Managing data ethics well requires specific skills, methods and knowledge that should be developed in employees at different levels through professional training courses.
LOTI have also crowdsourced trainings, readings and resources to help guide individuals or organisations who are looking to learn about and upskill in data ethics.
Data ethics can be described as a ‘socio-technical’ design discipline. This means that it requires technical knowledge around data collection and processing as well as social expertise to understand how data–based systems shape and function in society.
On the technical side, data scientists and analysts should think critically about the data they use and the models they select as part of their collection, analysis and presentation techniques. An understanding of reporting, selection and systematic biases, overgeneralisation, unconscious bias and overfitting should be part of a practitioner’s toolkit. Good practice, such as conducting Exploratory Data Analysis at the beginning of the project and using a well-structured notebook, can help others to provide scrutiny and identify biases. Using the UK Statistics Authority’s Guidelines on Ethics Self-Assessment (Method and Quality) is a good way to rank and record ethical risks at the analysis stage.
Practitioners, especially those in management positions, should also understand how data technologies exist within the society in which they are implemented. This means having the skills and knowledge to know when and how to consult with residents on data, how to write about data projects in the right language for different audiences and, using design methods, being able to identify any problems that may emerge through the use of any tool or service developed with data.
LOTI have crowdsourced the following training courses, introductory readings and other resources to help any organisation or individual educate themselves on data ethics. If you have any recommendations to add to this page, please email the LOTI Data Ethicist, Sam Nutt, at email@example.com.
Data Ethics Training Courses
*This training was taken by LOTI staff.
Data Bias Courses
Data Ethics Tools & Resources for Practitioners
Other Useful Tools:
Data Ethics – Popular and Recommended Readings
Image source: Nacho Kamenov & Humans in the Loop / Better Images of AI / Data annotators discussing the correct labeling of a dataset / CC-BY 4.0