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Data, Data Quality, and Ethical Use

Summary: [This abstract is based on the authors' abstract.] Data are an important asset. In Web applications, clicks have become the "new knowledge currency", and corporations, including AT&T, Facebook, and Verizon, buy and sell users' data on a regular basis. Joe Mullin (2012) wrote, "Savvy Internet users know that all the great stuff they get from the Internet for 'free'— the searches, the social networks, the games, even the news — isn't really free. It's an exchange, where companies are able to take user data, sell it to advertisers, and make money." Clearly, data have become a commodity. Companies and organizations recognize the importance of data in decision making, analytics, and knowledge discovery. To collect, store, and use the data, various tools are employed: database systems, analysis tools, specialty hardware, and algorithms. Can one quantify quality measures for the data to improve the results? How does one manage and analyze large amounts of data? What ethical and social consequences should be considered when collecting and using data? This paper explores these questions and provides an overview of current practices.

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  • Topics: Data Quality
  • Keywords: Data, Data collection, Data driven decision making, Data analysis, Ethics, Internet, World Wide Web (WWW)
  • Author: Howles, Trudy;
  • Journal: Software Quality Professional Magazine