The Data Roundup serves up the latest data and analytics news and thinking, cut up into bite-sized chunks, making the inspirational goodness even easier for you to digest. Tuck in…

Distance, the great divider
How close are our relationships - using connection data to remap americaAmerica is often described as a place of great divides — between red and blue, big cities and rural towns, the coasts and the heartland. But our social lives are shaped by a much stronger force that ignores many of these lines: distance. Even in the age of the internet, it’s not politics, demographics or ideologies that link us. By analysing millions of connections on Facebook, it turns out that it’s distance that matters most in determining whom — and, as a result, what — we know.

“It was this big… you should have seen it!”

Patterns of discoveryWe’re a nation obsessed by size. But describing the scale of an object in prose can be tough. You need a little context. Usually with the comparison to something that the reader is likely to be familiar with. This fascinating project uses Google Books’ Ngram dataset to find the most common size analogies in English books (from 1800 to today) and how they’ve changed as life around us changes.

Trust issues

Patterns of discoveryRemember these stories that you read about the Chinese government using citizen data to build a trust score – kind of like a Black Mirror plot? Remember? Well, apparently, Apple have been doing just that too… using data from calls and email made on Apple devices to help fight fraud and build “a device trust score” when users attempt a purchase.

Life insurance you can track?

A US life insurance company has announced that all its policies will now give incentives for people to send the company fitness tracker and other wellness data. According to reputable news sites, the company “will stop underwriting traditional life insurance and instead sell only interactive policies that track fitness and health data through wearable devices and smartphones.” Another Black Mirror story in the making? Or a way to gamify both health and money saving?

New data reveals most dangerous parts of London for pedestrians

Every 12 hours, a pedestrian is seriously injured by a car, lorry or bus on London’s streets – and one person is killed every week. That’s the danger of being a pedestrian in our capital city. And now, new research that combines travel data, commuting data and tourism data from the Census and London Data Store has uncovered the most dangerous streets to walk – as well as where are the safest streets for pedestrians are in London.

Data predicts risk of gang exploitation

Predictive software has been assessing data on the lives of thousands of children. IBM has created a predictive model that “illustrates evidence to suggest it can start identifying children at risk of criminal exploitation and offending well before the outcome occurred”. The model is the byproduct of Machine Learning and predictive technologies that have been built to intervene before children are reffered to social services.


Posted in Media roundup On September 24, 2018 By

Author Bio

Gordon Laing

Gordon Laing

After years spent plying a trade in journalism, I changed. But journalists never really change, do they? It’s always been about finding and sharing the best insight. And always will be.

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