data collection

Confused About Big Data? Here Are 5 Things You Need To Do

When the oil tycoon John Paul Getty was asked about his rules for success, he reportedly said, “Rise early, work hard, strike oil.”

It’s a funny line, but it seems positively quaint now. It’s hard to imagine young entrepreneurs these days looking to find their fortune in resource extraction. The days of wildcat wells have long been replaced by an industry that’s dominated  by geologists, geopolitics and an unruly band of petro-dictators.

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Branded Data: Visualizing the Internet's Future

It all started with the humble infographic - those charming representations of well-designed data that are fast becoming ubiquitous across the Web. Infographics, in fact, have become so popular as a way of telling complex stories very elegantly (and generating massive page views) that they've spawned a whole new generation of increasingly sophisticated data visualization tools that are making it possible to view the data behind very complex political, financial and socio-economic trends in real-time.

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Predicting the Unpredictable

Ever since I read Taleb's Black Swan and Fooled By Randomness I've had a heightened awareness of the limitations of our attempts to predict the future, and our tendency to post-rationalise events, create false narratives and illusions around our own influence and control. Prediction is difficult.

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Big Data: Opportunities for Computational and Social Sciences

Scott Golder recently wrote blog post at Cloudera entitled “Scaling Social Science with Hadoop” where he accounts for “how social scientists are using large scale computation.” He begins with a delightful quote from George Homans: The methods of social science are dear in time and money and getting dearer every day. He then turns to talk about the trajectory of social science:

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