Pop Data

Stress Awareness Month

Apparently, April is Stress Awareness Month. Personally, I’m always aware of my stress, but this infographic does offer some interesting stats on our stress and nice reminders of how to let it go.

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Social Activism and What It Means For Your Company

socialactivism Social Activism and What It Means For Your Company

According to research conducted by Column Five, TBWA, and Take Part, social activism is on the rise with an increasing number of young adults (ages 20-28).  And we’re talking about more than just posting and commenting on Facebook here, folks in this age group are actually taking real action in ways companies and organizations should be aware of.  Decisions around employment, shopping, and sentiment are largely influenced by a company’s support of social causes that align with the causes that this group cares about.

So what issues matter most to young adults?

socialactivism8issues Social Activism and What It Means For Your Company

The above are simply the top 8 found in this study; however, it’s worth a deep dive for your industry and customer segments to understand how the issues you support can affect your customers’ support for you.

 

 

How Much More Women Pay for Health Insurance

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As seen in Flowing Data today, reposted from the Obama campaign’s Tumblr page yesterday. We’re curious what you think.

 

Beware of the Filter Bubble

Eli Pariser, author of “The Filter Bubble” delivers a compelling TEDTalk on the dangerous unintended consequences of web companies tailoring news and search results to our personal tastes. He argues that this personalization is the internet showing us what it “thinks” we should see, as opposed to what we should or need to see.

Arguably, we already live with a filter bubble with the media we choose to ingest and to ignore. Consider the viewers of FOX News versus the Daily Show and the rare folks that cross over or seek out a broader array of opinions. Most folks take in media that reaffirms their existing views, rather than challenging their perspectives. We do this in our personal lives, with the friends we choose and in our business lives, with the narrow view we take on our own data. We encourage all of our readers to consider making uncomfortable decisions – seek out opinions that oppose yours, get into lively debates with your friends and put your data in the context of the broader world. You can read more about the idea of data in context in Flip Kromer’s posts on Big Data Predictions for 2012 and On Being Wrong in Paris.

Three Years, 2.5 Million Data Points, One Lifelong Obsession with Maps

aaronpk handwritten commute logs Three Years, 2.5 Million Data Points, One Lifelong Obsession with Maps

Last week, we posted a TedxVancouver talk from Jer Thorp about the humanity in data. Today, we bring you the story of Aaron Parecki, who grew from a geo-data obsessed youth (the above are the detailed logs he kept of his commutes with his parents from 1995-1997) to a digital cartography expert. Co-founder of Geoloqi, Aaron has been tracking and visualizing his location every six seconds for the past three years.  Projects like this have existed in the past, but Aaron’s dedication to self-surveillance throughout his life is impressive.

What comes out of this data is a beautiful visual story of a person’s life – where he spends his time and how this has changed over time depending on where he’s lived. It’s about as personal of a city map as one can get. To read more about this project and Aaron, check out the Co.Design article and Aaron’s website.

2012 03 aaronpk gps map portland close Three Years, 2.5 Million Data Points, One Lifelong Obsession with Maps

Keep It Simple

I’ve been reading Superfreakonomics and just finished up the chapter on how the best fixes are often the simplest and cheapest. This talk from Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame reminds us of how simple ideas have lead to some of the most revolutionary scientific discoveries. Both are great reminders for your professional and personal lives.

The Evolution of SXSW Interactive

We’ve been deep in the chaos of SXSW Interactive since late last week and it’s amazing to see how much the conference has changed even in the few years that we have existed as a company. Even more amazing is how far the conference has come since it’s inception in 1994 (18 years ago!) and how it’s changed from a music festival with a “film and multimedia conference” tacked on to the launchpad for tech that it is today.  In 2010, the number of attendees for Interactive surpassed Music for the first time and by all accounts it seems like this trend will only continue.

Infographic via Cool Infographics, created by Silicon Angle and Rocksauce Studios The Evolution of SXSW Interactive

The Parts of Humans Data Can Explain

Jer Thorp is the data artist in residence at The New York Times. His projects, including Cascade and the September 11th Memorial, focus on using data to uncover and showcase the underlying humanity in human-generated data.  Check out his talk in the video above and head over to his G+ page where you can check out a surprising conversation that sprung up around capitalism and data.

The Rise and Fall of the Fortune 500

Ben Fry of Fathom Information Design put together this elegant  interactive visualization of publicly available Wikipedia data around the Fortune 500, America’s largest corporation.  His intent was to show how 84,000 data points could be easily viewed and navigated in one interactive piece.  We think he did an amazing job using the clean, simple display to tell rich stories of company histories and the rise and fall of our country’s top corporations.

One company that stands out in our minds is Eastman Kodak, who enjoyed growing revenues and steady profitability for decades.  Then, in 1990, Logitech came out with the Dycam Model 1 black-and-white digicam, the world’s first completely digital consumer camera and the following decades only saw the further proliferation and now dominance of this technology.  Kodak never quite stayed with the trend and this lead to their falters and declaration of bankruptcy just a few weeks ago.

f500 kodak rev The Rise and Fall of the Fortune 500

f500 kodak The Rise and Fall of the Fortune 500

Fry’s interactive visualization is chock full of other amazing stories and insights.  We highly recommend checking it out.  Want to make something awesome with Wikipedia data?  We’ve got an API for that.

Fixies and Hipsters are… Correlated?

customize fixie online Fixies and Hipsters are... Correlated?

Depending on who you are, the sight of a gorgeously simple yet eclectic fixed gear bicycle may make your mouth water or may fill you with ire.  Perhaps if you feel the former, you are the current owner of several pairs of skinny jeans, a pearl snap vintage shirt and ironic glasses.  In other words, you are a hipster.

According to the folks on Quora, fixed gear bicycles (or fixies) are considered to be a strong indicator of hipsterness.  The folks at Priceonomics blog, as part of their effort to build a comprehensive bicycle pricing guide, have measured what kinds of used bicycles people sell and the quantity sold in cities across the US.  To find where the hipsters live, they mined their database of 1.3 million bicycle listings to determine where the various markets for used fixed gear bicycles existed and which were the strongest (most sales) and therefore likely had the highest number of hipsters.

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Surprisingly, places commonly thought of to be high in hipster density, including San Francisco and Portland do not top the list.  Commonly thought of hipster mecca, Brooklyn (NYC) doesn’t even make the top 25.  (You can see the full list here.)  We’re pleasantly surprised that our hometown of Austin, TX ranks below Boise in hipsterness (at least as indicated by used fixed gear bicycle sales).

Now, this is a bit of a silly parallel to draw and certainly does not take into account the bike-ability of a city, let alone the individual reasoning various folks have for riding fixed gear bicycles, but it’s nevertheless a fun analysis of a massive corpus of bicycle pricing data.