On Tuesday, I attended an executive roundtable hosted by O’Reilly Media and Publisher’s Weekly. The second in a series, this session included a presentation and discussion led by Hilary Mason, Chief Scientist at bit.ly.
Mason talked at length about big data and how its use is affecting a range of industries. Mason also answered questions about how big data can offer a competitive advantage in the publishing world.
Examples might well be found in submissions to the Knight Foundation’s “News Challenge”, whose second round this year is focused on data. The foundation is “looking for new ways of collecting, understanding, visualizing and helping the public use the large amounts of information generated each day.”
I’m not a big fan of not-for-profit journalism, but using foundation resources to explore new ways of engaging with data is an encouraging development. If we’re going to dig our way out of a bad set of models for investigative journalism, new tools may well be needed.
Proposals can be submitted for three weeks beginning May 31, with winners announced in late September. The Knight Foundation expects to name the winners of its first round,focused on networks, some time in June.