My Favourite Reads of Week 45

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1 – Trust Your Data!

We all talk about how to use big data and data science to create new insight. Insight that will help us make decisions based on data, not on gut feeling. Then, the outcome is different from what we expect. In that case people tend to think that maybe the collected data or the analytics process is flawed.

The same thing happened to the startup Brigade back in September. They saw a lot of democratic voters swinging to vote for Trump. Especially in Pensilvania and Wisconsin. An insight totally against the polls. Because the polls always showed that these states were in democratic hand.

They were so shocked by what they found, that they didn’t believe the data. So, they kept the findings for themselves. We all know how that turned out.

Read the Brigade’s full election story on 

2 – Setting and Controlling Your Goals With OKRs!

Setting up goals for a project and measuring their success sounds simple. The problem is that in many ventures the actual process is flawed. Personal or project goals are neither measurable nor  communicated to the team.

Google, Facebook and many others are taking a different approach. They use OKR’s (objectives and key results). The process involves setting measurable objectives and following their fulfilment. Every quarter, transparently communicated from the CEO down to every single developer.

I got so inspired by this that I am currently working on setting up the OKR’s for my blog.

Watch the full 1 hour 20 minutes workshop from Google Ventures.

If you don’t have the time for the complete video watch from 6:57 onwards.

3 – How to Succeed as a Data Scientist

People usually display data science as one large and overwhelming topic. You simply don’t know where to start. Until you read Robert Chang’s article about his journey as a data scientist at Twitter.

He shows on practical examples the different types of data scientists. Robert also explains what skills you need to succeed in the areas of: product insight, data pipeline, experimentation (A/B testing) and machine learning.

Read Robert’s full post on Medium: My two year journey as a data scientist at Twitter

4 – What Happens When You Reply to Spam Email

We all get a lot of spam. Have you ever wondered what happens when you actually reply?

I sure did.

In his TED talk James Veitch shows that replying can be a lot of fun. Watch James’s talk on Youtube.

+ He also has a playlist on’s Youtube channel with more funny spam conversations.


— Read previous: Favourite stories of week 44

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