Archive for October, 2013

Causality and the Link Between Twerking and Syria

October 10, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

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Gotta love data analysis, but most of all, how one can magically link totally unrelated topics. Does that sound like the promises made by big data vendors? Throw a lot of data in and magically gain insights not thought of previously?

If you were lucky, you may have learnt about causality in science class at school. If not, here’s what Wikipedia has to say about causality.  More importantly, you may know that correlation does not imply causation. Wikipedia explains it, but you might enjoy XKCD’s version more.

Well, perhaps it’s not all that bad, but this interesting article looking at tweet volumes in the US for tweets including the term twerking or Syria.

The Twerkyria Index by County, August 2013 -

The Twerkyria Index by County, August 2013 –

What seems to be a bit of fun, can point to useful social research. Useful for what? Well, I’ll leave that to others. What would be interesting, maybe not really useful, is tweet volumes over the same period for twerking and Syria by country.

Bringing this all back to business….I wonder if there’s any research done using big data, on the hype that is big data, maybe done by tweet analysis on the phrase, “big data”? Is it correlated to major product launches, industry trade shows, or mentions on mainstream media?

Interested to see what you have to say in the comments…

40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World

October 3, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

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Mapping is one of the most common forms of data visualisation. Some of these images have small data sets behind them (like the map of writing systems), others have massive amounts (like the map of all the rivers in the contiguous United States).

Average Age of First Sexual Intercourse by Country,
Average Age at first sex by Country
Most of these maps make information accessible, and for some, also help contextualize scale.

The thing that is missing in each of these, though perhaps they are listed on their source websites, is information or metadata about the data sources. In today’s digital media and web era where images and text can be easily separated, it is important that the image contains relevant and complete information if it is to be taken seriously, especially when images can be taken out of their original context.

Metadata such as data sources, when the image was created, by whom, and any major assumptions should be part of the image, even in small text if necessary, if the image is to be used in anything more than a meme.

Check out the 40 maps here: