Engaging with Data

A key element of Digital Scholarship is engaging with data. As our team’s data services specialist, I want to move away from data being viewed as enigmas that we have to wrangle with and understand in isolation. Rather, they should work in tandem with theory and context in a learning environment. In a recent collaboration between Professor Mary Ellen Carter, BC Professor of Accounting, and Doug Olsen, Business and Finance Librarian, I created a learning module on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) data to try to achieve such an integration. 

The module is designed to demystify ESG data by demonstrating how students can access and work with them from three major sources: LSEG (formerly Refinitiv) Workspace, S&P Global through WRDS (Wharton Research Data Services), and MSCI ESG Direct. The module uses these data to demonstrate key concepts about ESG – how ESG scores are calculated, what metrics companies measure that go into their scores, and how companies can be compared. In addition to being a primer on ESG data, the module also covers fundamental data manipulation skills, including data querying, cleaning, and visualizations. The aim is to make data an approachable companion to course content that focuses more on the discussions and debates about ESG in the business world.

Ultimately, I aim to help students feel at ease when using data in their learning and future careers. The Working with ESG Data module is just one example of how I seek to do that, and the model of incorporating aspects of data and data skills into courses is one I hope to continue to replicate. If you are interested in bringing data skills into your classroom, you can reach out to the Digital Scholarship Group at digitalscholarship@bc.edu. We look forward to working with you!