The covid-19 pandemic has shown the social relevance of Big Data. The capacity of governments and health institutions to collect and effectively communicate data had a key role in the reaction toward covid-19. The public demand for easily accessible and presented public data increased throughout Europe during and after the pandemic. More accessible and better visualised big data can strengthen active citizenship and societal resilience [].

However, even before the pandemic, Europe was experiencing a data revolution. Data from Social Networks, Traditional Business, Computer Systems and the Internet of Things are just some examples of the huge increase of Big Data in society and the economy. The volume of data produced worldwide is growing rapidly: from 33 zettabytes in 2018 to an expected 175 zettabytes in 2025 [IDC, 2018].

In this context «Digital data will become an essential resource for economic growth, competitiveness, innovation, job creation and societal progress in general» [source: ].

Despite this great relevance of big data – both in terms of citizenship and emerging data economy –, Europe must face a series of challenges: a) a not sufficient data-driven approach in the European economy; b) only a small number of Big Tech firms hold a large part of the world’s data; c) personal data security and, from the educational and training point of view, d) a lack of Data Literacy and Data Communication skills.

As the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic made clear, Data Communication Skills are fundamental to making Big Data more accessible, increasing the civic, social and economic impact of the European Big Data revolution.

Nevertheless, in the current curricula of the VET providers and universities, Data Communication Skills are not considered enough.

Through the project DATAVISUAL, we contribute to closing the skills gap in big data communication.

The core idea of the project is to use Visual Storytelling to make Big Data communication more effective and engaging.

Thanks to a project consortium that brings together VET providers, universities and start-up companies, we will develop innovative learning experiences and materials.

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