Section 001, Instructor: Laurel Miller

Weekly Question #2: Complete by September 14

Leave your response as a comment on this post by the beginning of class on September 14. Remember, it only needs to be three or four sentences. For these weekly questions, I’m mainly interested in your opinions, not so much particular “facts” from the class!

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Here is the question (well, it’s not really a question):

Find a online article dated within last two weeks from a credible source that has something to do with data. It can be about the role of data or an interesting data-driven analysis. It should also be relevant to your major and of interest to you. Copy and paste the URL directly into your response followed by a few sentences that explain what is interesting about it.

You can use any of the sources under the “Great Data Sites” menu on the right sidebar of this page, or you can use any online news or magazine site.

31 Responses to Weekly Question #2: Complete by September 14

  • http://fortune.com/2017/09/07/barnes-noble-books/
    This article deals with Barnes and Noble book store, and how it is falling behind its competitor, Amazon, in sales. The article includes a graph which shows that sales compared to last year have gone down -6.30%. I find this extremely interesting because Barnes and Noble is my favorite store. In order to combat their decline, many have suggested changing their platform. Additionally, they have been adding cafes and eating areas in several locations to attract business. Hopefully, the store will be able to solve their problems and eventually match their rival.

  • https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertberger/2017/09/10/equifax-hack-how-to-protect-your-credit-and-identity-if-your-data-was-compromised/#6a7e491327ea
    I find this interesting because it is a huge wake up call that encourages me to be more conscious about which companies I choose to do business with because if they can’t protect my data, that is a big problem. Furthermore, I wonder what the consequences of all this alleged stolen data will entail not just for the consumers but for the company that got breached. It goes to show that data should not fall into the wrong hands because lives can be ruined forever.

  • https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/sep/08/equifax-hack-credit-social-security-helpline-response-criticism
    I found this article interesting because it reminded me of the Ashley Madison hack that we talked about in class. Equifax has personal information that can lead to identity theft and potentially destroy people’s life as the Ashley Madison hack did. Equifax did not handle the breech correctly either. They waited to notified customers when the hacks happen on July 29. We give sensitive data to companies hoping that it will not fall in the wrong hands of people but we cannot trust the sites we give our data to because they do not protect the data well enough.

  • https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/13/electric-cars-to-account-for-all-new-vehicle-sales-in-europe-by-2035
    The article provided is about the growth in Electric cars in Europe and other parts of the world. I found this article interesting because it contains trend and prediction reports that projects the growth of electric movement. Will the mass availability of electric cars hurts oil prices? Oil is one of the biggest business for centuries past, will it ever be replaced by electrics in the future?

  • https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/31/business/energy-environment/storm-oil-industry.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FGasoline%20Prices&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=collection
    Because of the recent hurricane and weather disasters I have recognized the major increases in gas prices nationwide. I wanted to see the underlying factors that actually cause these usually steady prices to become so volatile so quickly. What I learned is that, in this case, it was more about the location of the hurricane. Texas is one of the biggest oil producers in the country, and several of their manufacturers were hindered by the storm. Therefore, if the storm took place somewhere else, the gas prices clearly would not have been effected to such a large extent. Ultimately, the effects of this storm will be felt nationwide for weeks to come.

  • http://www.theindychannel.com/news/call-6-investigators/call-6-accounting-firm-data-breach-latest-in-growing-problem

    This article goes into depth about a recent breach which saw hackers access customers data through an accounting firm. Since I am an accounting major I found it very interesting how the data I will be working with in the near future can be so important. I also found it very interesting that with only one hack many clients are now susceptible to damages involving their credit and their accounts. Hacking is a dangerous thing and can be harmful to many people.

  • https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/31/tough-on-crime-prisons-crisis-prisoner-numbers
    This article focuses on the need for change of prisons. Over the past few years, prisons have become extremely overcrowded, understaffed, and underfunded and it has to do a lot with offenders being sent to jail for more years than what their punishment for the crime should be. Since I am a Criminal Justice major, I found the article to be very interesting since it goes into details and gives data about all the information that goes with why and when there has been an increase in the number of prisoners in prisons over the years.

  • https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/al-gores-new-movie-exposes-the-big-flaw-in-online-movie-ratings/

    This article discusses instances of extreme variations in movie ratings collected from IMDB, and what that data says about us as consumers of media. In the example the article included, 34% of the ratings for Al Gore’s new film were a 1/10 while 38% users voted the film a 10/10. As a former student of the School of Media and Communications at Temple, I found it very interesting that data can reflect the divided mindset our nation has, even through something seemingly unrelated as our opinions of films.

  • https://www.wired.com/story/apples-ios-11-will-make-it-even-harder-for-cops-to-extract-your-data/ This article by WIred.com tells of Apple’s reinforcements to its new iOS software that will make it even more difficult for police to seize data. Recalling the “FBI standoff” Apple faced over the seizure of the San Bernadino shooter 2015, the article mentions even more displeasure from the law enforcement community about how this software update will make investigations even more difficult. I found this article interesting because data privacy has been an increasingly important topic over the past few years.; the debate of privacy vs. protection is always very intense and very circumstantial.

  • https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/07/business/equifax-cyberattack.html

    This article that I found has to deal with the recent Equifax data hack, in which it is estimated that 143 million Americans were affected by the hack. The major consumer credit reporter involuntarily gave up sensitive information, including SSN’s and Driver licenses, which could possibly destroy people’s credit and possibly lose all their money. I found this very interesting because this closely related to the Ashley Madison hack, in which lives were destroyed of men and women everywhere. However, I believe that this hack is way more severe, as it gives away essential confidential information of people, and if a hacker breaks into someones bank account using their SSN and steals their money, it will destroy families, including children. Also, while there was some sympathy for the men of Ashley Madison that were exposed, they were doing something sketchy on this website, whereas everyone using Equifax just wanted to know their credit score, but are now worried about their financial and physical security.

  • https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/datablog/2017/jul/02/us-healthcare-broken-system-one-chart

    The article I found focuses on the cost of healthcare in the U.S. compared to other nations, as well as relative life expectancy. Our healthcare is among the most expensive in the world, both to the government and the individual. To most, this may not be surprising due to the focus on healthcare in the recent election cycle. However, the data provided in this article also shows that average life expectancy in the U.S. is low, especially compared to other highly developed nations similar to our own. This trend has been present since the year 2000. This is likely a result of a malfunctioning system, as we have access to most, if not all cutting edge tech in the medical field.

  • The article that I found is from the New York Times. In this article there was research done on public schools and student correlation. I found this article to be interesting because I am an education major and plan to teach for the New York City Department of Education. This data show that in schools with a majority of the student population being of color and, or of Hispanic descent, students do not get the proper resources. Inexperienced teachers are more likely to teach in a school that is under-performing. These underperforming schools are usually with a majority of black or Hispanic students. In addition, the difference between black students graduating on time attending a public school compared to graduating on time while attending a specialized public school is ample. With public schools becoming “less white”, students that attend public school should not weep the lack of resources. Inexperienced teachers should also go through the proper training needed to better student’s education.

  • https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/sep/12/more-time-to-look-and-listen-readers-on-life-without-mobile

    The article I found was explaining the arrival of the new “iPhone X” which will soon be released and how there are people who are excited for it, while there are people who do without phones all together. I found this very interesting because the author collected data and gave actual real life people and their opinions on technology and how they believe there is more to life. I also found this article very relevant because I am constantly on my phone and rely on it for basically everything and sometimes I think I need to take a step back away from the technology.

  • https://www.wsj.com/articles/media-agencies-lower-global-ad-spending-forecasts-1505156732
    (Wall Street Journal, “Media Agencies Lower Global Ad Spending Forecasts”)

    Major media buying agencies expected that the spending for global ad will decrease in 2017 and 2018. GroupM lowered its growth expectation from 4.4% to 3% and Zenith lowered its expectation from 4.2% to 4%.

    This data was interesting to me because the cause of this data is related to political and economic issues of leading countries of global society. China was the best contributor of ad industry but the economic growth of China has declined a lot comparted to the past. I thought the growth rate of Chinese economy might be over 7% even for the next 5-7 years but it has slowed down. It was so amazing that just one country can impact certain part of global economy.

  • http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/sep/10/robert-muellers-donald-trump-investigation-hints-a/
    What is interesting to me about this article is the actual work being done to investigate the supposed financial crimes. I’m currently hoping to use my accounting and legal studies majors to specialize in forensic accounting or detecting financial crimes. This is the kind of work I hope to be one day doing working for the government. The way this ties in with data is that every financial statement or record of the Trump family’s financial history contains data. All of the balance sheets contain the amounts of certain assets his company’s hold, each statement of cash flows shows what he has been investing in, what expenses he’s had, and HOW he has financed his operations (has he accepted money from Russians to fund his businesses or campaign).

  • https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/aug/02/problem-gambling-affects-200000-australians-survey-shows

    One part of this article that I found interesting is the gambling habits of each of the sexes. The article states that men are not only more likely to gamble, but they also spend more money when gambling. This information makes me think about all the gambling activities that I partake in with my friends such fantasy football and how betting money the natural thing to do. When comparing this behavior to the opposite sex, it is very unlikely to find many females even gambling at all.

  • http://www.macworld.co.uk/news/apple/apple-q3-2017-financial-results-iphone-ipad-mac-sales-all-up-3581769/

    This article goes in depth and discusses how Apple’s sales for almost all their products have finally gone up in Quater 3 in 2017. It also discussed the quantity of how many products they sold compared to previous years and quarters and how they have gone up and the growth of their average selling price of each product. An example is Apple sold 41.026 million iPhones in Q3, which is up 2 percent compared to Q3 in 2016 and the average selling price of an iPhone is now $605.62, compared to last years ASP which was $595.26. I am currently an International Business student, so looking at how big companies such as Apple that have been dominating the tech industry for almost a decade and their constant changing sales interest me, and how they may go down for a year or two but eventually do go back up

  • https://opendata.socrata.com/Fun/Top-1-000-Songs-To-Hear-Before-You-Die/ed74-c6ni

    This dataset shows the list of Guardian’s “Top 1000 Songs to Hear Before You Die.” I like a variety of music and chose this piece because I wanted to expand my interests and see what a credible source determines is music everyone should listen to. What I found most interesting about this piece is that it can be sorted by theme. These categories included “Sex,” “Heartbreak,” “People and Places,” “Politics” and the like.

  • http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/13/technology/iphone-x-face-id-security/index.html

    Apple releasing their new iPhone X has a lot of people talking. It is simply amazing how in November people will be able to unlock their phone through facial recognition. Biometric recognition is data itself. Being able to use your phone with FaceID and fingerprint sensors enables one device to have the capability of carrying a plethora of data. Apple definitely stepped up their game amongst their Android competitors. I came across this article simply because I wanted to understand if FaceID is secure, then realizing all the data the iPhone stores through facial recognition alone opened my eyes to the topic of this question.

  • https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/09/13/how-freeze-your-credit-protect-your-identity/657304001/

    This article is about a data breach involving equifax, a credit reporting company. This is interesting since an estimated 143 million Americans have lost Social Security numbers, names, addresses and dates of birth to these hackers. It is now very scary and dangerous for these people for they do not know who possesses their information anymore and what they can do with it.

  • https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/amazingly-the-indians-are-even-better-than-they-seem/
    As an avid baseball fan this article is something that I would enjoy reading for pleasure, even outside of this assignment. It discusses the Cleveland Indians and their historic 21 game win streak, tying the all time MLB record. This article, however, discusses how the Indians are even better than that win streak leads one to believe. It takes data and statistics, such as predicted run differential predicted vs actual records, to show that despite their record, they have actually been quite unlucky, as far as data is concerned, losing six more games this season than predicted by those statistics. It also compares the team to the 2001 Oakland Athletics, the team with the second longest win streak of all time. The article uses data from both team’s seasons to discuss who truly is the better team. I find this extremely fascinating, as baseball is becoming a more data based game by the day.

  • https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/09/12/equifax-category-5-data-breach-editorials-debates/657362001/

    On July 29, Equifax got hacked and the hackers got away with a lot of information. What i found funny about this article was that the company waited six weeks to reveal the information. I think my information probably got stolen because i use Credit Karma and Credit Karma works with Equifax. The hackers have important information about the customers such as their social security, names, birth dates and address. This shows that nothing is safe online.

  • https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-100-year-old-hurricanes-could-teach-us-about-irma/

    With all of the recent devastating hurricanes happening in our country, its interesting to see just how they compare to past hurricanes that have been just as catastrophic. Scientists are using data collected from previous hurricanes in past years to compare them to the likes of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Data is so essential in predicting how large of an impact some of these upcoming hurricanes will have on our country. With data that had been collected in the past, we may be able to predict patterns in the storms, longevity, and also expected damage. This article also dives into how we may be able to connect these recent hurricanes to climate change, and how there may be data to back up this claim. Its certainly an interesting topic that many people are going to want to keep an eye on.

  • https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/students-at-most-colleges-dont-pick-useless-majors/
    The reason why I chose this article is because with rising costs of higher education, there is a huge discussion on why students chose the major they do in college and if that major can translate into a job once out. Most people will say, “Choose a degree that is worth something like business, engineering, law, etc.” I think it was interesting to learn that in both the less selective colleges and the more selective college’s degrees relating to business, management, and marketing were ranked 19.3% for less selective and 9.8% for more selective colleges.

  • https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-09-13/facebook-and-google-show-us-your-ad-data
    For this weeks article, I chose to read on titled “Facebook and Google, Show Us Your Data”. The purpose of the article was to express to the world how companies such as google, amazon, and facebook, use the data that the collect for advertising efforts towards other things. For example, the data information is often used in political ways. To me, that is very interesting because I never thought of such companies as being a political powerhouse, but it makes sense. As an ad major, data collection is very important for decision making targeting, however, there are many instances where it can be misused for unintended influence.

  • Whats interest me about this article is that it depicts where we are in present day society. When it comes to wealth, as Americans, we would like to think that everyone has an equal opportunity in gaining capital. But this is unfair to assume because data shows that we live in a society where a white high school dropout can gain more wealth than their higher-educated minority counterparts. This troubles due to the fact that I am a minority and a veteran, and still risk the chance of not gaining true wealth.

  • https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trumps-immigration-order-could-affect-thousands-of-college-students/
    This article interests me because it explains how Trump’s immigration order affects college students. The article explains that the United states is the one of the largest hubs for international learning and that students from Iran are some of the smartest and most successful. Last academic year Iran sent over 12,269 students, that is more than all of the other 6 countries affected by the ban put together.

  • https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/sep/14/flying-us-iphone-x-cheaper-than-buying-europe-illegal-hmrc-vat

    For this week’s articles, I choose “Flying to US to get an iPhone X is cheaper than buying in Europe. It’s also illegal” It is similar to how my friends and family who live in Indonesia would go shopping for electronics in Singapore. It is because products would be cheaper to buy overseas. Rather than spending double the amount of taxes, part of that money would be useful for the plane ticket and the hotel stay charges. I have several European friends who told me that, “Tourists receive discount at almost every store in the small and when they exit US, they have the ability to do an “exit tax” which means that they will be refunded for all the taxes they have paid for everything purchased while in America.” This article shows the budget break down of traveling to US and buying an Iphone. One person is likely to buy more than 1 Iphone during their visit to America and sells it back in the UK, due to this price gap.

  • http://customerthink.com/forget-the-data-start-with-a-relationship-based-marketing-strategy/

    As we have learned in class, big data is an extremely powerful and helpful thing. While many of the technologies we have today probably would not exist without big data, this article discusses the dangers of depending on big data too much. If we continue to focus on analytics and technology driven careers we will begin to lose customers. Face to face interaction is something that is still heavily valued in this industry. This article is urging the tech industry to balance computers with people. I agree with this proposition because customers like to feel valued, and if they are only contacted through a computer it shows that they are not.

  • https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/has-nfl-play-gotten-worse-or-is-it-just-you/

    We learned in the first day of class, that data is everywhere. That is exactly what I liked about this article – it was about the most random thing but it was actually relevant to my life. Unfortunately, I am a Giants fan. If you click the first link, it shows data from the quarterback Eli Manning being really reliable to mediocre from being one of out only ten quarterbacks in NFL history to start 200 games to having 27 interceptions in the 2013 season.In the article, it compared Manning to other quarterbacks (retired and active) including to his brother, Peyton Manning. This part gave me somewhat hope for Eli and the Giants because we all know that Eli’s time in the NFL is coming to an end sooner than we think, because it stated “… all played some of their most efficient football very near the end of their starting career”.

  • http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article184726473.html
    This article describes a study that was done by uses smart phone data to see if the election and politics were ruining Thanksgiving. They wanted to know how long Thanksgiving was for people of mixed political parties. They used a software called Safegraph that is a location tracker and they watched where people were between certain hours. Their results showed that Thanksgiving was cut much shorter than it has been the past couple of years. It is relevant to now because the time may be even shorter this year.

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Office Hours
Laurel Miller (instructor) 1:00-2:00pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays, Speakman Hall 207F or by appointment.
ITA information
Rebecca Jackson (ITA) By appointment only. Email: rebecca.jackson@temple.edu