Little Data & Big Data, Open Data AI and Information Justice - #DataDigest

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This week check out some interesting insight on the importance of little data for big data. You can read about why open data and charities are a perfect fit but also about why information justice is essential for open data. There is also some analysis of the link between Artificial Intelligence and open data and useful resources for anyone wanting to do data visualisations.

Little Data and Big Data
Little Data Makes Big Data More Powerful
In this Harvard Business Review post by Mark Bonchek the importance of ‘Little data’ for the successful use of big data is emphasised. He describes the differences in focus, visibility and control between Big Data and Little Data. According to him Big Data can become not only incomplete but also ‘Big Brother’ without Little Data. The latter gives a sense of shared purpose, greater transparency and control, thereby increasing incentives to share information. Even if organisations invest in Big Data they should also to create services based on Little Data, which can empower their customers.

Open Data
Open data and the charity sector: a perfect fit
This Guardian article reviews discussions among government officials, charity leaders and open data advocates on the need for a collaborative and transparent environment that encourages the public and private sectors to share data best practices with charities. Fear of failure, a competitive marketplace, the nature of charitable funding, and a lack of data specialists and technical resources are identified as reasons for less open data engagement by charities.

Linking open data to augmented intelligence and the economy
In this O’Reilly interview Nigel Shadbolt talks about the way that the web has enabled collective problem-solving by creating a distributed database, which is also one version of the Semantic Web. He also describes how this links to Artificial Intelligence. In addition, he says that we need to measure the success of open data platforms by citizens impact, financials savings, improvement in accountability as well as the creation of new companies and markets.

From Open Data to Information Justice
This paper by Jeffrey Alan Johnson talks about open data in relation to information justice. While the benefits of open data is often discussed the downside imposed because of the constructed nature of data is not. This includes the embedding of social privilege in datasets, differences in the capability to use data and the imposition of data system norms. He articulates how open data can exacerbate rather than alleviate injustices and describes how moral principles can be developed to evaluate open data practices and structures.

Data Visualisations
Making Data Visualizations: A Survival Guide And Other Resources
In this post Beth Kanter provides some useful and practical advice and resources on data visualisations for social benefit organisations.