Questions for The data flood


Before reading:

1.    How many pages of written information do you create in a day? Just estimate the amount. Include everything you write, both at school and at home, whether online or offline.

2.    What are data? Explain what you think they include.

During reading:

1.    In any given minute, are more emails created or more tweets?

2.    What is the difference between data and information?

3.    How recently were most of the world’s data created?

4.    How long does it take to double the world’s volume of stored data?

5.    What is the purpose of analyzing, organizing and processing data?

6.    What does seeing patterns and trends in data enable us to do?

7.    What is a data scientist?

8.    Explain the relationship between sales of Pop-Tarts and hurricanes.

9.    Why would collecting data on millions of cells be useful in understanding a disease?

After reading:

1.    What types of data would you collect and analyze to create an accurate weather forecast?

2.    Is it possible to have too much information? Explain your answer.


1.    Imagine you wanted to improve your performance as a student. Beyond grades and test scores, what sort of data could you collect and analyze to do so?

2.    Groceries and other stores collect data about their customers to better understand their shopping habits. These data include details of what people buy, along with when, how, where and sometimes why. Does this create privacy concerns for you? Support your argument with details.

3.    Research how many articles in English the online encyclopedia Wikipedia includes. Do the same for the most recent print edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Why do you think the difference is so large?