Section 002, Instructor: Larry Dignan

Weekly Question #2: Complete by February 6, 2017

Leave your response as a comment on this post by the beginning of class on February 6, 2017. 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.

39 Responses to Weekly Question #2: Complete by February 6, 2017

  • http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2017/01/31/realizing-the-potential-of-big-data-and-analytics/#50b01f951c66

    The article above explains the potential of data analysis, and “potential” is used because it is heavily underutilized in today’s business process, according to a Harvard Business Review. Another great point surfaced in the article is that data analysis involves every member of the organization, up to and including the C-Suite; a great way to get noticed. In order for change to be successfully embraced, you MUST support it with data. No more using intuition in big business decisions.

  • From an MIS perspective, I found an article that talks about how to truly delete data in today’s technological age. All data is stored on a physical device so you can erase data that you have control over. This fact-checking story by the Washington Post regarding President Donald Trump’s immigration ban on seven countries is very interesting. The story uses the data provided by the President and believes it “old,” adding new and more exact figures of how many people — upwards of over 90,000 people — that have been affected by the ban. The data surrounding these people is filtered from several different places, like government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security or even an open-data Google spreadsheet keeping track of over 300 Iranians’ journey to the U.S In addition, data sanitization is also an option to wipe drives through overwriting them enough times. But the major point that I learned is that data is always easier to make than it is to delete.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-it-takes-to-truly-delete-data/

  • http://rdcu.be/oXBE
    The study above explains how the effects of music therapy can aid symptom management and quality of life for both hospice patients and family members. Most other studies of this sort only focus on how the music can help the patient, but do not focus on the family members. To complete the study, therapists had the patient and the family members rate their symptoms of pain, anxiety, depression, shortness of breath, and mood, before and after the therapy sessions. The results showed that, of the 50 pairs of participants, 82% showed improvement of quality of life, 80% rated the session as helpful, and 100% recommended further music therapy sessions. As a music therapy student, it is uplifting to see these positive results, and it shows me that there is data to back up my field of study. Additionally, this article was interesting to me because the study was done at the Cleveland Music Settlement, in which I intern during the summers.

  • http://tucson.com/news/data/bing-predicts-super-bowl-li/article_7fe8e4b6-4113-5d84-86a3-b7b1def74667.html

    I think this article is very interesting because it is data in sports. Sports are the perfect example of why we analyze data. This article breaks down the super bowl odds of the Falcons and the Patriots. What is unique is how they use advanced stats and analytics to break down their predictions for what is going to happen. My personal hobby is being a sports analysis. I love to break down data and talk about football and basketball and how data affects the game.

  • https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/26/sports/nfl-injuries-report.html?_r=0

    This particular article focuses on injuries in sports, specifically the NFL. In a recent press conference, the NFL prided itself that the amount of concussions reported this season were less than last season. While this piece of data may seem positive at first, it is only because the amount of reported concussions was an all time league high. The article also discussed that the amount of ACL injuries were minimized, but the amount of MCL injuries increased this season. I find this particularly interesting because the NFL decided that the evaluation of Miami Dolphins’ quarterback, Matt Moore, was not properly evaluated for a concussion in the playoff game against the Steelers. I’m curious to see if the league will look into any other incorrectly evaluated concussions. Data such as this has been influential in the NFL admitting that concussion are a large problem and need to be taken very seriously in the sport.

  • https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/19/crisis-of-statistics-big-data-democracy
    As a Actuarial Science major, statistics are extremely important to the job I would do. This article makes an argument on how statistics lost their power. Throughout 2016, statistics are increasingly seen as untrustworthy by many. In fact, many see them as insulting or arrogant because they violate some people’s sense of political decency. A study in the US showed that 68% of Trump supporters distrusted the economic data presented by the federal government. I find this interesting because as a guy who likes to look at statistics and analyze them, I cannot see statistics as untrustworthy. There may be some exceptions or faults but I do not think they should all be considered dishonest.

  • https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/01/24/experts-warn-ethical-implications-paying-ransom-unlock-hacked-files
    This article discusses the risks of paying a hacker who hacked numerous files and holding it hostage until he/she is payed. As mentioned in the article, for hospitals this risk can be responsible for locking the staff from seeing a patients medical records which could be fatal. So the question is, do you pay the ransom and hope the hacker releases the data? If you do not pay, then your best hope lies with the FBI or an other crime fighting agency. However there is one safeguard that can help prevent you from answering that question. If there is a backup system that would allow the data to be reset to a point before the data was hacked. Looking at this from a financial view it would be best to invest in such a system to avoid paying such a ransom to only get a chance of getting the data back.

  • I read an article entitled “The Changing Nature of Accounting” by Mike Galarza.The article addresses the impact that Big Data is having on the Accounting field. The author explains how Accountants once needed to be experts at all aspects of the field; however, Big Data, the internet, and the increasingly complicated tax code is changing the way Accountants work. The author suggests that the future of the field is similar to that of Lawyers: find a niche market and serve that market well. Big Data is both a hindrance and a saving grace to the Accounting field. On one hand, sifting through all of that information can be a real challenge. On the other hand, it is almost impossible to automate data analysis, because it requires thought processes that a computer simply doesn’t have. This may end up being the thing that saves Accounting from a future of total automation.

    http://sfmagazine.com/post-entry/february-2017-the-changing-nature-of-accounting/

  • https://www.forbes.com/sites/robsalkowitz/2017/02/03/super-bowl-ad-showdown-in-the-new-age-of-media-metrics-tv-watches-you/#2db4e8ec486c

    I found this article interesting, because it shows how the evolution of data is enhancing our ability to track how successful advertisements are. Advertisers spend billions on Superbowl ads, but until now could not determine the real reach of the ads. Current media metric platforms will now allow for a clearer audience picture by collecting data directly from the viewing devices themselves and analyzing it using machine learning. Once trends or patterns are recognized, they will be visualized on a web based dashboard. This could be a start for marketing departments being able to justify the cost of expensive advertisements with statistics.

  • https://smallbiztrends.com/2017/02/protect-customer-data.html

    This is an interesting article because it discusses the moral obligation of businesses to protect customer data. Data protection is a hot topic nowadays because of the increasing risk of a customer’s personal information being stolen by hackers. The article discusses though that not only are companies responsible for abiding by regulatory procedures to protect data, but that the companies also have a moral responsibility to want to protect their customer data to the best of their abilities, giving an example of how a financial planning company has taken steps to acknowledge that when clients choose to do business with them it is the firms responsibility to protect the customers financial data. The article then goes on to list measures a company can take to better protect its customer’s data.

  • https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-unconscious-sexism-could-help-explain-trumps-win/
    This article talks about unconscious sex bias helps Trump won the election. Generally speaking, men tend to has more bias on women’s power over men, because most men don’t want to women getting power control over them. But surprisingly, the data shows the sexual bias is stronger on average in women than in men, and among women, it is particularly strong among political conservatives. And at least according to one study, this unconscious bias was especially strong among one group in 2016: women who supported Trump. I found this interesting because people know Trump is a sexist and racist but still willing to support him over Clinton. The graph shows black women has stronger implicit bias than white women do, and their bias is fairly flat across the political spectrum.

  • https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/02/education/edlife/will-you-graduate-ask-big-data.html?_r=0
    The article above writes about an application of big data to college-level education, which should be relatable to not just me or anyone in our class, but every college student. I found this article interesting because it demonstrates the use of data analysis to evaluate college students’ performance, predict their ability to graduate in time and alert educators and students alike to take actions if needed. Big data reveals that a good standing in foundation courses often indicates a higher chance of graduation, which is actually a very interesting point to me. This is a clear example of how data has permeated the very most important aspects of our lives, and how we can utilize it for betterment of performance.

  • https://www.datanami.com/this-just-in/attunity-signs-agreement-global-insurance-company-enable-new-data-lake-initiative/
    This article describes how a global insurance company is now employing a “leading provider of data integration and Big Data management software solutions” called Attunity Ltd. Attunity will give real-time data to the insurance company and provide support for quick data integration for acquisitions that will be useful for the insurance company’s a strategic advantage in the business. Though the insurance company is not named, and referred to as simply, “the Customer,” they are a company who mainly acquires other insurance companies, so Attunity’s services will be well utilized.

  • http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trumps-immigration-order-could-make-it-harder-to-find-a-psychiatrist-or-pediatrician/
    This article discusses how Trump’s Immigration Order could impact the medical field and accessibility to a physician. I think it’s equally interesting and important to utilize the data we have to analyze political actions during this time of turmoil. This case represents how data can expose patterns and problems that may otherwise go unnoticed- I know that this correlation is not one I would have thought to make before looking at the statistics. Another interesting fact from the article is that doctors with foreign degrees are more likely to have a specialty such as psychiatry or pediatrics, which is also where the greatest shortage of doctors exists and are more likely to serve in rural counties with more severe shortages; ironically, data shows that these high shortage counties were also more likely to vote for Trump. It will be interesting to continue to follow these data trends as Trump takes more action in office.

  • With the increase in credit card fraud, banks and other financial institutions are trying to protect their consumers. To protect the consumer, card companies started to use a chip that encrypts information to help increase data security when a transaction takes place. The problem that has occurred is consumers shopping behavior has change, as more people are shopping online and not using retail stores as frequently. Since October 1, 2015, when implemented, e-commerce fraud in the U.S. has jumped 42% in the fourth quarter of 2016.
    In the U.S. there were 15.4 million victims in 2016 and losses from fraud have hit $16 billion. Hackers are using using Botnets, and they have techniques to intercept codes by email or even a text. Is there too much data “Out There” ? Are you safe?
    CIO Matt hamblen. Feb.3, 2017;
    http://www.cio.com/article/3165417/security/online-card-fraud-up-as-thieves-avoid-more-secure-chip-cards-for-in-store-payments.html

  • https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-03/it-s-tom-brady-versus-wells-fargo-s-quants-in-super-bowl-li

    This article discusses betting strategies for the Super Bowl based on analytics run by Wells Fargo. Against what many sports analysts have said, according to the data, Wells Fargo suggests betting on the Falcons to cover the spread and thinks the game will be a very close one. Data Analytics in sports is a rather new field, yet it is starting to predict games more and more accurately. I will be thoroughly impressed if the Falcons cover the 3 point spread tonight. According to the article, the quants at Wells Fargo have accurately predicted ten of the past thirteen Super Bowls. With these processes becoming more and more precise and accurate, data analytics could change not only sports betting, but sports entirely.

  • https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/strong-hiring-greets-the-trump-era/
    This article discusses the increase in hiring and the unemployment rate since the beginning of January. Almost a quarter of a million jobs were created by US employers in January. This is the highest job creation rate since September. This is a sign of confidence in the economy considering Donald Trump was not in office for most of the month. The article also mentioned the effect unemployment rate has on the economy and they explain why Trump may be misinterpreting the impact of unemployment within the US. I think it is interesting how economists can draw different conclusions from the same data depending on how they think the economy works.

  • http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21715688-typical-say-cynics-cleaning-up-last-say-optimists-big-chinese-province
    Discussed in this article is how one of China’s provincial economic bureaus was falsifying economic data since at least 2011. This is very interesting as it’s another confirmation to foreign nations that China’s economic data isn’t to be entirely trusted. Not only that but there’s a very interesting political side to it where the province was falsifying data possibly against the state’s wishes. Finally the fact that these new, supposedly accurate numbers, brings China’s investment growth down to 8% from a previous 11% would indicate that they are continuing a trend of a slowdown of economic growth.

  • https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trump-could-really-mess-up-mexicos-economy/
    This article talks about how Trump would affect Mexicos’ economy. A series of anti-Mexico policies that Trump has made would cause a great loss to Mexico’s GDP. The policies include limiting the flow of remittances to Mexico, increasing tariffs, stopping free trade agreement. However, in this article, the author points out that these policies would not only affect Mexicos’ economy, but also make America loses a large number of skilled but cheap labor.

  • When I saw this article, I thought it was very interesting because not only I attend Temple, which is in Philadelphia, and I also now full time live in Philadelphia. Knowing that the poverty rate increased so much is very upsetting. What really effect me the most what that the poverty rate for children is higher than the poverty rate in adults. Also, Temple is in north Philadelphia, and northern Philadelphia and Kensington area’s almost doubled in poverty in the city. Philadelphia is such a beautiful city with so much history, I been saying this for years, I wish we could get our city out of poverty and more wealthy to make it even more beautiful.

  • https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/chicagos-murder-rate-is-rising-but-it-isnt-unprecedented/
    I heard about this issue a couple of days ago in my political science class and I am undeclared soI though I’d look a little deeper into it. The murder rate has increased in the past couple of years but is still lower than it was in the 1990’s.

  • http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2017/02/daily-chart-0

    This article, “What defines a nation’s identity,” used survey data from Pew Research Center to try to define what it means to have a national identity. The survey asked respondents from 15 countries a variety of categories about the makeup of a national identity, such as “being able to speak the national language” and “sharing national customs and traditions.” It then used a chart to highlight what percent of each country found these categories very important in determining a national identity. I thought this article was interesting because populism and nationalism is on the rise around the world, and it was neat to compare how different countries view what it means to have a national identity. You can see some countries (Hungary) demand cultural homogeneity more than others (Canada).

  • http://www.businessinsider.com/amazons-earnings-highlight-expanding-logistics-network-2017-2

    This article demonstrates how amazon has tracked performance over the last 5 years. They are able to use this data to make comparisons between different years and quarters. This information guides them in making decisions for the upcoming quarters. They found that there is a growing demand so they invested in logistics in order to keep up.

  • https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/complete-history-of-the-nba/#sixers

    This article demonstrates a method called “Elo” that can help rate an NBA team across the decades. The most interesting part of the “Elo” method is that you can pick a specific team from any era and it can calculate their ratings.The main components of the ratings are gathered from the final score of the game, when and where the game is played, winning or losing, and if the game is an upset or won by a huge margin. It is interesting how the “Elo” method is able to figure out a rating system that can accurately portray how good/bad the NBA teams are across the decades.

  • http://ww2.cfo.com/risk-management/2017/02/better-data-better-decisions/

    As a risk management major it is interesting to see the emerging reliance on data analytics and trends in order to mitigate financial loss and the likelihood of risk. The article discussed the impact of upcoming data analysis tools in the perspective of financial analysts and chief financial officers. It was interesting to see the importance of these tools from previous years in comparison to current years and even future years. CFOs are more inclined to utilize data analytics to solve risk related issues with supply-chain and fixed asset investment alongside taking in consideration the risks associated with cyber security.

  • https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2017/02/01/what-really-happens-to-your-big-data-after-you-die/2/#4ca86cd199c1
    I found this article is interesting is because now we all think how the big data can benefit us. And all kinds of issues with privacy, rights, etc. This article talks about what happens with our data after we die from different fields. He makes a good point is that regulatory is not keeping up the pace with technology, there is no clear rules about how the data can be used after people die.

  • http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2017/01/31/realizing-the-potential-of-big-data-and-analytics/#1c151c31c66c
    I found this article interesting because it looks into how big data can, and will, be used by companies in a variety of ways. The companies will use big data to “adopt and adapt” new services and products that big data shows to be on an upward trend. The article also makes a point showing that if the data is either not used correctly or is not properly collected than it may mislead companies.

  • https://webapps.philasd.org/news/display/articles/2364

    This article is a press release from the School District of Philadelphia’s Communications Office. The release discusses the recently announced School Progress Report, which is an annual report card published for each school in the school district. I find this release interesting because of the calculation methods behind the metrics that comprise the School Progress Report. For each school, a number of different metrics are measured including, but not limited to: school safety measures, attendance, and test scores. In order to receive any “points” on a metric, each school must earn at least the floor score for that metric to get points. So, for example, let’s say the floor score for attendance is 60%. In order to get any points at all, a school must have attendance of at least 60%. If they get below that, they get no points. If they get above that, they get a portion of the points. I say all this because what I find interesting is that the school district does not make the rationale for each chosen floor or target score public. I am not implying they are hiding anything or have anything to hide. However, in order to get a true and transparent insight on school progress, it would really be helpful for the public to know why District leadership is making decisions the way they are in regards to this very important annual report.

  • http://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2015/09/08/4-ways-big-data-will-change-every-business/#7c4cf17a7900
    As a business major, I found this article about Big Data very interesting. It shows how important big data is to companies and how it helps them each improve from it. Data will help companies improve different aspects in a positive way. If something doesn’t seem to be going right, they could collect data to see if there is something that they could change. No matter what company I decide to work for in the future, I believe that big data will definitely be useful for it to succeed and result in excellent customer experiences.

  • https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/tom-brady-beats-the-world-again/

    The study discusses how the Patriots, more specifically Tom Brady, win Super Bowls and play off games. The data provided Brady and non-Brady Super Bowls by wins and losses for Quarterbacks with more than 10 passes since the 2001 season. It accounts for past attempts and large deficits in the game. It also accounts for (on a separate chart) pass attempts to largest point deficit in a game. In both accounts, brady’s performance was noticeably high. For example: “Brady has trailed at some point in all seven of his Super Bowl appearances and has won three of the five in which he had more than 40 dropbacks (all other quarterbacks have won three of 12 Super Bowls in which they had more than 40 dropbacks, and all three wins came on fewer than 45 dropbacks).” Additionally, Brady’s Super Bowl LI win was the second-largest playoff comeback since 2001, behind only Andrew Luck and the Colts’ 28-point comeback against the Chiefs in a 2014 Wild Card game.Comparing Bradys’ performance to other quarterbacks reveals that he is statistically the most successful postseason QB and the most leaned on.

  • https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trump-could-really-mess-up-mexicos-economy/

    This article is very interesting to me because it breaks down the economic impact that the Trump presidency could have on the Mexican economy due to his proposed trade restrictions. As economists have known for hundreds of years, trade between countries helps both countries involved due to comparative advantages. While President Trump believes that he will be helping create more jobs in the US by restricting trade with Mexico, the overall economy will be hurt in both countries because goods will now be more expensive in the US which will have a greater magnitude effect on both the US and Mexican economies than the job increases in the US.

  • https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-and-google-step-up-efforts-to-combat-fake-news-1486396476?mod=e2fb

    Google and Facebook are working to take down fake new on the internet. With European countries heading into pivotal election campaigns in coming months, Facebook and Google are rolling out initiatives and tools aimed at slowing the spread of online misinformation. They also changed their policies to block many publishers of fake news as well as tech firms added new tool to filter out false content.

  • http://www.itproportal.com/news/data-analysis-most-sought-after-skill/

    In a new report, marketers found that data analysis is the most important skill a person can learn within the next few years. With social media, web development, and graphic design behind it data analysis is the most sought after skill these days. With the emergence of big data, marketers can truly understand what their consumers want. However, most marketers do not have to time or skills required for data analysis so they hand over the work to the IT department.

  • This article talks about the super bowl last night and how great of a quarterback Tom Brady is. It gives stats such as Tom brady’s amount of wins and the greatest comeback of all time. Analytics is big for a guy such as Tom Brady.
    http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/patriots/the_blitz/2017/02/tom_brady_patriots_rewrite_super_bowl_record_book_with_epic_34_28

  • http://news.mit.edu/2017/system-finds-links-related-data-digital-files-querying-filtering-0119
    As a Computer Science major, I found an article by MIT explaining how data can be tamed. A system called Data Civilizer will automatically find connections between all your files. With these connections users will be able to create queries across all files. The queries can then be saved for managing and filtering files. I found this interesting and very useful for someone who want to see certain data and types of files on certain days of the week.

  • http://seekingalpha.com/article/4039481-3-big-data-players

    This article defines some characteristics of the growing big-data market which is poised for strong growth in 2017. It stuck out to me to me because it lists Tableau as stock to watch this year. More interesting however, was the graph at the bottom of the page which organized fears of failing to implement utilization of big data; the top three are fear of market share, falling behind competition and loosing valuable talent. I think that it is safe to say that the pools of data that exists within all markets are something that will now always have place in sharpening an ever more competitive edge.

  • https://www.nextplatform.com/2017/02/03/data-analytics-probabilities-super-bowl/
    Data, Analytics, Probabilities and the Superbowl
    The article above discusses how data and analysis each play a role in the Superbowl. Being that the Superbowl is one of the most watched television programs in the United States each year, data experts have even discovered how to determine how likely a play is to work or even calculate the winning team. I found this article interesting because it also mentioned how data science is now being used to calculate the performances of each individual player to see how they will perform for the upcoming year. A fun competitive game of football has turned into a data collection experiment.

  • http://flowingdata.com/2017/02/09/how-to-spot-visualization-lies/
    How to Spot Visualization Lies
    This article discusses how many statistics have been shown as nonfactual. For so long, we did not pay attention to the data that we should question, only because of the fact that it is data and all data is correct. However this article states that just by paying attention one can tell that data does not add up or make sense. For examples, adding extra dimension to a pie graph just because is not an effect pie graph only because its oversimplifying the pie chart. Another example is seeing only a limited scope of a bar graph.

  • “Did The Election Stress Americans Out? If It Did, We Didn’t See Our Doctors About It”

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/did-the-election-stress-americans-out-if-it-did-we-didnt-see-our-doctors-about-it/

    I found this article interesting for so many reasons. I was a poli sci double major for two years and focused on identity politics and how psychology and politics are connected. I’m also a huge advocate for mental health care, and think as a country we’re lacking in both resources and general understanding/support – data driven articles like this one bring the subject into conversation in an approachable, analytic way.
    For weeks after the election I kept seeing headlines (most from specifically female-targeted outlets like Cosmo, Bustle, Glamour, etc) about “post-election stress syndrome”, but none of the articles really had much data to back them up, other than the women polled felt particularly distressed about the election results. While reading this article, at first I was surprised that no change in the number of individuals seeking mental health care was observed – since it was all over my feeds, and I admit I wasn’t pleased either. But considering anything put in front of me on the internet is tailored by my browsing habits, and we also live in the East Coast media bubble, I decided I think that’s indicative of the relationship our country has with treating mental health, and access to health care on the whole. An election isn’t going to immediately change patterns.
    The research only covered ten weeks on either end of the election, so I’d be curious to see if any change has been observed now – either if people are stressed and seeking help, or if they are concerned with the future of healthcare and potentially losing coverage, so are trying to squeeze in a visit before the system changes (it’s been suggested this is happening with women’s health services).

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Office Hours
Larry Dignan lawrence.dignan@temple.edu Alter Hall 232 267.614.6467 Class time: 5:30-8pm, Mondays Office hours: Monday half hour before class, half hour after class or by appointment. ITA: Nathan Pham. Contact via email at Nathan.Pham@temple.edu