Weekly Round-Up: Big Data Value, Education, Social Data Analysis, and Saving the Planet

Welcome back to the round-up, an overview of the most interesting data science, statistics, and analytics articles of the past week. This week, we have 4 fascinating articles ranging in topics from Big Data's impact on education to using data to reduce global violence. In this week's round-up:

  • The Value of Big Data Isn't the Data
  • Big Data Will Revolutionize Learning
  • Data Analysis Should Be a Social Event
  • Using Big Data to Save the Planet

The Value of Big Data Isn't the Data

This is an Harvard Business Review blog post by CTO of Narrative Science and Northwestern faculty member, Kris Hammond about where he believes the value is in Big Data. Hammond proposes that the value is in getting machines to conduct the data analysis we need conducted and communicating their findings in an intuitive way. In the post, he describes in more detail why he believes this is so valuable and provides explanations and diagrams outlining the steps that can be taken in order to put these processes in place.

Big Data Will Revolutionize Learning

This interesting Smart Data Collective article is about how technology now allows us to capture information about virtually everything that happens in education and what this means for the future of education. Some of these things include customizing content for individual students, reducing drop-out rates, and enhancing the overall learning experience - all resulting in improved student outcomes. The articles talks a little about each of these and describes how they are, and will continue to be, implemented.

Data Analysis Should Be a Social Event

This is another interesting HBR article advocating a more social approach to solving data analysis problems. The authors urge us to use an approach familiar to those that have attended data-dives or hackathons before - get a group of people with various different perspectives together to brainstorm and come up with ideas about how to best solve the problem you're trying to solve. The article points out that this approach doesn't just work well at hackathons, it has also been implemented with great success at companies.

Using Big Data to Save the Planet

Our final article this week is a Slashdot piece about how the U.S. State Department is partnering with groups from around the world and using data analytics to help reduce violence in countries where it is a major problem. According to the article, they are using an analytics tool named Senturion to track data that can be obtained from social networks, economic data, and other sources to provide output that can help determine what types of resources are necessary on the ground in those troubled countries. The article mentions some of the countries where this analytics system is helping to identify conflict trends and also provides some examples of specific initiatives it is providing assistance with.

That's it for this week. Make sure to come back next week when we’ll have some more interesting articles! If there's something we missed, feel free to let us know in the comments below.

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