After attending a week long visual analytics summer school at the Dalhousie Computer Science Department where I attended the launch of their new ‘Institute for Big Data Analytics,’ I started thinking about what “big data” and “analytics” actually mean. For me, both terms were – and perhaps remain – a little beyond my grasp. I know the general ideas but the terms are not exactly clear cut.
“Big data” is supposed to be that new thing that changes the world entirely, right? It is that chance to access new insight given the abundance of information we can now collect, store, and analyze. Now, these claims are likely exaggerated, and definitely over simplified. New and revolutionary or not, there is an undeniable impact on the way we live our lives. The next logical question is: in what ways? I ask this question from the perspective of a citizen, not an academic. My piece in the Chronicle Herald is the result of a week of ruminating. Give it a read.