I joined the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) well over 3 years ago with a very specific mission and mandate: to develop and deploy next generation humanitarian technologies. So I built the Institute’s Social Innovation Program from the ground up and recruited the majority of the full-time experts (scientists, engineers, research assistants, interns & project manager) who have become integral to the Program’s success.
To help citizens navigate their way towards informed choices amidst the flood of political messaging, we will be building on journalism partnerships to present digital library reference pages for political ads. Our journalism launch partners include Politifact, FactCheck.org and the Center for Public Integrity.
Below is a brilliant essay that shows how cartographic hallucinogenics can capture one’s Orientation and create an incestuously amplifying* decision cycle that disconnects a “policy” maker from real world. * Note to new readers: For an explanation of how “incestuous amplification” operates to disconnect a decision maker from the exigencies of the real world read my essay, Incestuous Amplification and the Madness of King George.
I was browsing LinkedIn a little while ago and I noticed the Data Science Central group. One of my contacts had shared something from it and the charter looked interesting, so I clicked ‘join’.
Data Science Central is the industry’s online resource for big data practitioners. From Analytics to Data Integration to Visualization, the Data Science Central approach is to provide a community experience that includes a robust editorial platform, social interaction, forum-based technical support, the latest in technology, tools and trends –and industry job opportunities.
This got me a notice that I’d have to sign up for DataScienceCentral‘s website. This isn’t that unusual, I got a similar pitch from Rapid7 a few days ago, and this led to fresh installs of Nessus and Metasploit, neither of which I’d touched in several years. Once I signed up for the site it wanted me to make a profile. I used to be really resistant to this sort of thing, but this is an undeniable trend in professional networking sites.
My profile URL included my account name, NealRauhauser, and it was very straightforward. I poked around for a few minutes and I found there are 21 members per page, 559 total pages, and the nearly 12,000 professional profile URLs are embedded in these pages. I opened a shell, wrote a little script, and if my math is right by around 21:30 eastern I will have them all, but at a fetch rate that won’t cause their server to melt down.
I’ll have to parse them and then decide what to do with the resulting URLs. I could feed them to OpenCalais or Alchemy via Maltego, but 12,000 at once would swamp those Named Entity Recognition services from the perspective of Maltego’s public transform servers, and probably overrun my computer’s memory in the process.
I did a trial run with the first seven featured members …
By Joe McKendrick | March 19, 2013, 4:00 AM PDT
Businesses may be seeking to compete on analytics, but it’s often difficult for business decision-makers to get their heads around data.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Tom Davenport, visiting professor at Harvard University and co-author of the seminal work Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning, about the difficulties of converting to an analytics-driven culture. Davenport, who is also co-founder and research director of the International Institute for Analytics, and a senior advisor to Deloitte Analytics, is working on a new book, dicussing on how analytics need to be better communicated to business decision-makers. He shared some of the thinking behind his forthcoming work:
Q: BI and analytics vendors have been coming out with all sorts of graphic tools — dashboards, balanced scorecards and so on — for years. Do we need more than a nice splashy presentation on the tool to communicate analytics?
TD: We’ve all grown up on pie charts and bar charts or whatever, but there are probably at least tens, if not hundreds of alternative approaches to visual analytics. Narratives are a pretty good way to convey information in the past, so maybe we should be converting our data and analysis into stories. People are starting to do that more. Most analysts were unfortunately not trained in how you communicate effectively about analytics, so we’ve got a long way to go in terms of doing a better job of that.
Q: More and more data is flowing through enterprises. Is it a challenge to get C-level executives interested in turning this data into analytics?
TD: Not for all applications. Because increasingly people are feeding data into computers and the results go into another computer, and the decisions are getting more automated. Any time you have a human involved, it’s important to try to help them extricate the meaning of the data and analysis. And there a variety of ways to do that. Historically, we haven’t been too terribly good at it, the quantitative people among us.