1st TechSoup Data Digest for 2013!

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Today data and technology services have become intertwined! At TechSoup I have been doing research on current data related projects, initiatives, reports and news as we work to help familiarise and support the not-for-profit sector in the increasingly data driven world. I'll be blogging about my  top 5 posts, articles, or reports starting today so look out for a new post each week!

 AlphachimpStudio, Flickr Creative Commons

Data Trends
14 big trends to watch in 2013
In this O’Reilly post by Alex Howard, possible 2013 technology trends are identified and many relate to data. He says that data will increasingly flow across sectors and more low cost online tools will increase the donation of time and expertise. Mobile sensors and sensor journalism will be more frequently used. Open government data will become critical infrastructure and help government to be more lean and efficient. There will be more collaborations and networks built around data, which will include data commons such as those related to health and open science.  Open journalism as well as the combination of big data, automation and artificial intelligence will also increase.

Big Data
The Digital Universe in 2020: Big Data, Bigger Digital Shadows, and Biggest Growth in the Far East

This report by IDC sponsored by the EMC corporation estimates the change in the digital universe by 2020. The digital universe is expected to grow to 40 trillion gigabytes by 2020, doubling every two years. Emerging markets' share of the expanding digital universe will grow from 36% to 62%. Very little of the digital universe is currently being analysed and IDC estimates that by 2020, as much as 33% of the digital universe will consist of data that has analytical value. Nearly 40% of the information in the digital universe will be "touched" by cloud computing and the proportion of data requiring protection will continue to grow faster than the digital universe itself.

Sure, Big Data Is Great. But So Is Intuition
In this New York Times article Steve Lohr, explains that though computer science and math skills are important, so is understanding the ethical issues that arise as big data is increasingly used to predict. Analysts should also be guided by curiosity, experience and intuition. He says “After all, what is intuition at its best but large amounts of data of all kinds filtered through a human brain rather than a math model?”

Aid Data
The Ultimate Accountability In Humanitarian Aid
In this Markets for Good post by Nicholas van Praag, explains that the need to increase accountability for humanitarian aid by gathering feedback data from those aid is supposed to benefit, such as refugees and the displaced should be mandatory rather than optional. He describes the way mobile phones and other technologies enable this, but points out that it is not just collecting feedback but acting upon feedback given that determines success.

Data and Philanthropy
Why It Matters that the Social Economy is Going Big on Data
GrantCraft has partnered Lucy Bernholz to help publicise her annual industry forecast, Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2013. Mari Kuraishi co-founder and president of GlobalGiving is GrantCraft’s inaugural guest blogger and in this post gives a brief overview of the book, which examines the need to redefine the social economy to help maximise public good. She explains that the philanthropic sector should go “big on data” in this new social economy to provide a more informed and integrated view of what is needed within it.


Image: AlphachimpStudio, Flickr Creative Commons