Big and Messy Data Collaboration: Sticky Workshop

The purpose of the post conference workshop was to help participants, given the information they just received, figure out places where more work could be done, streamline, or expanded.

Workshop Design: Participants were placed in groups of 5 to 6 people. Each person received a three sticky notes in different colors. The colors represented different things.


Color 1: Take aways from the morning session

Color 2: What we need to keep talking about

Color 3: Future collaboration possibilities


After writing down initial thoughts on the sticky notes, the items were discussed within the individual groups for 20 minutes. Following the 20 minutes, there was a discussion involving everyone at the workshop sharing what people discussed within their groups, opening it up to a larger conversation.


Take Aways:

The big takeaway that was universal across groups is that Big and Messy Data is a thing that we haven't quite figured out yet, but we are making strides in the right direction. However, these strides are happening in academic silos and are not becoming larger, scalable conversations or methods.


Keep talking:

The keep talking points where more of a bullet list than a conversation, thus the keep talking header. Here are some of the topics that multiple groups came up with.

  • Trust (in systems, tools, data, and human analyzers)
  • Critical making as critical thinking
  • Transparency
  • Quality vs. Quantity
  • Holes/Invisible information in data
  • Data bias
  • Literacy

Future Collaborations:

Rather than coming up with specific collaboration ideas, people discussed what needs to be done to ensure future collations happen.  Some of the big takeaways were:

We need:

  • better tools that are accessible and transparent (in terms of showing hidden biases etc).
  • to stop working in silos and move towards a radically interdisciplinary conversations and collaborations around data.
  • to have all hands on deck to help with the interpretation, especially interpreters from the humanities.
  • to use these projects to help validate the work of Junior Faculty
  • make sure the work we are doing is scalable
  • be aware of altmetrics
  • formalize some of the process and practices while still allowing space for flexibility
  • find funding


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