Archive for May, 2013

Predictive Analytics – Eric Siegel Lights the Way

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Predictive analytics is one of the most popular IT terms of our day, and like the others (Big Data, Data Science, etc.), it’s often defined far too loosely. People who work in the field of predictive analytics, however, use the term fairly precisely and meaningfully. No one, in my experience, does a better job of […]

Are You a Data Scientist?

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

I’ve written a great deal during the past few months about Big Data, which is the most annoying, constantly-in-your-face information technology term of recent history. Another term has arisen in connection with Big Data that has generated its own share of hype and confusion: Data Science. I haven’t written about data science until now, but […]

A Preview of Tableau 9: Gauges?!

Monday, May 20th, 2013

If George Peck has his way (Peck wrote the only authorized book about Tableau 8 and has also served as the featured speaker in many of the Tableau 8 Roadshow events), the next version of Tableau will add flashy gauges to its library of charts. Here are his thoughts on the matter, as recorded in […]

A More Thoughtful but No More Convincing View of Big Data

Monday, May 13th, 2013

I have a problem with Big Data. As someone who makes his living working with data and helping others do the same as effectively as possible, my objection doesn’t stem from a problem with data itself, but instead from the misleading claims that people often make about data when they refer to it as Big […]

A Gourmet Tufte Sandwich with Confetti Filling

Friday, May 10th, 2013

This morning, in my personalized list of Google alerts, I spotted a link to a new video by PBS about data visualization. I’m a longtime, avid supporter of PBS, so I was hoping for something useful. I also knew, however, that PBS doesn’t always vet its content adequately (some of the self-help gurus that PBS […]

Seven Tenets of Quantitative Data Presentation

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Presenting quantitative information is a specialized form of communication. Like all forms of communication, quantitative data presentation is most effective when we follow a few best practices, such as the following seven tenets. Know your data. Until you understand the stories that live in your data, you can’t begin to tell them. Know your audience. […]

Beware the Straw Man

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

A “straw man” is a flawed form of argument that occurs when one side attacks a position that isn’t actually held by the other side (the “straw man”) and then acts as though the other side’s position has been refuted. People usually construct straw men when they cannot legitimately refute an opponent’s position. As such, […]

My Experience with Taylor & Francis (or, “Why Are Publishers So Incredibly Dumb?”)

Monday, May 6th, 2013

When I fell in love with words as a young man, I developed a respect for publishers that was born mostly of fantasy. I imagined venerable institutions filled with people of great intellect, integrity, and respect for ideas. I’m sure many people who fit this description still work for publishers, but my personal experience has […]

From Giant Hairballs to Clear Patterns in Networks

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

The usefulness of understanding relationships within networks is becoming more apparent, so it is fortunate that our ability to explore and analyze networks by visualizing them is improving. Common examples of networks that analysts examine include connections between terrorists or connections between linked sites on the World Wide Web. While these networks in particular get […]