State of Data #115

Top Read

Alex Pentland, one of the most-cited computer scientists, onReinventing Society in the Wake of Big Data

“With Big Data traditional methods of system building are of limited use. The data is so big that any question you ask about it will usually have a statistically significant answer. This means, strangely, that the scientific method as we normally use it no longer works, because almost everything is significant!” 


What Data Can’t Tell You About Customers


e.g., on data finding that virtually every families in urban Brazil owned a television –

This was not a huge surprise — any report can tell you the rising percentage of technology ownership among families in emerging markets. But when we dug deeper, we learned that the TVs were not status symbols or signs of increasing wealth; they were safeguards. Because of the violence prevalent in the favelas where these families lived, parents feared their children going out at night. What these parents really wanted was a way to make the living room more entertaining than the streets.

Big Data

Windows Azure condenses stored data using “lazy erasure coding (deck)

Data Science

Is QWERTY the most optimal keyboard format for touchscreens? WORST layout, based on data is –


Sometimes we all ‘see’ (or, write!) code like this

var srcData = data;
if ( && {
    data =;
else if ( {
    data =;
if (!data) {


Does every company need a “Data Dictator”?

Aetna is a good example. In 2002, Ron Williams is president, and he says, “Okay, we lost about $270 million last year. Let’s figure out what went wrong.” He brings in all of his senior execs, and he says, “Tell me about your part of the business.” And he said that every single line of business showed data showing they were making a profit. “


How Nasa makes scientific data beautiful



‘..compared rates of crime with rates of belief in heaven and hell in 67 countries’



About Nilendu Misra
I love to learn, create and coach. Things that I do well are - Communicating ideas - verbally or through words and diagrams; Problem Solving - Logical or Abstract; Very Large Scale Systems; think about 'Frighteningly Simple' approach first. Things that I intend to do better are - Establishing Stringent Process; Exchanging Tough Feedback; Keeping up with my reading or To-Do list to be able to completely relax.

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