Archive for the ‘Programming’ category

Data Scienist > Data Geek > Designer « Visualizing Economics

July 26th, 2009
Catherine Mulbrandons Data Scientest steps (per Ben Fry; from

Catherine Mulbrandon's Data Scientest capabilities (per steps by Ben Fry; from

Catherine Mulbrandon took Ben Fry’s 7 steps of data the  Data Scientest steps (from his PhD dissertation (page 30 etc), dated 1997 and reiterated in his Visualizing Data book, as he describes on his website) and graphed her own ability levels in each area.

Clever use of the original ideas, along with some additional “Testing” inserts of her own. In fact, as a programmer, I would argue for testing between each of these 7 steps. I wouldn’t dare use data (from step 1) without validating it, nor move to step 3 without ensuring that step 2 hadn’t trashed the data. Indeed, each step assumes a solid foundation from the earlier steps, though, as Mr. Fry mentions, the steps are largely iterative, not linear. True, thankfully.

[Thanks to for the link.]

Announcing the NYT API Tool – Open Blog –

July 26th, 2009

The New York Times just announced the NYT API Tool on their website. Geared toward making use of their API easier, the web interface shows the options, allows for setting custom parameters, and facilitates pulling data from their site as easy as possible. For real use, you’ll need a key, but once you have it, you can pull data from their site programmatically. It won’t be as easy as their API Tool, but at least you can make more calls with fewer keystrokes.

Interested in their API, but don’t know how to program? Know how to program, but don’t know if it’ll be worth the effort? Either way, give their API tool a shot.

[Thanks to for the link.]

Turning Statistics Into Knowledge: Seminar Review and Notes

July 24th, 2009

I had the pleasure of attending the Seminar on Innovative Approaches to Turn Statistics into Knowledge, hosted by the US Census Bureau, the World Bank, and the OECD. While Robert Kosara, from UNC Charlotte, has a fairly thorough review (but not focusing on the technical aspects) of the seminar, and I would agree with most of his points (except for the presentation by David Spiegelhalter and Mike Pearson; their presentation was geared toward (and succeeded in) linking data with decision making), I didn’t read much about the technical side of things, so I thought I’d cover those areas here.

Here’s the low-down:

» Read more: Turning Statistics Into Knowledge: Seminar Review and Notes