Big Data and the Media: Promises and Pitfalls

Schools of Public Engagement: Media Studies

Non-Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Graduate Course
Degree Students (with Restrictions)
Big Data and the Media
Fall 2023
Taught By: Robert Berkman
Section: A

CRN: 3091

Credits: 3

"Big Data" refers to the enormous amount of quantitative, statistical, personal and other unstructured data being generated by people, companies, processes, and even objects. Data analytics can crunch the data in novel ways to uncover patterns and offer fresh insights for making better business decisions. This has critical implications for the media industry. New types of audience data, including social, mobile, and real-time data, are being created, and that is altering the kinds of tools, software, and strategies needed for measuring and making sense of it all. While Big Data can be a potential boon to researchers, there are cautions. First, how does one separate correlation from causation; pinpoint what truly matters; and take meaningful action? We may also face a temptation to rely on quantitative data and processes when it is not the most useful tool. There are also ethical dimensions in the use of socially generated big data, including scraping of online conversations and assumptions made about customers' preferences and behaviors. This course will explore the potential of data and analytics for media marketers and researchers, both through a popular cultural lens (for example, via Nate Silver's popular book The Signal and the Noise), as well as by focusing on how new types of data streams are changing media market research, including new ethical concerns . We'll also look at the ability to make predictions from the data ("predictive analytics") and how that is already changing the industry.

This section is open to graduate students in the School of Media Studies only.  All non-major Graduate students and Undergraduate SPE Media Studies students may request permission to enter the course three-weeks before classes start by emailing mediastudiesadvising@newschool.edu. Undergraduate SPE Media Studies students will need to have written instructor permission to be approved. All other undergraduates are not permitted.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: Media Studies (NMDS)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: Online - Asynchronous

Max Enrollment: 15

Add/Drop Deadline: September 11, 2023 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 19, 2023 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Open*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 10:52am EDT 6/3/2023

Meeting Info:
Building: Online Course
Room: 999
Date Range: 8/28/2023 - 12/17/2023