Archive for September, 2012

Here at Last, “The Functional Art”

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

I rarely agree to write promotional statements for books. As you can imagine, I’m careful to speak words of praise only for books that are exceptionally good and in tune with the principles that I teach. When I was asked by Alberto Cairo to write a promotional statement for his new book The Functional Art, […]

Big Data, Big Deal

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Data did not suddenly become big. While it is true that a few new sources of data have emerged in recent years and that we generate and collect data in increasing quantities, changes have been incremental—a matter of degree—not a qualitative departure from the past. Essentially, “big data” is a marketing campaign. Like many terms […]

SAS, Don’t Lose Your Way

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

SAS Institute has been around for a long time. Founded in 1976, SAS (originally an acronym for Statistical Analysis System) became and remains to this day the dominant statistical software vendor. Today, as business intelligence (BI) vendors that know little about statistics are promoting themselves as analytics companies, SAS has taken a wrong turn in […]

Data Visualization and the Science of Magical Thinking

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

You might be wondering, “What does this usually rational data visualization practitioner mean by the ‘science of magical thinking’?” The magic that I’m referring to is the age-old practice of magicians—professional conjurers, who use sleight of hand, misdirection, and other methods to astound us. The science that I’m referring to is the work that’s being […]