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Discussion Topics
This week we are learning about Data visualization which is the method of consolidating data into illustrative and informative graphics. Everyday, our attention is being fought for. Effective data visualization can help capture a viewers attention and hold it through storytelling. Visualization can help portray a complex problem or emphasize details that could be easily overlooked.
There are many different ways to portray/visualize data. While everyone is familiar with the routine (and perhaps mundane) pie charts, bar charts and other excel-style visualizations, there are other more interesting ways data can be portrayed.
The ‘Information is Beautiful’ website depicts several new and innovative approaches to visualizing data. Take some time and view their examples at  http://www.informationisbeautiful.net (Links to an external site.). You can browse through the various visualizations on the site by traversing the various categories and clicking on the images to see their usage/visualization.
Answer these questions related to the websites content:
Describe/review at least three of the visualizations depicted on the ‘Information is Beautiful’ website.
How are these techniques more interesting than classic bar charts and pie charts?
Are they effective at portraying their message?
Ethics of using information:
Governments collect massive amounts of data on individuals and organizations and use it for a variety of purposes: national security, accurate tax collection, demographics, international geopolitical strategic analysis, etc. Corporations do the same for commercial reasons; to increase business, control expense, enhance profitability, gain market share, etc. Technological advances in both hardware and software have significantly changed the scope of what can be amassed and processed. Massive quantities of data, measured in petabytes and beyond, can be centrally stored and retrieved effortlessly and quickly.
The following articles illustrate how data is potentially being abused:
Big Data is secretly scoring you
I Want My Privacy Back

Answer these questions related to the articles content:
Should an organization’s ability to collect and process data on exponentially increasing scales be limited in any way?
If data meant for one use is diverted to another process which is socially redeeming and would result in a greater good does that mitigate the ethical dilemma, no matter how innocent and pure the motivation?

Data Visualization and the ethics of using information
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