Brave New World
A fresh perspective today from one of our LIKE attendees – it's the turn of Kat Steiner, a very new information professional already making waves!
name is Kat, and I’m a graduate trainee at the Bodleian Law Library in Oxford.
I was very excited to win a place to the LIKE Ideas 2013 conference on Big
Data, as I’ll be starting a Masters in Information Science at UCL in September,
and ways of handling large or complicated data sets seemed very relevant. There
were six speakers in total, and all had different and interesting takes on the
topics. I particularly liked Michael Agar’s
talk and the subsequent discussions on infographics and
visualising data. It was interesting to hear how some of the audience focused
on the authority of the data, and raised the issue of not letting the pictures
cloud the importance of the information being accurate in the first place. It
occurred to me that infographics can be very effective in splitting up complex
issues into manageable chunks, but can also oversimplify subjects which are
inherently complicated and detailed, if not used carefully. Another great
moment from the afternoon was after Manny Cohen’s talk about RM Group’s app, aRMadillo, when he got
each table to come up with ideas for ‘how data will be delivered to us’, in our
particular fields, in 5, 10, and 15 years’ time. Answers ranged from biological
implants, to flexible, rollable or wearable screens, to a complete
anti-technology backlash and return to paper. It was fascinating to hear what
people thought of current trends, and to try and extrapolate, however
fantastically, into the future.