Doing good data science

Jul 11, 2018

Mike Loukides, Hilary Mason, and DJ Patil published a first post in a series on data ethics on O’Reilly.

We particularly need to think about the unintended consequences of our use of data. It will never be possible to predict all the unintended consequences; we’re only human, and our ability to foresee the future is limited. But plenty of unintended consequences could easily have been foreseen: for example, Facebook’s “Year in Review” that reminded people of deaths and other painful events. Moving fast and breaking things is unacceptable if we don’t think about the things we are likely to break. And we need the space to do that thinking: space in project schedules, and space to tell management that a product needs to be rethought.

Because data might just be computer output — cold and mechanical — but what data represents and the things it leads to are not.

Favorites

Top Brewery Road Trip, Routed Algorithmically

There are a lot of great craft breweries in the United States, but there is only so much time. This is the computed best way to get to the top rated breweries and how to maximize the beer tasting experience. Every journey begins with a single sip.

Visualizing the Uncertainty in Data

Data is an abstraction, and it’s impossible to encapsulate everything it represents in real life. So there is uncertainty. Here are ways to visualize the uncertainty.

Where Bars Outnumber Grocery Stores

A closer look at the age old question of where there are more bars than grocery stores, and vice versa.

Interactive: When Do Americans Leave For Work?

We don’t all start our work days at the same time, despite what morning rush hour might have you think.