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FreePint BlogDigging into the information mine

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Scott Brown looks at the themes of information mining. The featured articles look at the reality of working with big data; mining competitive information in social tools; information "scent"; and plagiarism.


Over the last week or so, the Information Practice articles seem to be about mining information in one way or another. It’s almost enough to make me put on a miner’s helmet.

In the last issue of the Information Practice Newsletter, Robin Neidorf touched on Dale Moore's discussion of a recent report on "Big Data". Over the past week, Sarah Hinton takes the plunge into the reality of working with “Big Data”. She considers the broad spectrum of big data projects, from capturing everyone’s heartbeat, to building a “smart city” based on energy usage data. After looking at several examples of data mining, she recommends focusing on your organisation’s needs to keep up on this rapidly evolving trend, rather than getting swept away by the overall concept of Big Data.

Similarly, Aileen Marshall takes us through a typical day – if there is one in research – of mining competitive intelligence information in social tools. She highlights some tools that help make sense of the sheer amount of information available in Twitter and other social sites. One of my favourite examples of hers is using Wordle to get a “visual aggregation” of a particular chunk of text – whether a speech, a Twitter stream, or a blog.

James Mullan’s piece on information scent, to me, helps the user navigate the information mine. By providing information clues and “scents”, we can help leave a breadcrumb trail for our users to get to the information they expect to find. Finally, to stretch this metaphor to the absolute limit, Arthur Weiss looks at plagiarism – the false gems of information. Arthur shares a couple of tools that can help identify plagiarism in both text and images.

So come into the mine of information in this week’s Information Practice Newsletter and see if you emerge with some gems.


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