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ERIC Number: EJ1123806
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1082-1651
Big Data: You Are Adding to . . . and Using It
Makela, Carole J.
Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, v108 n2 p23-26 2016
"Big data" prompts a whole lexicon of terms--data flow; analytics; data mining; data science; smart you name it (cars, houses, cities, wearables, etc.); algorithms; learning analytics; predictive analytics; data aggregation; data dashboards; digital tracks; and big data brokers. New terms are being coined frequently. Are we paying attention to these? Do we know what they imply for us personally and professionally? Family and consumer sciences (FCS) is not exempt from this task nor unique in needing to understand the implications big data has for its profession and for those with whom FCS professionals work--students, clients, family members, employers, and for themselves. Professionals must recognize that they may be on the producing end (adding to the collection of big data)--tracking students' performance, monitoring financial behaviors, and shopping online. They will also be users of big data--seeking patterns in students' performance to provide interventions (learning analytics), issuing messages of reinforcement or reconsideration of financial transactions by clients (based on algorithms), and making online shopping choices with input from product reviews as to quality or satisfaction. The purpose of this article is to encourage thinking about the roles of FCS professionals--individually and collectively--in understanding the issues involved in the rapidly advancing collection of data for identified and yet-to-be-identified purposes. Some uses may be beneficial, some neutral, and some may threaten the well-being of individuals. We do not know or may not be able to imagine the unintended consequences of big data. Though many organizations have recording and archiving policies, we may not know the length of time our information is stored in a cloud; it may be far longer than the length of our actual lives.
American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. 400 North Columbus Street Suite 202, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 800-424-8080; Tel: 703-706-4600; Fax: 703-706-4663; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A