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Big Data

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Marie-jeanne Morier

on 15 December 2014

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Transcript of Big Data

Big Data
Big data is an all-encompassing term for any collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using traditional data processing applications. It can be used in a variety of field and change significantly the way we understand and analyze people, society, products etc..

Social Media
With the emergence of social media. The collection of data has become easier and more precise than before. Allowing companies to understand in depth their target market.
Data Analyst
Not only does the companies need to adapt to the new era of data, they also need to have the expertise. With the amount of data companies collect a lot of experts are needed and the technology aspect of it is also significant.
From Mass to Targeted Advertising.
What the phenomenon of Big data explores, is the possibility to change a product even before it is out there. The idea is to analyze the target buyers first. That way, the product can be adjusted to what the consumer is more inclined to buy.
Big Data

- Social class
- Approximate income
- What you do
- Places you went
- music you like
- Charity causes
- What you watch
- what you eat
- what you look like
Big Data allows companies to create ads that connect with your values and beliefs and engage you personally in relation to the information they know from the various platforms.
Before the era of social medias and blogs, companies had to hirer and pay costumers to answer question about a certain product in order to have feedback. Now comment sections and blog changed everything. Programs will analyze the data coming from these comments and create statistics.
From all that information, Advertising agencies can place ads that have a better percentage of chances to be effective.
Merchants of Cool
This shift means mostly to transfer to online advertising. Multiple screens
I’ve taught “introduction to research methods” to undergraduate students for many years, and they would sometimes ask me why they should care about all this “method stuff”, besides having a required class for a sociology major out of the way. I would always tell them, without understanding research methods, you cannot understand how to judge what you see.

The Hollaback video shows us exactly why.

The Hollaback video also shows why “data” without theory can be so misleading
—and how the same data can fit multiple theories. Since all data collection involves some form of data selection (even the biggest dataset has selection going into what gets included, from what source), and since data selection is always a research method, there is always a need for understanding methods.

First, let’s list all the hypotheses compatible with the “data”, this video:

Hypothesis 1- Men of color are disproportionately more likely to catcall, especially to a white, conventionally attractive female.

Hypothesis 2- All men are equally likely to catcall but the makers of the video were biased, consciously or unconsciously, against black men (and edited out men of other races on purpose.)

2.a Consciously: they are racists and are playing to the “white women endangered by black men” trope — which has a long and ugly history, hence the concern raised by many over the past week.

2.b Unconsciously: There is a methodological twist to the research which creates this outcome.

2.c. Both 2.a. and 2.b are true.

Hypothesis 3- It’s a spurious correlation: there is some other reason that caused these two events to go together

The important methodological point is that the video, without further reflection, can support all three wildly incompatible propositions. In other words, if you just look at the video, you can believe any three, and you will likely choose whichever fits your existing conclusions and prejudices..
Google Flu Trends
Google tracked the spread of the flu, only by search terms.
Is this ok?
Many software and companies dedicated to collecting and analyzing data...
Faster, cheaper, theory-free.
Edward Snowden
NSA worker who leaked information.
NSA collects phone calls and internet activity.
Is he a HERO or a TRAITOR?
Ways we are feeding it
Online shopping
Music streaming
Digital medical information
Ways it is
Early weather reports
Urban planning

Just a few examples...
Big Data in a Montrealers life
STM and transportation (opus card, apps)
Hydro-Quebec, and IBM Smarter Energy research institute
Sports - Hockey
Full transcript