In a recent blog on Forbes.com, Meta S. Brown, the author of Data Mining for Dummies, gave four reasons not to get an advanced degree in data science. I, on the other hand, believe that a structured learning environment is exactly what many need to enable the career change they have contemplated for years but have not moved on it.
It's not surprising that young people are Canada's most active volunteers, representing about 66 per cent of those who give their time for a cause. Time is, after all, on their side. But our country's volunteering numbers might surprise you. In 2013, 4 out of 10 Canadians volunteered, putting in 1,957,000,000 total hours. This week, National Volunteer Week, we celebrate them, while also asking: How do they do it?
What happens to kids who authorities determine can't live safely with their own parents or caregivers? Thousands of Canadian children are in this situation right now. Many go into foster homes, while others go into other types of out-of-home care on behalf of child welfare agencies. But we don't know how many, nor do we know how well they are doing.
The recent rise of data journalism has witnessed the emergence of data visualization where the editors increasingly reinforce narrative with creative infographics. While major news outlets such as The Economist, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal retained experts in data science and visualization, most newspapers have entrusted the task to the graphics departments that rely on tools that are not specifically designed for data visualization. At times, the outcome is math and logic-defying graphics that present a false picture
The modern economies are all about competing on data and analytics. While smart governments and businesses are investing in collecting data and raising armies of data scientists, Statistics Canada is starving under the Harper government. Smart planning needs robust data and sound analytics. The Canadian government should learn from the global experts who are highlighting the advances their governments and businesses have made in data and analytics. Starving nation's statistical agency is the wrong policy in a data-centric world.
Over the past few weeks the various media have inundated us with housing projections, prophecies and prognostications. The housing market is going up -- or going down! (compared to what?) What do those headlines even mean? Are housing starts up? Are housing prices up? Are the number of homes sold up? Or are more and more people building and living in concrete high rises?
My friend has written on her blog that the media is guilty of sensationalism in the coverage of rapes in India. I disagree with her assessment, however. The attention the media is giving to the rape epidemic in India is long, long overdue. Should you be scared? Not really. But ask, is India as safe to travel as anywhere else? The answer is no, it's not.
On the heels of big data grabbing headlines the world over for its role in President Obama's re-election, could 2013 be the year big data makes the big leap into the mainstream, especially business? The task ahead of us is to take the promise of big data and realize it in every department and in every industry. Some surprising pioneers are already leading the way.
Journalist Doug Sanders, whose latest book The Myth of the Muslim Tide: Do Immigrants Threaten The West? tackles (and pretty much straightens out) the laundry-list of misconceptions and falsehoods that has made its way from the fringe to the forefront of the public domain about Muslim immigration and the West. In this interview, he goes in-depth on the larger issues.