Week 2: Collecting Data, Sourcing Data and Big Data


This week we will be jumping into the world of data and looking at what is openly available to us. We will also be talking about all the different types of data (there are lots) and all the different formatting types it could possibly be saved as. We will also be talking about some great tools to collect your own data. Finally we will be demistifying what “Big Data” actually is.

Lecture Slides

In Class Assignment

In groups of two, find a story in the news of interest to you and use that topic to find an interesting open data set. Present it to the class giving your reasons why you chose it and what interesting data points you noticed in it.

This can be a website or open data set, lets avoid APIs for now.

Tip: Google the topic + “statistics” or “data”.


Reading: Pages 5-19

Start collecting your own personal data to be used in your final project. You must have at least two different data sets to work with.

Some examples could be location data, exercise data, type of food you eat, who you interact with, what time you wake up and go to sleep, your mood for the day, etc.

Here are a few tools to help you do this:
Open Paths tracking location data.
Reporter App simple diary app created by Nicholas Felton.
Floodwatch track all the ads you are served online.
Daytum track your daily events on this website.
Rescue Time tracks everything you do on your computer.
Moment App tracks how much you use your iPhone.
Automatic tracks your driving habits ($100 for device).
iPhone Health App track steps, calories burned, goals, etc.
And of course devices like the Apple Watch, FitBit, Nike Fuelband, etc.

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