With more than 6 billion (and counting) devices connected to the internet, approximately 2.5 million terabytes of data are generated every day. Complex and large data sets are changing the way we live, the way we process information and the way we operate in the world. The Europe Business Intelligence market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.68% between the projected years of 2018 to 2026. Without the expertise of professionals who turn cutting-edge technology into actionable insights, Big Data means very little. Currently, most data scientists in the industry have advanced training in statistics, mathematics and computer science. However, there is a significant shortage of qualified engineers for data-based intelligence skills in the job market. Based on these facts, building a strong educational data science capability is going to be a key priority in the years ahead.
There is a recent argumentation that supports that there should be a shift in the way educators teach data related courses. Previous work emphasized the importance of digital educational interventions, pointing out how attractive they are for young adults especially, as they offer a convenient medium for accessing information, avoiding the embarrassment of discussions with teachers and overcoming potential boredom by using an engaging gamified format. The goal of Abacus is to democratize Data Science through an engaging, collaborative, secure, immersive and interactive environment that will materialize abstract datasets and visualize complex algorithms. This project will enable the interactive participation of many users with different data science skills to participate and benefit from its features, practically achieving social inclusion. The main expected result of this project is the development of a personalized, self-paced data literacy platform which will be implemented in three stages: User needs and curriculum development for Abacus, Abacus Interactive Technologies, Abacus e-learning platform integration and evaluation.