The table above is meaningless. It shows names, yes and no, but not what yes/no relates to. The table to the right clarifies this by adding headers to the table, these categorize the data and allows us to make a decision if required. In this instance, it may be which students deserved a detention due to an unauthorized absence.
“Big Data” is no different to any other kind of data – there is just A LOT of it, meaning that the information provided from analysing it can lead to much more accurate decisions being made.
Data is information that has yet to be categorised, and information is knowledge with no application. That means if someone says what the data is and figures out an effective way to use it, then it can provide knowledge.
In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica Facebook scandal, people are becoming increasingly aware of the power and influence that Big Data can have over our lives. Many people left the platform after this scandal, and Facebook were forced to make changes to their platform that gave more powers to users regarding their personal data.
For most people, the only time we hear about the power of data is when an organisation takes advantage of users’ lack of data literacy, and uses personal data for their gain, whether it be financial, political or both, like the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
As governments are under increasing pressure to advocate for data democracy, they make data sets available to the public. New York City is a great example of this, they have had a law in place since 2012 that mandated all public data has to be made available on a single portal by the end of 2018.
Access to the data alone does not build data democracy – the general public needs to not only have access to data, but they need a level of understanding of what that data is and how it is being, or can be, used. It is only through the general public being aware of these issues that large corporations can be held accountable for THEIR use of OUR data.
Below are some TED talks that helped me understand more about data and encouraged me to start exploring and playing with open data, both as a hobby and in my job as a Service Designer for FutureEverything.