Data literacy conceptions, community capabilities

  • Paul Matthews University of the West of England, Bristol
Keywords: Data, Capabilities Approach, Data Literacy


To delineate and describe the data literacy concept, a core set of data competencies are identified, and a further four varieties – each with a different focus of attention – are described. These are named research (an academic focus), classroom (a secondary educational focus), carpentry (a practical training focus) and inclusion (a community development focus). It is argued that the inclusion focus helps data literacy to be construed as a community capability. The capabilities approach enables us to see data literacy as conferring a holistic freedom to operate, where the technical gains only make sense within a framework of social functions and goals.

Author Biography

Paul Matthews, University of the West of England, Bristol
Senior Lecturer, Department of Computer Science and Creative Technologies.
How to Cite
Matthews, P. (2016). Data literacy conceptions, community capabilities. The Journal of Community Informatics, 12(3). Retrieved from
Articles, Special Issue on Data Literacy