News & Blogs
January 14, 2013 – One of the topics that seemed to keep cropping up in the news this year was the growing power of the amateur in public life. This trend is not necessarily new but it has been gaining momentum as modern technologies make it easier for the average person to create things (i.e. books, music, videos or physical products) and deliver them to a wider audience. Combine this with an anemic economic recovery and you have the perfect environment for people striking out on their own.
January 9, 2013 – Since data science is a relatively nascent field, enterprises often have a hard time finding the best and the brightest. Compounding the confusion is that the best practitioners often come from diverse backgrounds. It’s difficult to assess creativity, inquisitiveness, and cross-disciplinary skills by going down a checklist. In a recent blog post, Hilary Mason, Chief Scientist at bitly, proposes a set of non-traditional interview questions she believes are far more revealing of a data scientist’s abilities and potential.
January 9, 2013 – I too have engaged in my fair share of hand-wringing over “data science”, how the term is used and mis-used, the high quantity of snake oil available, and some generally sloppy practices that seem to be becoming the norm in the internet’s new data-based gold rush. However, as my mama used to say, “I can beat up on my brothers all I want, but you, sir, are not family.”
January 8, 2013 – Many government agencies still rely on paper-based data collection workflows, yet need machine-readable, digital data to function day-to-day and respond to increasing calls for open data and transparency. Getting the information off paper and into electronic systems is a major bottleneck: manual entry is slow, often inaccurate, and keeps government employees from directly serving citizens. Existing software options, meanwhile, are costly, hard-to-use and often not able to read handwriting.
January 7, 2013 – Data scientists are changing the way decisions happen by making better use of big data. Rather than finding ways around them, we need to make data science more accessible as a profession and need to provide easier tools for data scientists.
January 7, 2013 – 2012 was an eventful year for data scientist Jake Porway and DataKind, the organization he cofounded that connects nonprofits with volunteer data practitioners to addressing pressing social issues. In addition to hosting far-flung DataDive events spanning from San Francisco to Chicago to London, and work with the New York Civil Liberties Union, the American Red Cross, and Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, Porway was named as an Emerging Explorer by the National Geographic Society.
January 7, 2013 – A couple of months ago I was appointed executive-in-residence at the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), an interdisciplinary applied science research institute led by NYU and NYU-Poly in partnership with academic institutions, global companies and New York City government agencies. CUSP’s overriding mission is the study of “the grand technical, intellectual, engineering, academic, and human challenges posed by a rapidly urbanizing world.” It was formally launched last April by New York City’s mayor Michael Bloomberg.
January 3, 2013 – Big data analytics is at that tipping point right now in the healthcare industry. Several vendors promise better quality of care and reduced expenditures, but evidence to support those claims is somewhat tentative. Similarly, some critics of the big data movement say healthcare providers need to squeeze all the intelligence they can from small data sets before moving on to larger projects.
January 2, 2013 – Data science is not just good for business. Jake Porway Ph.D. '10, a former data scientist in The New York Times' Research & Development Lab, is founder and executive director of Data-Kind, a nonprofit connecting scientists with social organizations. The recruits, from places like Tumblr and New York University, spend their spare time "hacking on data" for groups like the Grameen Foundation and the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago.
January 2, 2013 – It's a good time to be in technology. According to the December 2012 Dice hiring survey, 64% of hiring managers and recruiters surveyed expect to hire more tech employees in the first six months of the year, versus 47% for non-tech roles. Life looks even better for tech professionals with open source experience.