Joseph Dumit
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Thinking with data science, creating data studies – an interview with Joseph Dumit
in Ethnography for a data-saturated world
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This chapter is an interview about the first data studies course, a new approach to teaching critical thinking and social science approaches to data. The overall goal is to teach a critical-practical skill: how to assess data problems, consider their critical implications for stakeholders, explore the data provided (using Excel or R), perform basic analysis, liaise with data scientists for advanced analysis, and present the workflow and preliminary assessment of results to different audiences. Topics covered include: deep skills like being willing to fail; the importance of teaching with raw, real-world data; data archaeology and ethnography; exploratory data analysis; cleaning data with stakeholders in mind; continuing to clarify the question being asked.

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