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Anatomy of an Analysis (Part 2) – The Enrichening

In the first part of this analysis, I turned a short list of movies into a database that could be used to answer basic questions about the list’s contents. Now I’d like to broaden this analysis by combining the original list with additional outside information — a process called data …

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Anatomy of an Analysis (Part 1)

A few weeks ago, the BBC News produced a list of the top 100 greatest American films based on input from critics from around the world. Here are the top ten films presented in rank order: Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941) The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972) Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, …

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Data Literacy 101: What is Data?

Whenever the topic of data comes up at meetings or informal conversations it doesn’t take long for people’s eyes to glaze over. The subject is usually considered so complex and esoteric that only a few technically-minded geeks find value in the details. This easy dismissal of data is a real …

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A 12-Year-Old’s Take on Data and Analysis

I asked my daughter what she thought data was last night. Her text to me at 11:45 pm: Okay, so you asked me what data was at the motorcycle thing today and at first, I didn’t really think about that much I just said an answer if what I thought …

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How to Build the Perfect Data Science Team

Although the fields of statistics, data analysis, and computer programming have been around for decades, the use of the term “data science” to describe the intersection of these disciplines has only become popular within the last few years. The rise of this new specialty — which the Data Science Association …

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Spelling and National Security

A former co-worker of mine always used to joke about our company’s customer database by posing the deceptively simple question: “How many ways can you spell ‘IBM’?” In fact, the number of unique entries for that particular client was in the dozens. Here is a sample of possible iterations, with …

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Wisconsin Voters Banished to NULL Island

The top headline in my local paper this morning was “Glitch puts some Wisconsin voters in Africa” … an interesting thing to ponder over a bowl of Quaker Oatmeal Squares. I suppose this problem merits at least some attention given the heated political climate surrounding the state’s voter redistricting process. But headline …