Data Governance

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Paper-based data collection has been around as long as humans have had an interest in understanding the world around them — tick marks on parchment were used by ancient civilizations to track food inventory, and in the 1800s the first known census was collected via pen and paper. Now, digital and cloud-based systems for data collection are rapidly increasing, but…

Landsat is without a doubt one of the best sources of free satellite data today. Managed by NASA and the United States Geological Survey, the Landsat satellites have been capturing multi-spectral imagery for over 40 years. The latest satellite, Landsat 8, orbits the Earth every 16 days and captures more than 700 satellite images per day across 9 spectral bands…

The alternative data revolution isn’t about what alternative data to use. It’s about how to turn it into actionable insights. Road data for Pune, India, color-coded to show which roads are well-lit at night. (Source: Atlan.) If there is one thing every business in the world wants, it is market intelligence. By offering an untapped source of market intelligence, alternative…

Today’s news is filled with stories of data misuse — for example, Cambridge Analytica harvesting personal data via Facebook and Amazon, Facebook’s Android app logging metadata on every call and text, and Grindr revealing its users’ HIV status to third parties. These companies are being roundly criticized for misusing their users’ data. In the midst of this uproar, companies are…

Observational data is a valuable form of research that can give researchers information that goes beyond numbers and statistics. In general, observation is a systematic way to collect data by observing people in natural situations or settings. There are many different types of observation, each with its strengths and weaknesses. Participant vs. Non-Participant Observation Participant observation: the researcher is involved…

What is an outlier? In short, it’s a data point that is significantly different from other data points in a data set. The long story? There isn’t a strong mathematical definition for what is or isn’t an outlier. In the end, detecting and handling outliers is often a somewhat subjective exercise. So how can you dive into a new data…

Nothing is more frustrating than wrapping up a lengthy data collection exercise, aggregating all the data and looking through it, only to find missing data. At best, these missing values are a nuisance that can be fixed with a bit of work. At worst, they pose an intimidating threat to data quality and your sample size. How can you assess…