Blog Archives

Confused by machines, or spooked by the machine-makers

March 29, 2017
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This New York Times article draws attention to real trends in the financial investments industry but gets completely lost in the smoke around those pushing "machines" and "data". The trend most concerning to the investments industry is the sustained, large-scale outflow of money from "actively-managed" funds, mutual funds being the biggest category of such. The industry makes loads of money from management fees by promoting the idea that investors are…

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Light entertainment: Colorful circle of life

March 28, 2017
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Light entertainment: Colorful circle of life

World Economic Forum can do better than this...

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Collaboration with New York Public Library

March 27, 2017
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For many years now, the field of Data Science and Business Analytics has been booming, and hiring managers are finding a severe dearth of high-quality job-seekers. Meanwhile, there are a good number of people interested in entering the field but keep bumping into walls. Hiring managers like to hire experienced people for a host of reasons, including the fear of other hiring managers poaching their trained employees. For a number…

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Visualizing citation impact

March 23, 2017
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Visualizing citation impact

Michael Bales and his associates at Cornell are working on a new visual tool for citations data. This is an area that is ripe for some innovation. There is a lot of data available but it seems difficult to gain...

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Your charts need the gift of purpose

March 21, 2017
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Your charts need the gift of purpose

Via Twitter, I received this chart: My readers are nailing it when it comes to finding charts that deserve close study. On Twitter, the conversation revolved around the inversion of the horizontal axis. Favorability is associated with positive numbers, and...

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Making the world a richer place #onelesspie #PiDay

March 14, 2017
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Making the world a richer place #onelesspie #PiDay

Xan Gregg and I have been at it for a number of years. To celebrate Pi Day today, I am ridding the world of one pie chart. Here is a pie chart that is found on Wikipedia: Here is the...

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One statement employing two resistance tactics to fend off the data

March 10, 2017
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I want to parse this statement by new EPA Chief Scott Pruitt, as quoted in this New York Times article: I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see. I'm not going to talk about…

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In the name of diversity

March 9, 2017
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I've said it in Numbersense (the chapter on school rankings), and here it happens again. According to the New York Times (link), Harvard Law School decided to allow applicants to submit GRE test scores instead of LSAT test scores. The announced purpose is to "encourage more students in the United States and internationally from a greater degree of disciplines to apply". The school has a fixed cohort size, 560 per…

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Light entertainment: We’re very sorry but this is NOT a pie chart

March 9, 2017
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Light entertainment: We’re very sorry but this is NOT a pie chart

Someone at YouGov learned an important lesson in what not to do in #dataviz... (Tip from Rob M. via Twitter) The tweet storm it unleashed was not worth the cute idea. Here are their tweets:

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Much more to do after selecting a chart form

March 6, 2017
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Much more to do after selecting a chart form

I sketched out this blog post right before the Superbowl - and was really worked up as I happened to be flying into Atlanta right after they won (well, according to any of our favorite "prediction engines," the Falcons had...

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