Different continents, different data science

This was last year, and I didn’t have location services turned on all the time.

Data veracity

If you don’t trust your data, everything you build atop it is a house of cards. When I’ve spoken about Lean Analytics or Data Science and Critical Thinking in China, many of the questions are about knowing whether the data is real or genuine.

Storage and Analysis

At a cloud computing event in DC several years ago, I sat at dinner with a French diplomat. Part of the EU parliament, he was in charge of data privacy. “Do you know why the French hate traffic cameras?” he asked me. “Because we can overlook a smudge of lipstick or a whiff of cologne on our partners’ shirts. But we can’t ignore a photograph of them in a car with a lover.”

An infraction from Ontario. I couldn’t find a French one. Damned privacy laws.

Unintended consequences

The Sloan Foundation’s Daniel Goroff worked on energy nudge policy for the federal government, trying to convince people to consume less electricity, particularly during the warmer months when air conditioning use skyrockets.

Easy to misinterpret.

Three parts, one whole

As I said in the outset, this is a very subjective view of the patterns I’ve seen across countries. The plural of anecdote is not data; caveat emptor. But I’ve fielded literally hundreds of questions from audiences both overseas and online; this led me to ask people in each country whether my feelings could be explained by cultural, technical, political, or economic factors.



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Alistair Croll

Alistair Croll

Writer, speaker, accelerant. Intersection of tech & society. Strata, Startupfest, Bitnorth, FWD50. Lean Analytics, Tilt the Windmill, HBS, Just Evil Enough.