Category Archives: Data

Metadata, Paul Revere

This certainly needs no more link-love than it’s already getting, but for what it’s worth, Kieran Healy’s essay on finding Paul Revere is a model of tone, substance, and timeliness. Really, go read it.

Two years old, and still my favorite

There are many Healy-isms, but my favorite remains the coda to his Setup interview: But even if TextMate 2 drops from the sky fully-formed and marveled at by all, Emacs will still be there, waiting. It will be there when the icecaps melt and the cities drown, when humanity destroys itself in fire and zombies, […]

Eliminating the distance between creator and product

This talk from February 2012, by Bret Victor, is worth the 54 and a half minutes it takes to watch it. Its title is “inventing on principle,” and it is a fork with two tines. The first tine, and his overarching point, is that designers would do better not only solving particular problems, but having […]

Cookie tracking, versus big data sources

This WSJ article, as well as an article on Ars Technica about the increase in behavioral tracking, has me thinking about the future of using people’s data footprints on the web. By “data footprint,” I mean that puff of residual that’s left by user activities, whether they be cookies on a website, or requests for […]

Causation, association, and what leads to success

Geoffrey James of Inc. magazine Reports: A few years back, I interviewed some of the most successful CEOs in the world in order to discover their management secrets. I learned that the “best of the best” tend to share the following eight core beliefs. I dislike articles like this, books like this, talks like this, […]

'under the surface'

I find this post on data visualization insightful in a way that connects deeply to how I think about the world. But also because I have never ever (consciously) noticed before the ‘arrow’ in the FedEx logo.

Filed away for future use: Facebook's findings on user use/retention

From the Dataspora Blog, ostensibly on the use and abuse of R, comes this gem about Facebook: Itamar Rosenn, Facebook Itamar conveyed how Facebook’s Data Team used R in 2007 to answer two questions about new users: (i) which data points predict whether a user will stay? and (ii) if they stay, which data points […]

Two models for understanding what people like, which is better?

I have a sort of interesting question, though perhaps it’s less interesting than I imagine it to be. Given the following two scenarios, which is more likely and why? Scenario 1: In the first case, we have a series of attributes attached to a person, and then we can make arguments (empirical, theoretical) about how […]

Types of variables, drop-down menus

Over at 37 Signals, they have a regular series detailing their design decisions. It is an insightful feature and an insightful blog. Their latest discussion is about how they managed a question on their support forms. I want to drop some research methodology on this problem. While their discussion is about how to design a […]

What is XBRL, and Who does XBRL help?

Put it on your radar screens, the next big thing is going to be XBRL. It stands for extensible business reporting language, and it is meant to commensurate business reporting via standardization. So instead of entering text into an annual report, companies, governments, NGOs, anyone who would like to comply with governmental mandate will be […]