Data Systems

Who would you want to diagnose your cancer scan? An expert doctor or a data-driven algorithm? What about who you hire? Or your advertising spend? You might be surprised by the answers, And the answers are more relevant today than ever before because data is everywhere. And it comes in a bewildering variety of forms – from big to open, personal to real-time, and many more. We hear of data-driven decisions and data-driven organizations, data deficits and data gaps, data strategies and data officers. But how can data actually make a difference to you and your organization? Or, for that matter, to our society? Where can you get real value – and what’s just snake oil? In this talk we will go beyond the hype and buzzwords. We will delve into how and why data can make a real difference to you and your work – as well the practical pitfalls and challenges.

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Writings & projects

Writings and Essays

Git (and Github) for Data

The ability to do “version control” for data is a big deal. There are various options but one of the most attractive is to reuse existing tools for doing this with code, like git and mercurial. This post describes a simple “data pattern” for storing and versioning data using those tools which we’ve been using for some time and found to be very effective. Introduction The ability to do revisioning and versioning data – store changes made and share them with others – especially in a distributed way would be a huge benefit to the (open) data community.

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OpenHDI: Open Human Development Index

A few members of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s nascent open economics working group are having a code-sprint this Friday and Saturday to work on an app for the world bank competition currently called ‘Open HDI’ (Human Development Index): [Update] we’ve renamed to YourTopia - stub website (it’s what we’ll make today and tomorrow!) - planning pad - source code and data The idea is to look at ‘development beyond GDP’ by collecting weightings on particular aspects of ‘development’ (health, education, gdp, inequality) from users and using that to build our own human development index.

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Atlas of Economic Models Launched (in alpha)

Over Christmas I’ve had some spare time. This has permitted me to get the Atlas of Economics Models off the ground. This is a project I’ve been thinking about for some years, first motivated really by the experience of trying to discover what variations had been done on the basic Hotelling-line model of ‘spatial’ product differentiation and competition (previous allusion earlier in the Autumn here). So what is the Atlas supposed to be?

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