• Aug
    24

    As you may know by now, a rare earthquake happened on the East Coast yesterday.  But how did you find out?  Piraeus alumni Evan Nagle analyzes the social network response quite nicely.  From his blog entry:

    I think the earthquake shook a little dust off the social shelf and shed a wee bit of light on what exactly each social network “is” and “is for”.

    Read his analysis here.

    Social networks aren’t something to be ignored. I know that sounds sort of like a “well, duh!” statement.  Surprisingly, I still hear the I’m just not interested in what so-and-so had for breakfast! It isn’t all eggs and toast.  Social media gives data-junkies tons to play with, amazing tools to crowd source from and entirely new headaches for HR departments.

    Social media is still evolving, as I suspect it will be for a long time. Policies will have to change, and there will be new ways of processing all of the data.  My hope is for more visualizations :)

    (image credit: Mentalpez)

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  • Aug
    16

    Though Google has dominated the news lately with their Motorola purchase, don’t forget to keep an eye on Microsoft.  The SQL devs I know are pretty excited about Denali (Preview 3 is available here) and Windows 8 is in pre-release blog mode. According to the first entry

    We’ve been hard at work designing and building Windows 9, and today we want to begin an open dialog with those of you who will be trying out the pre-release version over the coming months…

    Interestingly, Steve Sinofsky also writes

    We’ll… make mistakes and admit it when we do. It is almost certain that something will hit a nerve, with the team or with the community, or both, in the blog posts or in the product, or both. In any case, we’ll work hard to have constructive conversations with you, share the data, and, when the situation calls for it, make thoughtful changes.

    I’m intrigued to see how this will play out.  The release of the first blog post coincides nicely with news of the Google/Motorola deal–doesn’t seem like coincidence.

    The real question: if I go to BUILD, Microsoft’s conference for hardware and software developers in Anaheim, CA in September, do I get to hang out wherever this photo was taken? It sure makes me want to swim with the goldfish :)

    BUILDbanner

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  • Aug
    15

    Found this today via FlowingData. Looks like the folks at YesYesNo didn’t stop at this project.

    This time the folks at YesYesNo loaded a year’s worth of data from several cities to create visualizations for the Nike stores. One of these days I really will go for Nike+, if only for the chance to see a run transformed into something more than left foot, right foot, breathe.

    Watch the video here.

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  • Aug
    2

    If you live in Seattle, you may know about the Block Party. No, I’m not talking about the Capitol Hill Block Party that required tickets and a willingness to endure cattle-run type crowds jammed into each other.  I’m talking about National Night Out and all the block parties that are sprouting up around town this evening.

    National Night Out started in 1984, and according to the NATW website

    400 communities in 23 states participated… Nationwide, 2.5 million Americans took part…The 27th Annual National Night Out last August involved 37.0 million people in 15,110 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide.

    2.5 to 37… quite the jump! Unfortunately the NATW website doesn’t have a record of historical participation, but I’m searching around to find some numbers.  I’m still reading Visualize This and I think it might be fun to try to make my own visualization with the data (when I can find it).  I want to compare neighborhood participation with police crisis in each year.  Did participation go up when there was highly publicized crime in a sleepy neighborhood? What drives people to want to know their neighbors? So it’s two charts; a timeline of notable crime and a graph of participation per year. Time to find some data!

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  • Jul
    26

    Two new  B.I. announcements from Google and MicroStrategy that seem to have landed a little below the radar.

    According to EnterpriseAppsToday.com MicroStrategy rolled out two new features for their enterprise customers: cloud-based platform-as-service (PaaS) and a new Facebook Connect Gateway.

    Gateway for Facebook converts the Facebook social graph data structure into a relational data structure, making it instantly suitable for enterprise applications like CRM, marketing, service, sales, loyalty, and mobile applications. Gateway offers bidirectional data flow so that social intelligence from Facebook can be added to enterprise applications, and enterprise applications can interact back with the social network, said MicroStrategy.

    Gateway seems to be non-partial to a particular bent of technology, allowing access to Microsoft Windows developers, mobile app developers for Apple iOS and Google Android and even ERP systems from Oracle, SAP and Microsoft. Of course, it all funnels through MicroStrategy in the end, so I guess it isn’t entirely non-partial. But a man’s got to eat, right? It’s part of the plan to establish the “intention to be a leader in the emerging social applications space.”

    Google’s release is even quieter.  A recent update to the Android Market now “discreetly shows the popularity of apps using a line graph,” according to ZDnet. A line graph may not be deep analysis, but I’m sure there’s more to come. Yet another one to watch!

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  • Jul
    22

    Guess what just arrived? My review copy of Nathan Yau’s Visualize This. Combine this beautiful book with a little bit of beautiful weather (here in Seattle we’re eternally optimistic about having more than the 78 minutes of summer we’ve had so far) and I think I know what my weekend will look like.

    Just imagine this in the present day, plus a book on design, visualization and statistics. And yes, that float is still there.

    Madison Beach, 1930

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  • Jul
    12

    Google+

    Author: Ruby; Filed under: Articles, Fun Stuff; Tagged as: , , , ,

    With all the flurry of articles about Google+, here’s something you may have missed. Punctuation.  Similar to Prince’s unpronounceable symbol phase, Google+ includes a lovely “+” that is neither “plus” nor an indication to start pulling out PEMDAS and yet we’re supposed to +1 somehow. Never fear, Google has an answer!

    Google’s help page illuminates the conventions of +1: “Please allow us to explain our +1 spelling conventions.”

    I have to say, I was one of the early Google Wave adopters, though when it faded away I barely noticed. I’ve jumped onto the Google+ bandwagon, and we’ll see how long it lasts.  I suspect it’ll work out this time.  I just wonder when Microsoft will through their hat in the ring!

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  • Jun
    21

    First of all, HAPPY SUMMER!!! As of about 15 minutes ago we officially switched from Spring to Summer, and Seattle is doing her best to show off her glittering skyline.

    While Seattle struts her sunny stuff, I’m inside.  Somewhere else I might say this in a gloomy way except, well, Piraeus isn’t very gloomy. In fact, we can now say that we’ve been voted one of the top 50 businesses to work for in Seattle three years in a row.  This year we broke into the top 25!

    I spend a lot of time on this blog writing about data and visualizations and not that much time writing about the amazing people I’m surrounded with every day.  We have project managers who keep everything on track and still have time bust out a spot-on impression of someone that reduces everyone to giggles. Nerf gun fights abound. I can’t get anywhere near the high score on our Astroids machine, but I do hold my own in our Wii competitions.  And then there’s the work that everyone does- projects that deliver time and time again.

    So here’s to you, team Piraeus. You rock.

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  • Jun
    14

    I love how even moderately sunny weather seems to wake everyone in Seattle up.  We used to have a really great brown bag lunch series before I joined Piraeus almost a year ago, but it sort of dwindled as everyone started to get really busy.  The series wasn’t forgotten about, just sort of postponed.  Recently one of our analysts took it back over and now with the sun comes a pretty kick-ass schedule of brown bag presentations from the folks here at Piraeus.

    The brown bags are pretty popular but it’s a good thing they’re short; it’s a big conference room but it’s standing room only.

    The first presentation was on the newest version of SQL Server, Denali. With toolbox improvements, an undo/redo function and a simplified data flow path editor, Christina’s presentation made me want to pick up my SQL classes again!

    The second presentation was about an adapter to edit SharePoint lists.  The adapter is written in C# using public APIs for Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services, so it comes with a “While this component is a powerful sample, it is intended only as a sample. It is specifically not intended for production use or deployment, but only as an educational tool for creating custom components” disclaimer.  Makes sense to cover yourself, but from what I could tell, it sounds like the sample is something that should be come part of the official package soon.

    Oh yeah, and there were doves. In space. How are they breathing? They’re just that amazing. Oh PowerPoint slides, how you make me laugh!

    If you’d like the slides to either presentation, just drop me a comment and I’ll send them your way :)

    (Photo credit: Inspiration Online)

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  • May
    27

    The sun is out (sporadically) and I can at least pretend that means Seattle is warming up. I’m headed out of town to go climbing this weekend, but for everyone Seattle-bound, here are a few fun data viz (via FlowingData) to warm you up with cheer and laughter. I really enjoy FlowingData, and Nathan has a new book coming out soon.  Expect a review as soon as I have it in my hands!

    For those of you getting extra rest this weekend

    And everyone finally making time to start seeing that Special Someone

    Finally, sometimes it’s just best to curl up with a good puzzle. What day are you on?

    (All images from flowingdata.com)

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