Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

From Big Data to Dome Data?

Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

From Big Data to Dome Data?

Article excerpt

Earlier this week, I e-mailed a colleague about reviewing "dome data," having meant to write "some data." A few hours later, I saw my e-mail, just by chance, and connected with him about the spelling error. He wrote, "Ha! I googled it, then decided it was a typo." That took a lot of faith in my tech knowledge! But then, I experienced cognitive insight-a light bulb moment. What would my colleague have found from a "dome data" Google search? Would it be the next generation of Big Data? In our world, that would be similar to gathering a collection of independent, seemingly useless pieces of information about a student to create a holistic, connected view of educational functioning (in the form of a report, of course !). So, come with meforamoment on a journey from practical technology to the philosophical in search of infinite possibilities (hat tip to the Sagan fans).

WHAT EXACTLY IS BIG DATA?

Dan Florell, NASP techie extraordinaire, wrote about Big Data in his Communiqué column (Volume 42, Issue 7) and how we, as school psychologists, have been a bit ahead of the curve in using data. You see, Big Data is a collection of all the bits and pieces of information about us that has been captured during our interaction with technology. It's akin to curriculumbased measurement (CBM) data, triennial IQ tests, discipline data, and screening results gathered about our students. Business data analysts use the information stored about us to figure out what we currently own, predict what we want to buy in the future, and get those advertisements in front of us right away. We use educational data to determine the current level of functioning of a student and recommend interventions to better manage educational programming-except we're not quite in the realm of Big Data just yet.

The reason Big Data is called Big Data is because it's so huge and unwieldy that business data analysts cannot yet analyze all of it. There literally exists no way to analyze in a cohesive, interpretable manner all of the data that has been stored. They can analyze quantitative data, but struggle with unstructured, qualitative data, such as online reviews, Facebook, and Twitter. The Big Data dream is that one day, analysts will be able to collect and interpret enough pieces of information about us to perfectly predict and control our future behavior (cue Skinner's illusion-of-free-will stance, and much of the sci-fi genre. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.