Big Data for Good

I’m sharing this infographic that my Econometrics professor presented in lecture one day that represents the extent of data being generated these days: for example, Google receives over 2,000,000 search queries every minute. The trend towards big data has been increasing in the last decade and we know it’s here to stay. In fact this article from the Harvard Business Review claims that a job as a data scientist is the sexiest job of the 21st century.

There has been some concern over the availability of this kind of data because the invaluable information this data presents makes it more attractive to hackers which could lead to security breaches. And, from a consumer standpoint, big data essentially eliminates privacy (Google and Facebook know everything right?).

But the cons seem insignificant when we look at the pros of data. I came across an article on Fast Company called 6 projects harnessing data to good A contest for “ideas that make the large amounts of information produced each day available, understandable and actionable” held by the Knight Foundation awarded the top six winners with a total of $2.2 million.

The idea of a pop up radio archive seems particularly interesting to me and what’s even more impressive is that the team consists of a few Berkeley grad students in the School. Their goal was to create system that “will support long-term online archiving of multimedia materials; a sensible, accessible, standardized system of organization, labeling, and tagging; and optional online publishing to make the resources available to the world.” Read more about it here

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