Home » Posts tagged with » data science
Can we predict electoral outcomes from Wikipedia traffic?

Can we predict electoral outcomes from Wikipedia traffic?

As digital technologies become increasingly integrated into the fabric of social life their ability to generate large amounts of information about the opinions and activities of the population increases. The opportunities in this area are enormous: predictions based on socially generated data are much cheaper than conventional opinion polling, offer the potential to avoid classic […]

Topic modelling content from the “Everyday Sexism” project: what’s it all about?

We recently announced the start of an exciting new research project that will involve the use of topic modelling in understanding the patterns in submitted stories to the Everyday Sexism website. Here, we briefly explain our text analysis approach, “topic modelling”. At its very core, topic modelling is a technique that seeks to automatically discover the topics contained within a group […]

Continue reading …
How big data is breathing new life into the smart cities concept

“Big data” is a growing area of interest for public policy makers: for example, it was highlighted in UK Chancellor George Osborne’s recent budget speech as a major means of improving efficiency in public service delivery. While big data can apply to government at every level, the majority of innovation is currently being driven by […]

Continue reading …
Digital Disconnect: Parties, Pollsters and Political Analysis in #GE2015

Digital data generated during election campaigns are a valuable – but underused – source of information for political parties, pollsters and political analysts alike. They contain signals of what political parties are doing, how they are being received, and what people are thinking and talking about. The OII’s Helen Margetts and Scott Hale discuss how use of digital tools and social media by the two largest parties both, in different ways, illustrate a disconnect between the tightly controlled party campaigns, and the electorate on social media. These differences could lend a clue to why the opinion polls throughout the UK’s GE2015 campaign got it so wrong, and provide signposts for parties seeking to rebuild their relatioship with their supporters after this surprising election.

Continue reading …
Two years after the NYT’s ‘Year of the MOOC’: how much do we actually know about them?

Despite the speculation about the role massively open online courses (MOOCs) may play in higher education, empirical research that explores the realities of interacting and learning in MOOCs is in its infancy. Rebecca Eynon, PI of an OII project on Conceptualising interaction and learning in MOOCs discusses how a preliminary understanding of communication dynamics and learner tendencies within MOOCs, may allow development of new methods for promoting engagement and the fulfilment of individual learning objectives in these settings—in particular, by trying to mitigate “content overload” issues.

Continue reading …
What are the limitations of learning at scale? Investigating information diffusion and network vulnerability in MOOCs

Despite the speculation about the role massively open online courses (MOOCs) may play in higher education, empirical research that explores the realities of interacting and learning in MOOCs is in its infancy. Rebecca Eynon, PI of an OII project on Conceptualising interaction and learning in MOOCs discusses how her analysis (with Nabeel Gillani, Taha Yasseri, and Isis Hjorth) of nearly 87,000 individuals from one MOOC helps us to understand the ways that learners interact in these settings. Full paper: Gillani, N., Yasseri, T., Eynon, R., and Hjorth, I. (2014) Structural limitations of learning in a crowd – communication vulnerability and information diffusion in MOOCs. Scientific Reports 4.

Continue reading …
The life and death of political news: using online data to measure the impact of the audience agenda

The political agenda has always been shaped by what the news media decide to publish, and the question of how much influence the audience has in these decisions has always been ambiguous. To assess the possible influence of new audience metrics on decisions made by political news editors, Jonathan Bright and Tom Nicholls undertook a large-scale study of the relationship between readership statistics and article lifetime, described in their article: The Life and Death of Political News: Measuring the Impact of the Audience Agenda Using Online Data.

Continue reading …
How easy is it to research the Chinese web?

By 2015, the proportion of Chinese language Internet users is expected to exceed the proportion of English language users. But how easy is it for researchers to find or request content and traffic data from the major Chinese websites for research? Han-Teng Liao discusses the issues of government control and intervention, public opinion monitoring, language and data tools (and the challenges of processing Chinese language texts), narratives and propaganda, and how to identify geographic information from Chinese Web data. With some robots thrown in too…

Continue reading …
Mapping collective public opinion in the Russian blogosphere

Blogs are becoming increasingly important for agenda setting and formation of collective public opinion on a wide range of issues — particularly in countries like Russia where the Internet is not technically filtered, but where the traditional media is tightly controlled by the state. Olessia Koltsova, author (with Sergei Koltcov) of the Policy and Internet paper Mapping the public agenda with topic modeling: The case of the Russian livejournal discusses how topic modeling and sentiment analysis techniques can be used to monitor self-generated public opinion.

Continue reading …
Technological innovation and disruption was a big theme of the WEF 2014 in Davos: but where was government?

The 2014 meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) aimed to develop the insights, initiatives and actions necessary to respond to the profound political, economic, social and technological forces that are transforming our lives, communities and institutions. OII Director Helen Margetts reports her experience of the event and reflects on an absent guest from this feast of futurism — the nature of government in a rapidly changing world.

Continue reading …
Page 1 of 3123