Blog Archives

Is data privacy a fundamental right?

July 4, 2015
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This piece is part of the StatBusters column written jointly with Andrew Gelman. Hope they fix the labeling soon. In it, we talk about two recent studies on data privacy, which leads to contradictory conclusions. How should the media report such surveys? Is the brand name of the organization enough? In addition, we debunk the notion that consumers will definitely get something valuable out of sharing their data.

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Visualizing survey results excellently

July 3, 2015
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Visualizing survey results excellently

Surveys generate a lot of data. And, if you have used a survey vendor, you know they generate a ton of charts. I was in Germany to attend the Data Meets Viz workshop organized by Antony Unwin. Paul and Sascha...

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Our first column: what’s so fun about fake data

June 29, 2015
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Gelman sums up the reasons why there is a crisis in experimental research in our time. The journal publication process fails to catch fake research (let alone bad research), and the new media prefer sensationalist headlines over good science. Many res...

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Gelman and I on the Daily Beast

June 26, 2015
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If it's somethin' weird an' it don't look good, who ya gonna call? Statbusters! That is the name of our weekly column for the Daily Beast, starting today. Andrew Gelman and I will alternate weeks. As I write this, nothing is up yet. Try going to the Daily Beast to find Andrew's first column.

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Taking care of a German pie chart while enjoying German kuchen

June 25, 2015
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Taking care of a German pie chart while enjoying German kuchen

I was enjoying this yummy piece of German cake the other day. I started flipping through the recent issue of Stern magazine, and came across this German pie chart that probably presents results from a poll. In particular, it draws...

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Highlights from Milan Expo 2015

June 22, 2015
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Highlights from Milan Expo 2015

You may notice how quiet it is on the blog. That's because I was in Milan last week and spent some memorable time at the EXPO. Here are some highlights as well as tips for those who will be attending....

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The Day After the Half Day in the Life of a Data Scientist

June 16, 2015
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In the last installment, I embarked on a project--perhaps only a task--to assemble a membership list for an organization. It sounded simple: how hard could it be to merge two lists of people? Of course, I couldn’t just stitch one list on top of the other as there are members who subscribed to the newsletter as well as joined the Facebook group. These duplicate rows must be merged so that…

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A Half-day in the Life of a Data Scientist

June 11, 2015
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An organization wanted to understand its base of members so the first order of business was constructing a database of all people who can be considered members. We decided to define membership broadly. Members included those who join the Facebook group, and those who subscribed to the newsletter. The organization kept two separate lists which I would merge to create a master list. For simplicity, I’ll call them the FB…

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Mosquito, shoebox, and an ingenious apartment design

June 9, 2015
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Mosquito, shoebox, and an ingenious apartment design

First, I saw Alberto tweet his design for the Wall Street Journal (below is the English version): The yellow space is the size of the smallest "livable" apartment in Hong Kong, known as the "mosquito" apartment. Livability is defined by...

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Summer dataviz workshop to start July 1

June 8, 2015
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Registration is open for my dataviz workshop at NYU. (link) This is a workshop in the sense of a creative writing workshop. Your "writing" are sketches of data visualization based on your selected datasets. In class, we critique all of...

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