Data skills for public servants: where to learn for free

Keep on top of the numbers and win insights with these open resources



  • Learning Public Data Sets – A quick course showing how to find free, public sources of data on a variety of business, education, and health issues and download the data for your own analysis. | Short
  • Technology and Data Careers in Government – Leading CIO Jonathan Reichental explains the role of technology in cities and the different IT jobs available as well as providing practical tips to prepare for an IT career in city government | Short
  • Fundamentals of Data Analysis for Government (Socrata Data Academy) – A course targeting government employees who have a strong qualitative understanding of their work but have yet to master the quantitative skills needed to leverage data in their day-to-day responsibilities | Medium
  • Data for Effective Policy Making (IDB) – Take control of data in this policy-focused course and gain a better understanding of the tools used in public policy planning, management, and evaluation | Super long
  • Become a Data Scientist (Dataquest) – A hands-on learning experience with multiple courses to teach all the skills you need to understand and use data — suitable for all abilities | Various
  • School of Data Online Courses (School of Data) – A broad collection of small courses covering the key skills to understand, manage and work with data. | Various
  • Open Government (TU Delft) – This course explores the foundations and objectives of Open Government and examines current developments | Long

Open data

  • Open Data Essentials (ODI) – 13 lessons to explore covering the essentials of open data, how to plan and measure success and how to implement an open data program | Short
  • Open Government Data for Citizen Engagement (UN) – This course focuses on how to open government data and how this can be useful for citizen engagement, including providing policy guidelines and best practice recommendations | Medium
  • Open Data for Policymakers (World Bank Group) – A course for beginners providing a general overview of Open Data principles for public policymakers, with guidance on Open Data program design | Medium

Data skills

  • Finding Stories in Data (ODI) – A series of lessons designed to teach people how to find and tell compelling stories with data and present them in a way that has impact | Short
  • Data Science: Visualisation (Harvard Business School) – Learn basic data visualisation principles, how to apply them as well as how to communicate data-driven findings | Long
  • Introduction to Data Modelling (Microsoft) – Develop a better understanding of how to prepare and manage data for your organisation with this extensive course. | Long
  • Data Science Specialisation (Johns Hopkins University) – An advanced specialisation covering the concepts and tools you’ll need throughout the entire data science pipeline. | Super long



Leave a Reply

to leave a comment.
Master the skills you need for the public service.

Discover inspiring resources, tools and policies.