The Case For and Against Infographic Resumes

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Reposted from Fast Company:

In a competitive job market it’s tempting to want to make yourself stand out. And since we are such a visually driven culture (studies show that you can convey more information faster with pictures than you can with words), it’s not surprising that some job seekers are considering turning their resumes into infographics.

These visualizations of data are everywhere, from the best places in the world to start a business to the sleep schedules of some of history’s greatest minds. And some believe that the data on your resume is the next logical step. Matt Cooper, CEO of Visual.ly, an online visual content marketplace, argues that it’s getting more difficult to fit an entire career into a simple chronological list.

“The world has gotten so competitive that employers are less likely to take a risk on a new employee without doing a thorough check of their job performance. And that means data – lots of it,” he says. But before you turn everything on your resume into a bar graph and pie chart, there are a few things to consider…

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See also:

Kids Count: Advocating for Children Through Data and Trends

kidscountKids Count is a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation to track the well-being of children in the United States. By providing high-quality data and trend analysis through its Kids Count data center, the Foundation seeks to enrich local, state and national discussions concerning ways to secure better futures for all children — and to raise the visibility of children’s issues through a nonpartisan, evidence-based lens.

In addition to including data from the most trusted national resources, the Kids Count data center draws from more than 50 Kids Count state organizations that provide state and local data, as well publications providing insights into trends affecting child and family well-being. Through its National Kids Count Project, the Foundation develops and distributes reports on important well-being issues. Much of the data from these nationally recognized publications, including the Kids Count data book, are featured on the Kids Count data center.

View the Kids Count data center here.

The Kids Count data handbook is an annual publication that assesses child well-being nationally and across the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Using an index of 16 indicators, the 2014 report ranks states on overall child well-being and in four domains: (1) economic well-being, (2) education, (3) health, and (4) family and community. For 2014, the three highest-ranked states for child well-being were Massachusetts, Vermont and Iowa; the three lowest-ranked were Nevada, New Mexico and Mississippi. The report also provides national trends, comparing the latest data with mid-decade statistics.

Access the Kids Count 2014 data book here.

Business Schools Offering Popular New Data Analytics Programs

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Reposted from the Wall Street Journal:

Interest in specialized, one-year masters programs in business analytics, the discipline of using data to explore and solve business problems, has increased lately, prompting at least five business schools to roll out stand-alone programs in the past two years. The growing interest in analytics comes amid a broader shift in students’ ambitions. No longer content with jobs at big financial and consulting firms, the most plum jobs for B-school grads are now in technology or in roles that combine business skills with data acumen, say school administrators.

Amy Hillman, dean at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, said interest in a year-old master’s program in business analytics has spread “like wildfire.” More than 300 people applied for 87 spots in this year’s class, according to the school. Ayushi Agrawal, a current Carey student, said she left her job as a senior business analyst at a Bangalore, India, branch of a Chicago-based analytics firm to enroll in the program. As data become central to more business decisions, “I want to be at the forefront” of the emerging field, the 24-year-old student said.

Michael Rappa, founding director of the Institute for Advanced Analytics at North Carolina State University, said analytics is best studied in an interdisciplinary context, rather than only through a university’s business school. “Analytics programs in a business school will always be in the shadow of the M.B.A. program,” said Dr. Rappa, architect of the Institute’s popular Master of Science in Analytics program, launched in 2007. “That’s how the school is ranked.”

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Census Data: Poverty 2009-2012

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You can explore who fell into poverty and who escaped poverty from 2009 to 2012, with “poverty entries” & “exits” data, based on a sample of 68,000 addresses. It includes redesigned questions for income and health insurance coverage, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

2013 Findings:

  • In 2013, the official poverty rate was 14.5 percent, down from 15.0 percent in 2012. This was the first decrease in the poverty rate since 2006.
  • In 2013, there were 45.3 million people in poverty. For the third consecutive year, the number of people in poverty at the national level was not statistically different from the previous year’s estimate.
  • The 2013 poverty rate was 2.0 percentage points higher than in 2007, the year before the most recent recession.
  • The poverty rate for children under 18 fell from 21.8 percent in 2012 to 19.9 percent in 2013.
  • The poverty rate for people aged 18 to 64 was 13.6 percent, while the rate for people aged 65 and older was 9.5 percent. Neither of these poverty rates were statistically different from their 2012 estimates.
  • Both the poverty rate and the number in poverty decreased for Hispanics in 2013.
  • Despite the decline in the national poverty rate, the 2013 regional poverty rates were not statistically different from the 2012 rates.

Read more here.

“You can’t have an education technology revolution without strong privacy protections for students”

data privacy

Reposted from the New York Times:

“Last year, sales of education technology software for prekindergarten through 12th grade reached an estimated $7.9 billion, according to the Software and Information Industry Association.

As schools embrace these personalized learning tools, however, parents across the country have started challenging the industry’s information privacy and security practices.

“Different websites collect different kinds of information that could be aggregated to create a profile of a student, starting in elementary school,” said Tony Porterfield, a software engineer and father of two pre-teenage sons in Los Altos, Calif. “Can you imagine a college-admissions officer being able to access behavioral tracking information about a student, or how they did on a math app, all the way back to grade school?”

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Thoughtfully Using Data In District Decision-Making

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Reposted from Hanover Research:

Research shows that most data management systems for education function as either student information systems (which focus on the collection, organization, and management of student data) or learning management systems (which are used for planning, delivering and managing, tracking, and reporting learner events, programs, records, and training content). While in the past, districts have found basic student information systems sufficient to serve reporting and administrative purposes, in the current era of increased accountability, districts increasingly use student data to improve instruction and guide decision making. As such, leaders must adequately plan for data use, selectively choose data sets, and adequately train all data users.

Because districts increasingly collect student data to serve a variety of purposes, leaders may find the data collected for reporting purposes to be insufficient for guiding decisions on the district, school, and classroom levels. As research shows that there is often “a fundamental misalignment between the types of data that districts deem to be imperative for student achievement and the types of data that are being requested by the state for federal accountability purposes,” Closing the Gap suggests that districts choosing to collect additional categories of data consider restraints on data collection and the district’s ability to store and analyze data.

Research recommends districts develop a “data collection and use plan” for each type of data the district intends to evaluate. The data collection and use plan should include a description of the data, the source where the data is stored prior to the implementation of the new data collection system, the data extraction method and frequency of extraction, the “data owner” or “point of contact” responsible for that type of data, the groups that will use the data, and intended uses for the data once it has been collected. During the planning process, district leaders may also take careful steps to ensure stakeholders throughout all levels of the district have the tools and support to effectively use data.”

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Video

Here’s How We Take Back the Internet: A Recent Interview with Edward Snowden [VIDEO 35:17]

Appearing by telepresence robot, Edward Snowden speaks at TED2014 about surveillance and Internet freedom. The right to data privacy, he suggests, is not a partisan issue, but requires a fundamental rethink of the role of the internet in our lives — and the laws that protect it. “Your rights matter,” he say, “because you never know when you’re going to need them.”