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Week Four Reading

February 8, 2012

Six Provocations for Big Data

Big Data as described in the article is used in many different fields, and has been complied in various ways, but as mentioned should be described as data that relates to other pieces of data out there. The article mentions that data is collected to “make connection between pieces of data,” which I believe still holds true. There is a reason that data is collected in the first place, which is to track something of a period of time to compare and contrast. Big Data as mention was seen as piece of work that was collected by scientists. That has now changed as other occupations such as educational institutions, governments organization now collect data.

While all this is explained about data, the article explained six different issues on the topic of data, which fall into automating research changes the definition of knowledge, claims to objectivity and accuracy are misleading, bigger data are not always better data, not all data are equivalent, just because it is accessible doesn’t make it ethical, and limited access to big data creates new digital divides. Out of all these mentioned I believe the most important one is the last one. Information that is considered data is sometimes not accessible. With the range of new digital devices, the ability to get data that was once difficult is now obtainable.

The way of obtaining information that is limited has become an entity in the role that a journalist may face. Why the information is limited makes no sense to begin with because with the data collection is already done, so why not make it publicly available. This is just one part of what the article explains, but what’s also interesting is how the article makes its way toward social media and its usage in collecting data. Based on the article, social media has been mistakenly used to represent a population, which ideally is not the best way to work because of the inactivity that takes place when using social media. Using data from social media is not the best when it comes to obtaining sample sizes, which the article displays.

The takeaway from this article is to not only understand that data can be questioned but there are researches done through, but to understand that research is obtained in various ways, which not necessarily is useful data.

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Opening the Political Mind? 

In the other article about misperceptions, it goes without saying that getting information that is accurate is the most important part of the work, especially if it is done through data. What is important to note here is that data, like other entities of journalism, need to be checked. Publishing data that is incorrect is detrimental to the work that you do in the future. In the article, an approach that is explained is that information is often mixed with one’s own beliefs and agendas.

What the article is trying to conceptualize is that data should not data should be led to interpret different things.  In fact, the article states that reducing misperceptions among data will contribute to the overall view of the public when research and information is collected that is factual.

Data Visualization Critique:

http://blogs.hrblock.com/2012/02/07/valentines-day-spending-infographic/

With Valentine’s Day coming up, people will be spending quite a few dollars. This graphic displays the various scenarios that men and women may go through in preparation for Valentine’s Day. The visualization is interesting because it lets the reader follow a path of their choosing as to what they want to do. Also within the visual there are various statistics, which brings into context how important Feb. 14 is to some. Though this may not be the most ideal graphic, sources are listed providing how information was obtained.

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