Interactive Visualisations and Statistical Literacy

Sinclair Sutherland and Jim Ridgway

Statistical literacy involves engagement with the data one encounters. New forms
of data and new ways to engage with data – notably via interactive data
visualisations – are emerging. Some of the skills required to work effectively with
these new visualisation tools are described. We argue that interactive data
visualisations will have as profound an effect on statistical literacy as the
introduction of statistics packages had on statistics in social science in the 1960s.
Current conceptualisations of statistical literacy are too passive, lacking the
exploration part in data analysis. Statistical literacy should be conceived of as
empowerment to engage effectively with evidence, and educators should seek to move
students along a pathway from using interactive data visualisations to building them
and interpreting what they see