Module 1 – Unit 3

1.3.  Managing data, information and digital content

1.3.1.      Introduction

Managing data, information and digital content


Identifying information and data needs is a fundamental ability for a person to be proficient in the Competence Area of Information and Data Literacy. Being able to evaluate the sources of data and information is extremely important too. However, the ability to manage data, information and digital content is the capstone of the whole process.

In the modern digital world, a lot of people consider that the term “Information and data literacy” is just referring to a person’s ability to use digital environments such as a personal computer, the world-wide-web, sending email etc. We proved through the previous units that this is not the case and that “Information and data literacy” is much more than that. On the other hand, this common belief shows how important the skill of managing data, information and digital content in digital environments is, in the context of information and data literacy.

Being capable of proficient, or at least efficient, use of digital environments, such as a personal computer, the world-wide-web, cloud environments or similar applications, gives you the ability to demonstrate the findings of your research in a structured and convincing manner. The ability to organise, access and manipulate your digital content in a structured environment is an essential skill of the “Information and data Literacy” competence area; the activities in this unit focus on enhancing that exact skill, also offering the stimulation for further reading.


By the end of this topic, you will be able to:

  • organise, store and retrieve data, information and content in digital environments with an emphasis in cloud environments,
  • organise and process information in a structured environment,
  • use a tool such as excel in a more advanced manner for manipulating a dataset.


Competence area 1 (Information and Data Literacy):

1.3 Managing data, information and digital content


Competence area 6 (Facilitating Learner’s digital competence):

6.1 Information and media literacy

REFERENCES (if applicable)






1.3.2.      Explorer Level – Activities Enabling students to easily explore and manipulate data a

Enabling students to easily explore and manipulate data


Tuva is a company that empowers businesses and government agencies to build organizational data literacy and scale the value of data and analytics. At the same time, they declare that they are on a mission to build a strong foundation in data literacy from the classroom to the boardroom. They have created for educational purposes and they offer 15 Datasets and Lessons (in the Basic and free subscription) for experimenting with datasets in activities they have designed and implemented.

They have a Tutorial’s session so the teacher and the students, by their teacher’s guidance when necessary, can walk through the free activities.

Great introductory activity is “Dog as a friend”:



  • As time needed
  • Each case per activity needs at most 10 to 20 minutes depending on the person’s digital skills.

1.3.3.      Expert Level – Activities your dataset

Advanced use of tools for manipulating datasets


The raw data in the datasets are separated by a delimiter, usually a comma, semicolon, tab or something similar. In order for these datasets to be retrieved, organized and stored more easily a proper manipulation must take place. It is often the case that the data has been under some pre-processing and reformatting by the authority that publishes them, so in that case this dataset must be examined, if it is in a situation that can be manipulated in the preferred way and if not, proper reformatting has to be made.

A visualisation paradigm of a dataset in Microsoft Excel.

A simple methodology will be followed in our example for the preparation of the data.

  • Clean and format the data
  • Create a Pivot Table and Insert Slicers for filtering
  • Create the preferred graph in a new sheet with all the slicers in it

Our purpose is to use a dataset of worldwide cases and deaths concerning the Covid-19 pandemic. We are going to keep our example as simple and clear as possible. Implement the following steps for the creation of the visualisation.

  1. Download .csv file from
  2. Open file from Excel and choose All files (*.*) if you cannot find the file. If Excel finds your file format not appropriate or says your file is corrupted, ignore it and click “Yes” to the question “Do you want to open it anyway?”
  3. A wizard will come up to prepare your data. Check in Step 1: “Delimited” and “My data has headers” à Next à Step 2: “Comma” à Next à Step 3: “Advanced” and choose the right settings to recognise numeric data in case in your country you use differently (concerns mainly column “rate_14_day” in our csv, confirm it’ s correct representation), otherwise just click “Finish”.
  4. Rename the sheet you are working on, if you like, to “COVID-19 Data”. Right-Click (1) à Rename (2) (see the figure below)

Figure 20: Rename Excel Sheet

  1. You can hide unneeded columns. We will hide columns “country_code” and “source”. Right-Click on top of column J (1) à Hide (2). Do the same for the column “country_code”.

Figure 21: Hide Column J with header name “Source”

  1. Delete all the rows in column “country” where the values are equal to the following bullets. Using the Filter (Ctrl + Shift + L) or the Find (Ctrl+F) utilities can make your life easier in this task. Be careful not to leave any empty lines on the table.
  • Africa (total)
  • America (total)
  • Asia (total)
  • EU/EEA (total)
  • Europe (total)
  • Oceania (total)

We deleted those rows because a Pivot Table does the aggregations automatically for the continents and having the already calculated data from the dataset would produce false results in our analysis (double values particularly in our case).

Obviously, if you had to deal with another dataset or with another problem using the same dataset, you probably would have chosen to do another formatting or cleaning of data.

  1. Select all the data of the table. One way is to “left click” from top of column A and drag-and-drop up to column I.

Figure 22: Select all the data of the table

  1. Click “Insert à Pivot Table à OK” and the fields of the Pivot Table are going to be imported to a new sheet.
  1. Go to the new sheet and drag-and-drop from the field area the following fields
    • year_week to “Rows”
    • weekly_count to “Values”

Observe the table that is produced. It presents Cases+Deaths per Week.

  1. Click “Analyze à Insert Slicer” and click on “country”. A slicer is produced that will function as a filter on the presented data. Click on the slicer and from the ribbon “Options” (1) configure your slicer, for example “Columns (2) à (set it to) 6 (or as many as you like that can fit your view area)”. Then Right-Click on Slicer à Slicer Settings… à “Hide items with no data”.

Figure 23: Slicer Configuration

Click on individual countries, for example in the figure below on “Belgium” (1), to see that the table shows the corresponding data. You can make “multiple choices” and “clean the filter” as you can see in the Figure.

Figure 23: Filtering with Slicer

Create in the same manner the following slicers and make the appropriate configurations as previously:

  • continent
  • indicator
  • year_week
  1. Click on the table and then on the ribbon “Insert à Insert Column or Bar Chart à 2-D Column à Clustered Column”

Figure 25: 2D Column Graph

  1. Create a new sheet and give the name “Vis – Covid-19 Worldwide”
  2. Cut and Paste (transfer) in the new sheet the Graph and the Slicers and arrange them to fit nicely.

Figure 26: “Vis – Covid-19 Worldwide” in Action

  1. You can make some formatting of your choice in the graph. Experiment in
  • Changing the title to “Worldwide Cases/Deaths from COVID-19 per week”
  • Changing background colour
  • Deleting unnecessary labels and fields
  • Changing the unit of the vertical axis to millions let’s say
  1. Select and deselect choices from the four slicers to see the updates on the interactive graph.
  2. Experiment with the creation of other Pivot Tables and Graphs.
  3. Save it in .xlsx format to be sure that all your formatting, manipulation, graphs and work in general do not get lost.

Reflection and Activities


  • Web Browser
  • Microsoft Excel


  • 40 minutes approximately