data, data everywhere #LAK12

Just watched the video lecture of Marisa Mayer (Google) on The Physics of Data talking about the explosion of data posted to the web in recent years. Some interesting issues are flagged – how quickly we can upload and access data, the sheer range and volume of information out there that can improve our understanding of the world around us and how much ‘new’ data is available for us to access. Mayer spends quite some time taking us through the variety of Google tools that are there to help us realise our data needs. Although all very worthy, I actually found her experimentation on how users respond to the use of colour on websites more interesting – we like bluer shades of text more than green, apparently, and even small changes in shade can clearly influence how much more likely we are to click through a series of links. And if we add red tints to the blue, we’re even more easily led. I’m not sure what that tells us about the human psyche, but it was tellingly one of the more interesting aspects of the talk.

What was a little shocking was the rate of growth of our use of the internet and the expansion of things that we’re interested in finding. Over a 90 day period, 20% of Google searches are new – that is, they haven’t been asked before, and 10%-20% of all webpages found are new. The web is growing at an amazing rate. There is more than 80 times more data on the web now than there was in 2002.

If I’m being honest, I couldn’t quite make it through the video’s hour or so on the Wonderful World of Google and ran out of steam about half way through, but some interesting insights still. #LAK12

About sharonslade

Dr Sharon Slade is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Business and Law at the Open University in the UK working to support both tutors and students on Open University distance learning modules and programmes. Her research interests encompass ethical issues in learning analytics and online learning and tuition. Project work includes the development of a student support framework to improve retention and progression and the development of a university wide tool for tracking students and triggering relevant and targeted interventions. She led the development of new policy around the ethical use of learning analytics within the Open University, UK.
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3 Responses to data, data everywhere #LAK12

  1. Bianka Hajdu says:

    I also found it hard to keep paying attention to this presentation and, actually, only did it for the first 10 minutes. So I am happy that you resumed it here. It is almost unbelievable that there keep to exist so many new searches as it is stunning that 90% of the worlds’ data was created in the last two years as I read in another article.

  2. Nancy Levesque says:

    Thanks for the post. Makes one wonder about the role of librarians….it used to be that we helped students and faculty find information; now end-users do the searching. How can librarians continue to add value to study and teaching? Nancy Levesque

    • sharonslade says:

      Hi Nancy, in this ever increasing overload of information, we’ll always need informed guides to facilitate our learning, perhaps more now than ever?
      best wishes, Sharon

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