"For publishers parsing the ever increasing volume of data presents a big challenge and an equally big opportunity"
So firstly, what is Big Data? In essence, it's the "gathering, analysis and application of enormous amounts of information generated by computers and other technology". Of course, it is human usage of computers and other technology that generates this data. The biggest outstanding question, from a practical perspective, is how efficiently it can be analysed.
For publishers parsing the ever increasing volume of data presents a big Black Prada Bag With Gold Hardware
And from a journalistic perspective there is an ever increasing amount of freely available data that can be used for the public good. In combination with FOI requests and specialist commercial datasets, powerful new forms of storytelling are beginning to emerge around the world.
The Pew Research Centre recentlyreleased a studyshowing that while there is a great deal of anticipation there is also a great deal of trepidation about the Age of Big Data.
Wikileaks should have opened everyone's eyes to the power of databases, but in many ways that example was not new. What is new is making data visual and then generating stories that would otherwise be hidden.
Amongst other questions, the survey asks who will control all this data? How and where will it be stored? Will the potential positives outweigh the negatives, such as loss of privacy? There are plenty of reasons for concerns about how massive volumes of data will be treated.
Australia, publishers have to start thinking harder about how they can take advantage of the new age of data to deliver smarter, more engaging journalism.
The other key point is that, for now, most of the data collection is about consumer behaviour. While that has obvious value for publishing sales teams, it has the potential to contribute to a consumer backlash. Many respondents to the Pew survey were ambivalent, at best, about the collection of more and more information about their habits, describing it as "creepy".
challenge and an equally big opportunity. Facebook is one example of a platform that uses high volumes of consumer data to present more relevant pathways and information sets to its users both individuals and advertising customers. Google, of course, does the same.
Making the most of big data
The Guardianhas been working in this field for a couple of years now. Over that time the type of stories they have produced, and the kinds of datasets they have been able to access have evolved. The news organisation claims that "not only is data journalism changing in itself, it's changing journalism too".
And as a result, there is a key role for publishers to play but it relies on publishers getting smarter about how they work within this Prada Handbag Nylon evolving data landscape.
The tools, software applications and datasets are integral, but asThe Guardian's data editor Simon Rogers writes, "data journalism is not graphics and visualisations. It's about telling the story in the best way possible".
Publishers need to take a leaf from the tech giants' book and start building data analysis capability.
In Australia, however, we're still playing catch up. There are some promising signs, with new data related appointments in Fairfax newsrooms, but it's not yet enough to call it a trend. As the tools and sources become more prevalent for data driven journalism Prada Wallet Money Clip
Across the Atlantic,The Sacramento Beehas also been publishing searchable data and data driven graphics for several years too. It has combined segmented, or one off, data and visualisations and longitudinal pieces updated over time (eg. tracking unemployment by region) to produce an archive of rich material.
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