Discover Data


What is Discover Data?

Discover Data is a signature education initiative for The Nielsen Foundation. Built in collaboration with Discovery Education and The Afterschool Alliance, the resources available through Discover Data were developed to increase awareness about the power of data and data science; inspire students to pursue data science careers; and connect students with career role models and volunteer data experts.

What does “Schedule a visit from a data-expert” mean?

A classroom or virtual visit from a Nielsen volunteer can be requested by all educators and volunteers, both in classrooms and in afterschool clubs, who wish to have a first-hand account of data science in action. To schedule a classroom visit, or a virtual visit (using Skype or Google Hangout), educators should go to to fill out the request form. A member of the Discover Data team will be in touch to discuss opportunities for a real-world data professional to visit your classroom or after-school club, talk about careers in data, and facilitate the fun and engaging Discover Data data science activities. A classroom or virtual visit from a volunteer is not required to use the Discover Data resources in your classroom or program.

What is the survey?

The survey exists in two parts, a Pre-survey and a Post-survey. There are both educator-facing pre and post-surveys as well as student-facing pre and post-surveys. The survey consists of a series of 10 questions that are designed to gauge both student and educators’ familiarity with, perceptions of, and excitement toward data, teaching about data (educator only survey) and pursuing data science careers. The purpose of the pre and post-survey is to measure engagement attitudes towards data and should be taken by anyone who participates in the program. Survey results are aggregated and are used for general reporting only. The pre and post-survey should each take approximately five minutes to complete.

Who should take the survey?

The pre and post-survey are designed to be answered by students and educators before and after using Discover Data’s resources as part of classroom instruction and/or after-school enrichment. The purpose of the pre and post-survey is to measure engagement attitudes towards data and should be taken by anyone who participates in the program. Whether a volunteer data expert is taking your students through an activity, or you are using these resources independently, it is recommended that you take the pre-survey in advance of walking through the resources and the post-survey after you and your students have used the resources.

What is the purpose of having a survey for this program?

Discover Data is in its pilot year. As future resources are developed for the program, we would like to use the data we receive from the survey to inform the development of additional resources that will help meet the needs identified by educators and students. When analyzing the collective responses from both the pre and post-surveys, we are able to determine how the program has made an impact on those for whom it was created, as well as develop improved resources for the future.

Data gathered from the pre and post-surveys is aggregated and used for general reporting purposes only by Discovery Education,  Afterschool Alliance, and the Nielsen Foundation.

Am I required to take the survey in order to use the activities and resources on Discover Data?

No. All resources on Discover Data are free and open to anyone who wishes to use them, regardless of survey participation. Neither you nor your students are required to take the survey.

If you wish not to do so or if your school’s policies preclude you from doing so, please do not take the survey.

How do I administer the survey with my students?

STEP 1: Provide each of your students with a unique, non Personally Identifiable Information ID
To protect students’ privacy, each student should be given their own unique anonymous ID by their educator.

Student personally identifiable information (PII) SHOULD NOT BE ENTERED into the system. To use this, no PII is required.

For simplicity, we suggest using the educator’s last name underscore and a number for example Smith_01, Smith_02, Smith_03. Each student will need to use their unique ID for both the pre and post survey. For your convenience, we have created a worksheet at the end of these FAQ’s with ID numbers to hand out that students can hang on to if they forget their number.

Teachers do not need a unique ID. They will be asked their name and can simply write their last name or a pseudonym if they wish to do so.

STEP 2: Complete the Pre-Survey. (5 minutes)

After each student has their unique ID, they will be able to take the Pre-survey. Both you, as the educator, and your students are invited to take the pre-survey by going to and clicking on the survey link in the classroom resources section. You can do this at any time before using Discover Data’s resources, whether it is the same day or even days/weeks in advance!

STEP 3: Explore the resources on the site.

Whether a volunteer is visiting your classroom or enrichment program, or you are using these resources independently, Discover Data’s lessons, activities and career profiles have been created for use in diverse settings with flexible content and learning extensions. Explore, engage and enjoy!

Step 4: Complete the Post-Survey (5 minutes)

Take the last few minutes of your classroom period or after-school club to complete the post-survey. The post-survey is very similar in questions and format to the pre-survey and is designed to measure how perceptions may have changed once students and educators connected with the content.

Thank you, and if you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to email us