The Rightful Use of Big Data

People often express concern about the role “big data” and predictive analytics will hold in the near and long term future of our society.  Some fear that critical decisions will be made automatically with little to no human intervention.  The reality is that computers are often able to make life-saving decisions much quicker than humans. […]

Hello World – Urban Data Edition

I was recently asked to help teach business analytics for the City of New York Management Academy and in putting together an appropriate practical exercise, I thought about what made for the best introduction to the world of urban data.  In programming, there’s almost always what’s called a “Hello, world” exercise that gets programmers to be started with some tangible […]

American Community Survey Data Users Conference – Day 2

As I mentioned in a previous post, I attended the inaugural ACS Data Users Conference this past month in Washington, DC. It was a gathering of over 300 researchers, policy analysts, and business analysts who work with the data.  The second day was focused more on applications and one of the more interesting presentations came […]

American Community Survey Data Users Conference – Day 1

As someone who’s interested in the use of Census data for analysis, I couldn’t resist attending the first inaugural ACS Data Users Conference, held in DC May 29-30.  The conference brought together over 300 people who use the ACS in various applications, from research, to policy, and to business.  On hand were a number of […]

In Praise of Sampling

I’m not a statistician by training, but as a data scientist statistical methods are extremely important, and I’ve tried to learn as much as I can. Often this is helpful in understanding the reasonable limits and possibilities of what can be inferred from a given dataset. For instance, understanding how the data is distributed in […]