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What will 2017 bring for the world of data?

How will Brexit effect data protection? Will Obama's tech legacy live on? Have charities exploited your personal data? Are your kids' internet-connected toys collecting unnecessary personal information? Have you played with Google's newly open sourced data vis tool?

A carefully curated summary of the top data-news from the week:

Looking forward

James Kobielus, Big Data Evangelist @ IBM, lays out his big data and analytics predictions for 2017. INTRIGUING READ. Most notably:

  • Programmers will need to gain data science skills to stay RELEVANT

  • Growth of "citizen data scientists" with non-traditional backgrounds will work alongside data scientists on high-priority enterprise projects

  • HOTTEST SKILLS: "people who can design AI-powered products that combine robotics, embodied cognition, IoT fog computing, deep learning, predictive analytics, emotion analytics, geospatial contextualisation, conversational engagement and wearable form factors" 🤖

  • Next steps: Paramita Ghosh explains how experienced programmers can be trained to become data scientists... 🔍

How will Brexit effect data protection? Most likely, the UK will adopt a mirrored version of the GDPR. Companies need to be preparing for the legislative changes now, rather than waiting for a clearer picture on the terms of Brexit. 🇬🇧 GDPR will require companies to take far more responsibility and be fully accountable for how they handle personal data. 💰💰 Even though the future is unclear for the UK, the EU regulations will apply to anyone working with an EU company. 🇪🇺

Will Obama's tech legacy outlive his Presidency? Lengthy but INTERESTING article by Elizabeth Segran. "Even if Trump keeps the digital infrastructure largely intact, his approach to technology may prove to be quite different from Obama's." What will Trump do with "troves of data" the government holds on the American population? Will he further decrease transparency? 🤔 -- Plus, check this visual on how Trump could influence climate change. 😬 Time to start planning that trip to Mars..? 😎👽


In defence of the already-infamous UK Investigatory Powers Bill, the chief of MI6, Alex Young, made a rare public speech - stressing the "existential threat" brought by data and the internet. 🕵 But, the new legislation is just legalising data collection practises which have already been happening for years... Notably, Young also discussed MI6's work, alongside cybersecurity and counter-terrorism, in gaining "strategic advantages". 👀 Using mass surveillance to support and further the government's relations overseas seems a whole other debate.. 🤔

An ICO investigation revealed how UK charities (the RSPCA and British Heart Foundation) have been exploiting supporters. 👎 The charities have been called out for "wealth screening" supporters so they could "target them for more money". In addition, the charities TRADED AND SOLD PERSONAL DATA in a scheme called Reciprocate - to create a "massive pool of donor data". Charitable giving ≠ feel free to abuse my personal information. 😡

Privacy organisations EPIC and BEUC have revealed the vulnerabilities of internet-connected kids' toys. 😱 The toys use speech recognition software from Nuance Communications - and are accused of using "collected data for purposes beyond interaction". VITALLY: personal data collected on children may be shared with third parties. ⛔⛔


Google announced that it was open sourcing its data visualisation tool, Embedding Projector - as part of TensorFlow. The Machine Learning targeted tool is designed to make high-dimensional data more manageable. ✅

Embedding Projector demo

Ever wondered how people just like you spend their time? Well, now you know... 🙃

Check out this gimmicky visual #tagsandthecity - where tube names have been replaced with the most popular nearby Instagram hashtag. A single to #shakeshack PLEASE..? 😍

New York Instagram tube map

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