post-graduate research students (42%).

 

Further information

The programme is now in its third year and has helped over 800 staff and students become proficient with data.  The programme offers three capability levels to make it suitable for a variety of staff and students irrespective of their prior level of knowledge. For each level, content is divided into three topics:  Introduction to Data Skills and Programming (including Excel, R, SQL or Python pathways), Statistics and Data Analysis and Presenting Your Data.  The time commitment for the programme tends to be 1-2 hours per week, up to 40 hours total, depending on note-taking and review.  The flexibility of the programme makes it possible to work around existing work and study commitments.  There is also the opportunity to complete a small data project.

Hear more from Kay Douglas, a Professional Services Staff member in the School of GeoSciences and a Developing You Data Skills programme completer:

Interview with Kay Douglas

For more information on the programme:

 Programme courses and Toolkits