MSCN3805 Data Analysis and Visualization (3 units)
- Medium of Instruction:
Technological change has been shaping a lot of professions. For most NGOs, one of the biggest challenges is to deal with the mounting size of information in our increasingly data-driven world. Despite the recognition of the utmost importance, many NGOs do not have sufficient proficiency or resources to achieve the full potential of their data. A report* published last year found that most NGOs (90%) were collecting data, but only 5% of respondents said their decisions were always driven by data, and only 6% felt confident that their data was being used effectively. According to our encounter with some local NGOs, they have similar difficulties with data use and analysis.
The course is designed to enhance students' ability to collect, manage and evaluate data in a critical way and to apply data in support of evidence-based decision making. In collaboration with NGOs and community partners, the learning will start from real world scenarios to understand how data is crucial for contemporary organizations. Students will team up with different sectors of an NGO or community organization, help review their data collection and their data storage structure, clean the data and give suggestions based on data analysis and visualization. Each group needs to complete a creative project by drafting one part of the NGO's annual report, by analyzing, visualizing and presenting data for one service sector.
The direct engagement into the organization's need and annual report will encourage students to apply their in-class learning to community service. Data is no longer irrelevant as mere class examples but the real needs from the community.
This GE Capstone will only be offered to students of the Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) in Media and Social Communication.
* A report published in 2018 by a data management organization based on a survey of 460 NGOs, available at https://www.everyaction.com/blog/5-things-you-need-know-about-nonprofits-big-data
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