Towards better Smart Data skills for future professionals

Every millisecond people record and generate numerous amounts of data. Yet, generating and saving data is not enough, to gain the real advantage of it, the data has to be understandable for a human being. In 300 BCE the Library of Alexandria housed perhaps the largest collection of data in the ancient world. In 2015 Google became the largest big data company in the world storing 10 billion gigabytes of data and processing nearly 3.5 billion requests every day. Still, this is just the beginning of scratching the surface of data generation. 

As the European Union’s Strategic Policy states, “data-driven business models are the engine of Europe’s growth, industrial transformation and job creation.” Thus, to understand and use Smart Data is the next step towards digitalization of the economy. The growing need for data professionals inspired the “Generation Data” project, which focuses on higher education institutions and early-stage entrepreneurs. As a result of it, the current and future generations of students have access to effective and practical teaching on generation, management and analysis of digital data.

Smart Data for smart business

“Teaching students to manage Smart Data is thinking about future professionals and entrepreneurs. As we can see nowadays, Smart Data is not fully exploited in our world’s business. According to the results of the NESTA (2015) investigation, throughout the business world today, people rely too much on experience and intuition and not enough on data”, says Dr. Lina Peciure, the vice-director of Vilnius Tech Creativity and Innovation centre “LinkMenų fabrikas”, which is one of the partner institutions of the “Generation Data” project. 

Towards better Smart Data skills for future professionals

Smart Data other than Big Data has an added layer of intelligence or interpretation. Thus, the usage of Smart Data enables decisions to be made more quickly, and even in some cases, without human intervention. “Smart Data in business can help to improve the various processes – from time reduction, cost savings to improved customer’s satisfaction”, Dr. Lina Peciure continues. 

Smart Data in a classroom

“Generation Data” project aimed to improve the ability of higher education institutions to understand and teach smart data skills, thus providing students, early-stage entrepreneurs and businesses with more relevant, effective teaching and training. The project has designed and offered training in data management skills: analysis, credibility assessment, researching and logical thinking, which were highlighted by Polish managers and business owners as the Aktywni+ report (2017) from Warsaw University states. After two years of work, the “Generation Data” project has created Generation Data Toolkit, developed classroom and online courses on Smart Data and trained 1st generation of Generation Data Teachers and Lecturers. 

Delivered results of the project “Generation Data” are multilingual, interactive and, most importantly, focusing on students and start-up entrepreneurs wishing to improve their skills in data generation, management and analysis. “Generation Data” project is ending, yet we believe that in the long term, the project will result in a better-qualified workforce in the most in-demand skill, improved business growth and higher levels of digital competencies within the higher education sector”, says Dr. Lina Peciure. 

All the resources of the project are available in three different languages – English, Danish and Polish – and can be accessed and downloaded free on the project website. This project has been co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. 

Source: Vilnius University


European Higher Education Organization

European Higher Education Organization is a public organization carrying out academic, educational and information activities on higher education in Europe. The EHEO general plan stresses that: Higher education systems require adequate funding and, as an investment in economic growth, public spending in higher education should be protected. The challenges faced by higher education require more flexible governance and funding systems, which balance greater autonomy for education institutions with accountability to stakeholders. Thus, EHEO plans: improve academic and scientific interaction of universities; protect the interests of universities; interact more closely with public authorities of European countries; popularize European higher education in the world; develop academic mobility; seek funding for European universities.

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