What does data mean to you?

Data holds the power to significantly influence virtually every aspect of our society.  As the UK Mathematician and architect, Clive Humby stated about its impact, “Data is the new oil.” The information collected by firms and organizations holds the power to influence virtually every aspect of our lives, from the purchases we make to the music we listen to. but what do we do with all this information? With this in mind, watch the following Ted Talk.

Once you have watched the video, think critically and answer the following questions:

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  • What does data mean to you? How, as a society, should we use data? How should we not use data?
  • The speaker comments that “data doesn’t create meaning, we do”. Research one example where an organization used big data in a meaningful way. Describe what they did and the impact that it had, if any. Could the result have been achieved without data?
  • Provide any additional thoughts on data, its use, and its effectiveness that you may have, including any questions that come to mind.

Feel free to provide any additional information or inquiry that you feel is relevant. Once you have submitted your initial post, comment on two posts from you classmates.

Video link


  • Your initial post should feature at least 2 – 3 well-developed paragraphs which use correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar.(200-300word was enough)
  • Your two responses to your classmates’ posts should offer your opinion and supported ideas and/or present thoughtful questions based on the content submitted by your classmates to stimulate further discussion. Each reply should be between 1 – 2 paragraphs in length.