Big Data: Big Deal?

The ‘Big Bang Data‘ exhibition at Somerset House has been sparking lots of conversations about data: as a new currency, as an art form and as a potentially underestimated threat.

Last weekend we held a workshop at the exhibition to hear (and collect data on) how people feel about some big data statements:

  • I’m comfortable using free services in exchange for my personal data
  • The collection of big personal datasets is beneficial to my life
  • Government online surveillance is essential to keeping us safe
  • My social media profile should have no impact on my professional life

We wanted to make the experience as quick, fun and friendly as possible so each participant filled out their answers, attached them to a helium balloon, and placed their balloon along an opinion scale of ‘Strongly Agree’ to ‘Strongly Disagree’. We also took into account people’s age bracket – in case this had any impact on their opinion.

We had great conversations with people about data: some excited at the prospect of a more connected, integrated way of living and most a little (or a lot) concerned at the pace and scale that data collection and sharing is moving.

Here’s a little more about what we found out and some images from the day:

Have a read of the Somerset House write up here.