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New Media, Communication, and Society

A Fast, Straightforward Examination of Key Topics

Mary Ann Allison and Cheryl A. Casey

New Media, Communication, and Society is a fast, straightforward examination of key topics which will be useful and engaging for both students and professors. It connects students to wide-ranging resources and challenges them to develop their own opinions. Moreover, it encourages students to develop media literacy so they can speak up and  make a difference in the world. Short chapters with lots of illustrations encourage reading and provide a springboard for conversation inside and outside of the classroom. Wide-ranging topics spark interest. Chapters include suggestions for additional exploration, a media literacy exercise, and a point that is just for fun. Every chapter includes thought leaders, ranging from leading researchers to business leaders to entrepreneurs, from Socrates to Doug Rushkoff and Lance Strate to Bill Gates.

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26 Big Data (Cheryl A. Casey)


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Big Data

Cheryl A. Casey

A recipe for information

Confession: I am a qualitative researcher. What does that mean? It means I don’t think you have to do a lot of counting and measuring to understand something. It means I don’t think surveying hundreds of people and making broad generalizations is the only way to go. And mostly, it means I don’t much like working with numbers.

When we think of data, we usually think of numbers to be calculated. Strictly speaking, data don’t just come to us as numbers. Data can also be text in a document, facts tucked away in our head, or binary code in electronic memory. Numbers, text, facts we remember, and binary code all represent raw, unprocessed evidence about something in the world. Data are observable.

Data are the building blocks of information. Here’s where the “calculation” part comes in. Data aren’t valuable until we organize, process, and analyze them in a given context. Then data become information. Without context, data is useless.

Imagine you were given a list of ingredients:

• 750 g of ground beef

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