Tagged: W21A2

Week 21 – Activity 2: Investigating big data

Timing: 2 hours

  • As a starting point for your investigation into the use of big datasets outside education, read at least two of the online stories listed below:
  • (1) Now extend your reading by searching for “big data” (if you use Google, double inverted commas will show that you are looking for the phrase and not two separate words) and the name of a large company that you use regularly, such as Google, Facebook or Starbucks.
  • (2) For whichever you choose, note as many reasons as you can for the use of big data. Also note who benefits from its use in each case and what the benefits are.
  • (3) Write a blog post, or an entry in your learning journal, about your positive and negative reactions to the use of your data in these ways.
  • Post your reactions, or a link to your blog post, in the discussion forum and read other people’s reactions.


1. Emirates Airlines

2. Forecasting demand; changing products to suit customers; targeting frequent flyers with promotions; targeting customers by adding in additional deals (i.e. hotel bundles); price modelling; expanding their market reach.


Negative: Spied upon; legal restrictions (esp. internationally); human habits are not set in stone; backlash to search engines, etc.

Positive: Saving money; convenience; company preparedness (i.e. demand surges); maximising resources (i.e. certain flight routes).