I teach graduate and undergraduate statistics (quantitative analysis) and I am often asked by business students struggling with the numbers “what am I really going to use this for in real life?” True it may be difficult at first to understand the relevance of pure number crunching using the binomial distribution or chi square. So I have been introducing my students to Big Data as a way to help them see the power of quantitative methods to make significant contributions in almost any field of work. We recently discussed the use of the scientific method in business and many students brought up marketing examples. I ran across this company, eMarketer, and watched a short video on their method of doing market research. I think it does a fairly good job of describing the difference between traditional market research and that now possible using Big Data. Enjoy: http://vimeo.com/81520554
I’ve been on Facebook since 2007 but have not been addicted to it until recently. That may be do to an “aging” effect that I intend to research. But I have been active enough to notice that my friends seem to have more friends that I do. And that my friends seem to do more fun and creative things than I do. I thought I was just imagining this but it seems that statisticians have been researching the phenomenon. It turns out it is not a new idea. Research into social networks first identified the trend in 1991. But current research has found some interesting things using data from a number of networks. More Big Data? http://www.technologyreview.com/view/523566/how-the-friendship-paradox-makes-your-friends-better-than-you-are/
I’ve been tracking Big Data, really trying to get up to speed with predictive analytics and the like but have developed an interest in the widespread impact of big data across the spectrum of things I am interested in. One being Connectivism as a new theory of learning. Well connectivism has strong links to MOOCs and this article points out some major problems for proponents of MOOCs through the use of data analytics.
Two of particular interest – the rapid dropout rate of enrollees and the possibility that the presence of instructors may result in a decline in participation in discussions. Worth reading: http://goo.gl/CCKja4
This short post contains wonderfully succinct definitions of constructivism, instructivism and connectivism: http://goo.gl/dHCYj
This infographic contains some interesting insights, not strictly on connectivism but closely related: