The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze the ﬁrst steps of a pair of 7th grade students working through an especially designed curriculum on Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA)ina technological environment. Theverbal abilitiesof these students allowed us to follow, at a very ﬁne level of detail, the ways in which they begin to make sense of data, data representations, and the ‘culture’ of data handling and analysis. We describe in detail the process of learning skills, procedures and concepts, as well as the process of adopting and exercising the habits and points of view that are common among experts. We concentrate on the issue of the development of a global view of data and their representations on the basis of students’ previous knowledge and different kinds of local observations. In the light of the analysis, we propose a description of what it may mean to learn EDA, and draw educational and curricular implications.