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Numeracy crisis threatens to hold back UK in global data race

Jun 25, 2015 by

numeracy

The government has been urged to tackle a numeracy crisis in the UK, which experts are warning threatens to hold the country back in the face of a global data revolution.

There needs to be a dramatic improvement in the population’s grasp of basic numeracy and statistics if the UK is to keep up with its neighbours and make the most of the potential offered by “big data”, says a report by the British Academy published on Thursday.

It calls for a transformation in the UK’s approach to building numeracy, statistics and data analysis skills to ensure that students, consumers and workers are as fluent with numbers as they are with words.

The report, entitled Count Us In, focuses on the need for current workers and future generations to develop quantitative skills in order to understand and interpret the vast quantities of data being generated.

It says the UK has the potential to become a world leader in big data, which would in turn lead to enormous economic benefits. The Centre for Economics and Business Research has estimated that 58,000 new jobs a year could be created in the UK between 2012 and 2017, with the UK economy benefiting by £74bn over those five years.

Source: Numeracy crisis threatens to hold back UK in global data race | Education | The Guardian

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