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Smart Cities, Big Data and Behavioural and Social Sciences: Human Cities

MArmayones_post

By Manuel Armayones, associate professor and Deputy Director, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, UOC.

In 1995, the American Psychology Association (APA), through its Task Force for the analysis of the concept Intelligence, considered it as the ability to “understand complex ideas, to adapt effectively to the environment, to learn from experience, to engage in various forms of reasoning, to overcome obstacles by taking thought”.

The question we must ask when relating this concept to that of smart cities and big data & analytics is if asking the right questions of data, so that they assist us in making decisions, can help us to better adapt to the environment, learn from experience and engage in various forms of reasoning.

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Shedding light on personal data, analytics and education

Angel A. Juan

By Angel A. Juan, Associate Professor, UOC – IN3.

Welcome to this new blog on Analytics and its social impact on Business, Smart Cities, and, specially, Education. In particular, through the opening question of the blog we are interested in analyzing how Analytics and Big Data are transforming our society, from the way people move around modern cities to the way governments and enterprises use customers’ data — sometimes crossing ethical boundaries — to infer and influence their behavior.

In effect, organizations have now access to an enormous amount of personal data describing our habits, tastes, and social or professional links. The proper combination of these data with current computing power and analytic methods allow these organizations to extract and infer individual and collective behavior patterns.

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About the Question
Are Big Data & Analytics shaping a smarter society?

Every day we generate a huge amount of big data, but we need to resort to analytics to make abstract information meaningful and get valuable knowledge from it. In education, learning platforms let us easily gather an immense quantity of data regarding students’ behaviour, interactions, preferences and opinions. When properly analysed — through learning analytics — all these data might provide useful insight on how to make learning processes more adaptive, attractive and efficient.

Are these techniques allowing us to provide better support to our students? Are we taking advantage of big data and analytics to help shape the citizens of the future?

Big Data and Simheuristics
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