Data Skills for Work: Developing a Skills Framework

In spring 2020, EKOS were commissioned by The Data Lab to develop a framework for data skills that will be used to support the work of the Data Skills for Work programme, the upskilling and retraining strand of the Data Driven Innovation Skills Gateway initiative in the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region.

We were commissioned to conduct user research with organisations in the City Region that could benefit from data upskilling; map research findings to produce a data skills framework; and identify and engage with training providers who can contribute to the development of data skills pathways.

The research programme took in:

  • interviews with 49 City Region employers across a range of sectors, focused on establishing their data skills needs;
  • consultation with education and training providers and other stakeholders, and a review of the data skills and education landscape in the City Region; and
  • a review of existing literature on data skills needs and approaches to (re)training and upskilling, particularly in response to automation.

From there, we were able to develop a framework setting out the key data skills and competencies required at four levels of data literacy. This Data Skills Journey aims to help employers, individuals and training providers to define the key skills and capabilities at each level of data literacy, supporting them to recognise existing data skills and areas where they could improve, plan for the future and make informed investment decisions, and develop learning to support this.

The framework can be viewed on the Data Skills for Work website, and the full research report can be accessed here.

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