International Literacy Day 2016 - Big data, little change by Ian S Smythe published on 2016-09-10T17:51:20Z In this brief talk given on International Literacy Day 2016, we explore the issues around the use of big data in education, and more specifically literacy, to try to understand what are the barriers to improvement, and why the excitement generate by big data in business is not being echoed in education. As we shall see, everything is ready for the transition from making it up as we go along to evidence-based decision-making at a national, local and individual level. But as we show the potential and the ease of implementation, we need to keep our eye on the ball, and ask ourselves, why are we doing it. For me, I know why I am doing it. It is not about the data, it is not about improving national averages, it is about changing people's lives, to give them the basic skills that will help them fulfil their potential, no matter what obstacles may be put in their way.