The generation and processing of data through digital technologies is an integral element of contemporary society, as reflected in recent debates over online data privacy, Big Data and the rise of data mining and analytics in business, science and government. This paper outlines the significance of digital data within education, arguing for increased interest in the topic from educational researchers. Building on themes from the emerging sub-field of digital sociology , the paper outlines a number of ways in which digital data in education could be questioned along social lines. These include issues of data inequalities, the role of data in managerialist modes of organisation and control, the rise of so-called dataveillance and the reductionist nature of data-based representation. The paper concludes with a set of suggestions for future research and discussion, thus outlining the beginnings of a framework for the future critical study of digital data and education.