Causality and the Link Between Twerking and Syria

Darren Wu | October 10, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

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Gotta love data analysis, but most of all, how one can magically link totally unrelated topics. Does that sound like the promises made by big data vendors? Throw a lot of data in and magically gain insights not thought of previously?

If you were lucky, you may have learnt about causality in science class at school. If not, here’s what Wikipedia has to say about causality.¬†¬†More importantly, you may know that correlation does not imply causation. Wikipedia explains it, but you might enjoy XKCD’s version more.

Well, perhaps it’s not all that bad, but this interesting article looking at tweet volumes in the US for tweets including the term twerking or Syria.

The Twerkyria Index by County, August 2013 - Floatingsheep.org

The Twerkyria Index by County, August 2013 – Floatingsheep.org

What seems to be a bit of fun, can point to useful social research. Useful for what? Well, I’ll leave that to others. What would be interesting, maybe not really useful, is tweet volumes over the same period for twerking and Syria by country.

Bringing this all back to business….I wonder if there’s any research done using big data, on the hype that is big data, maybe done by tweet analysis on the phrase, “big data”? Is it correlated to major product launches, industry trade shows, or mentions on mainstream media?

Interested to see what you have to say in the comments…


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