We’ve rounded up our favourite data and analytics stories, news and projects from the week that was, to keep you informed and inspired.

Has music lost its originality?

Has music lost its originality - the data of hits - Big data roundup

“Good artists copy, great artists steal,” said Pablo Picasso. Or at least he gets credit for it. But he may have pinched the quote from Oscar Wilde… Anyway, the argument whether we are ever capable of being truly original is one that’s not new. But as the music industry rides trend after trend, with hit songs converging on a style, has any form of originality given way to homogeneity, with artists copying whatever’s in fashion. That was question data story-tellers at The Pudding asked as they dived into chart music data to discover if there’s anything unique about today’s hits, or if artists are taking fewer risks and creating a narrower range of sounds?

Scream if you want to go slower – why slow dataviz says so much more

The slow data visualisation movement

What is good data visualisation? You’d probably think it’s fast… Quick to understand, easy to interpret, speedy to find meaning from, and simple to create. Today’s approach to dataviz is focused on speed. But does that no nonsense, “show me the data” attitude create an incomplete understanding of visualisations and damage our ability to use and make them? Ultimately, data visualisation is not a technical problem, it’s a communication problem. So is it about time we started thinking about it that way?

Homes stop working as GDPR rules lead to chaos

Homes stop working as GDPR rules lead to chaos

Remember the Y2K bug? On the stroke of midnight, as we entered the new millennium, we crossed our fingers, held our breath, hoped that banking systems wouldn’t crash, planes wouldn’t fall out the sky and lights would stay on in our chosen hostelry. This year’s Y2K panic is GDPR, and while most of us survived the deadline relatively unscathed – notwithstanding an inbox of needy emails and a culled database or two – the panic was real for many ‘smart’ home owners. As GDPR laws set in, their homes stopped working. Updated terms of use needed to be be agreed before customers were able to use their smart thermostats, doors and appliances. One smart light bulb firm even informed their users that following GDPR their service would no longer work properly! Imagine that? Having to turn on and off your lights with a switch?

Maths Men are the new Mad Men

“Once, Mad Men ruled advertising. They’ve now been eclipsed by Math Men—the engineers and data scientists whose province is machines, algorithms, pureed data, and artificial intelligence.” As the advertising and marketing world scrambles for new ways to reach consumers, big data promises ways to better communicate with disengaged consumers – maybe even unlocking ways that ads can be embraced as a useful individual service rather than an interruption.

Facebook opens data treasure trove to fight fake news

Facebook to fight fake news

“Facebook is keeping a close eye on misinformation in the lead-up to 2018’s elections. Which elections, exactly? All of them, according to the team working to combat fake news. That’s a lot to keep tabs on, though – that’s why Facebook has opened-up access to its vast and, until now, largely inaccessible troves of data on human behavior. The goal: investigate social media’s impact on elections and democracy.”

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Posted in Media roundup On May 29, 2018 By

Author Bio

Gordon Laing

Gordon Laing

After years spent plying a trade in journalism, I changed. But journalists never really change, do they? It’s always been about finding and sharing the best insight. And always will be.

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