Data Education | a guide to explaining data concepts to your audiences

As data and privacy become leading topics in the global dialogue of digital services, being transparent about how data is used in digital products is increasingly vital to gaining trust with all audiences.

Data and privacy topics have increasingly been in the spotlight, making these issues top of mind for people all over the world.

Understandably, people want more transparency and control around their data. However, there is a substantial and understandable lack of knowledge among consumers about how data is used by the businesses they interact with every day.

The absence of this foundational knowledge makes it difficult to effectively communicate the value of data practices to people in a meaningful way. The data education challenge is a daunting one, and no single company can solve it alone. Cross-industry collaboration and cooperation are essential to educating people about the often complex ways in which data is used by businesses.

Technology has developed quickly, and we can’t expect people to learn all of this overnight. This makes it difficult to effectively communicate data practices and value to people.

The Trust Transparency and Control Labs has explored issues around notification and consent, transparency for digital services, trustful interactions, dashboards and control types through a series of single-day workshops called Design Jams. We brought together designers, product managers, industry peers and legal experts to develop ideas around data education within digital services.

Building on the ideas developed by these experts, we’ve created a set of frameworks, tools and patterns to help support the work of the wider business and design community in developing potential solutions to data education and explaining data concepts to various audiences. This report summarizes the challenges around data education, and provides some initial approaches and patterns to address those challenges.

The design patterns described in this report were drawn from the interactive designs that were co-created on the day of the Data Education Design Jam by multidisciplinary teams that included advertisers, data brokers and agencies. By turning them into broader patterns we hope to stir further debate amongst the wider community.


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