Big Data & Visualisation

Digital Technologies: Unit 5 (J/618/6251)

Exploring and analysing big data translates information into insight. The purposeful, systematic exploitation of big data, coupled with analytics, reveals opportunities for improved decision making and better business outcomes. All this data is useful when processed but requires visualisation to bring to life. Data visualisation makes big data easier for the human brain to understand and detect patterns, trends and meaning in complicated data sets.

With such rapid advancement in this area, there have been considerable challenges for data specialists to develop the skills, experience and
growth required to maintain innovation in the sector. Similarly, the public and private sectors have struggled to keep up with progress, meaning that the introduction of legislation and community norms have been retrospective and, at times, reactive. As data continues to be the fuel for the digital economy, this area remains a constant topic of conversation for organisations and governments, and the public who share an interest in its growing commercial use, manipulation and presentation.

This unit introduces students to the concepts of big data and visualisation and how this is used for decision making. Students will explore the industry software solutions available for investigating and presenting data, before assessing the role and responsibility of data specialists in the current environment. Students will examine topics including data-driven decision making, manipulating data and automation, and
building ethics into a data-driven culture. Students will demonstrate their use of tools and software to manipulate and prepare a visual presentation for a given data set. They will also assess how data specialists are responsible for adhering to legislation
and ensuring data compliance.

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to investigate the value of data for decision making to both end-users and organisations; compare how different industry leading tools and software solutions are used to analyse and visualise data; carry out queries to summarise and group a given data set, and analyse the challenges faced when building ethics into a data-driven culture. Students will have
the opportunity to progress to a range of roles in the digital sector and will develop industry-led skills, analysis, and interpretation, which are crucial for developing practical experiences with big data and for gaining employment.

Learning Outcomes
  • LO1 Examine big data and visualisation for decision making
  • LO2 Investigate statistical and graphical techniques, tools and industry software solutions for big data and visualisation
  • LO3 Demonstrate the use of industry software to manipulate data and prepare visual presentations for a given data set
  • LO4 Assess the role, responsibilities and challenges for data specialists.