Storytelling Using Data: Determining the Authority of Data and Applied Interpretations

Students learn to identify and evaluate the authority of data and the authors who publish interpretations of data. They review a dataset from FRED® and determine the authority of the dataset based on shared criteria. They also review that same dataset in several interpretations published in blogs and articles, applying the criteria to analyze the authority. Students discuss how they determined authority in pairs and share back their thoughts to the class.

Objectives of this lesson:

Students will be able to

  • identify important criteria to consider when evaluating sources of data and information;
  • explain what is meant by accuracy, authority, objectivity, currency, and coverage; and
  • distinguish between a published dataset and an author’s interpretation of the dataset to tell a research story.

Compelling Question:

Why is it important to differentiate between the authority of data and the authority of the authors/storytellers who interpret data?

View More:


If you have difficulty accessing this content due to a disability, please contact us at 314-444-8624 or

Find More Economics and Personal Finance Resources

Education Level: 9-12 College Non-educators
Subjects: Economics Data Literacy
Concepts: Business Cycle Economy Spending
Resource Types: Charts/Graphs Data Lesson Website Activity Tutorial Instructional Guide
Languages: English
Back to Top