jerryking + information_sources   21

How 5 Data Dynamos Do Their Jobs
June 12, 2019 | The New York Times | By Lindsey Rogers Cook.
[Times Insider explains who we are and what we do, and delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how our journalism comes together.]
Reporters from across the newsroom describe the many ways in which they increasingly rely on datasets and spreadsheets to create groundbreaking work.

Data journalism is not new. It predates our biggest investigations of the last few decades. It predates computers. Indeed, reporters have used data to hold power to account for centuries, as a data-driven investigation that uncovered overspending by politicians, including then-congressman Abraham Lincoln, attests.

But the vast amount of data available now is new. The federal government’s data repository contains nearly 250,000 public datasets. New York City’s data portal contains more than 2,500. Millions more are collected by companies, tracked by think tanks and academics, and obtained by reporters through Freedom of Information Act requests (though not always without a battle). No matter where they come from, these datasets are largely more organized than ever before and more easily analyzed by our reporters.

(1) Karen Zraick, Express reporter.
NYC's Buildings Department said it was merely responding to a sudden spike in 311 complaints about store signs. But who complains about store signs?....it was hard to get a sense of the scale of the problem just by collecting anecdotes. So I turned to NYC Open Data, a vast trove of information that includes records about 311 complaints. By sorting and calculating the data, we learned that many of the calls were targeting stores in just a few Brooklyn neighborhoods.
(2) John Ismay, At War reporter
He has multiple spreadsheets for almost every article he works on......Spreadsheets helped him organize all the characters involved and the timeline of what happened as the situation went out of control 50 years ago......saves all the relevant location data he later used in Google Earth to analyze the terrain, which allowed him to ask more informed questions.
(3) Eliza Shapiro, education reporter for Metro
After she found out in March that only seven black students won seats at Stuyvesant, New York City’s most elite public high school, she kept coming back to one big question: How did this happen? I had a vague sense that the city’s so-called specialized schools once looked more like the rest of the city school system, which is mostly black and Hispanic.

With my colleague K.K. Rebecca Lai from The Times’s graphics department, I started to dig into a huge spreadsheet that listed the racial breakdown of each of the specialized schools dating to the mid-1970s.
analyzed changes in the city’s immigration patterns to better understand why some immigrant groups were overrepresented at the schools and others were underrepresented. We mapped out where the city’s accelerated academic programs are, and found that mostly black and Hispanic neighborhoods have lost them. And we tracked the rise of the local test preparation industry, which has exploded in part to meet the demand of parents eager to prepare their children for the specialized schools’ entrance exam.

To put a human face to the data points we gathered, I collected yearbooks from black and Hispanic alumni and spent hours on the phone with them, listening to their recollections of the schools in the 1970s through the 1990s. The final result was a data-driven article that combined Rebecca’s remarkable graphics, yearbook photos, and alumni reflections.

(4) Reed Abelson, Health and Science reporter
the most compelling stories take powerful anecdotes about patients and pair them with eye-opening data.....Being comfortable with data and spreadsheets allows me to ask better questions about researchers’ studies. Spreadsheets also provide a way of organizing sources, articles and research, as well as creating a timeline of events. By putting information in a spreadsheet, you can quickly access it, and share it with other reporters.

(5) Maggie Astor, Politics reporter
a political reporter dealing with more than 20 presidential candidates, she uses spreadsheets to track polling, fund-raising, policy positions and so much more. Without them, there’s just no way she could stay on top of such a huge field......The climate reporter Lisa Friedman and she used another spreadsheet to track the candidates’ positions on several climate policies.
311  5_W’s  behind-the-scenes  Communicating_&_Connecting  data  datasets  data_journalism  data_scientists  FOIA  groundbreaking  hidden  information_overload  information_sources  journalism  mapping  massive_data_sets  New_York_City  NYT  open_data  organizing_data  reporters  self-organization  systematic_approaches  spreadsheets  storytelling  timelines  tools 
9 weeks ago by jerryking
Marty Chavez Muses on Rocky Times and the Road Ahead
NOV. 14, 2017 | - The New York Times | By WILLIAM D. COHAN.

Mr. Chavez is about as far from the stereotypical Wall Street senior executive as you can imagine, and that is one reason his musings about the future direction of Wall Street are listened to carefully.

He grew up in Albuquerque, one of five children, who all went to Harvard. He got a doctorate in medical information sciences from Stanford University. (At that time, he was known by his full name Ramon Martin Chavez.)

In 1990, Mr. Chavez came out, the day after he defended his doctoral dissertation. – “Architectures and Approximation Algorithms for Probabilistic Expert Systems.” He is one of the few openly gay executives on Wall Street. ......In his current role as Goldman's CFO, Marty views his job as a simple one that is hard to get right: “I’m not paid or evaluated on the accuracy of my crystal-ball predictions,” he said. “I’m paid to enumerate every possible outcome and do something about every possible outcome well in advance, when it’s still possible to do something, because once it’s happened it’s too late.”....Unlike many of his peers on Wall Street, Mr. Chavez does not complain about the extent of the regulation that hit the financial industry as a result of Dodd-Frank. Generally speaking, he says, the regulations have helped banks “confront their problems and capitalize and bolster their liquidity,” making them “stronger as a result,” and the financial system safer and more profitable.....Instead of complaining about the extra expense and manpower required to comply with the mountain of new regulations, Mr. Chavez chooses instead to think about it differently. “If you approach the regulations as ‘Oh, we’ve got to comply,’ you’ll get one result,” he said. He prefers thinking about the regulations as, “This makes us and the system and our clients safer and sounder, and yes it’s a lot of work, but what can we learn from this work and how can we use this work in other ways to make a better result for our shareholders and our clients? Everywhere we look we’re finding these opportunities and they’re very much in keeping with the spirit of the times.”

Like any good senior Goldman executive, he does worry. (Lloyd Blankfein, the Goldman chief executive, once told me he spent 98 percent of his time worrying about things with a 2 percent probability.)

His biggest concern at the moment is the risk of “single points of failure” in the vast world of cybersecurity. He worries about any individual “repository of information” that does not have a backup and that can “be hacked.”

He does not even trust Goldman’s own computer system; he treats it as a potential enemy.

.....What also makes Goldman different from its peers is the firm’s love affair with engineers. At the moment, he said, engineers comprise around 30 percent of Goldman’s work force of about 35,000. It’s what drew him to Goldman in the first place — to work on Goldman’s in-house software, “SecDB,” short for “Securities Database,” an internal, proprietary computer system that tracks all the trades that Goldman makes and their prices, and regularly monitors the risk that the firm faces as a result.

He said the system generates some million and a half points of data that were used to calculate, for the first time, the firm’s “liquidity coverage ratio” — now 128 percent — and that were shared with regulators every day. He’s been busy trying to figure out how the newly generated data can be used to help him understand what the firm’s liquidity will be a year from now.

That way, he said, in his principal role as Goldman’s chief financial officer, he can perceive a problem in plenty of time to do something about it. “We’re able to get much better actionable insights that make the firm a less risky business because we’re able to go much further out into the future,” he said......
Goldman_Sachs  Martin_Chavez  Wall_Street  SPOF  CFOs  actionable_information  engineering  financial_system  databases  information_sources  SecDB  proprietary  Dodd-Frank  regulation  cyber_security  improbables  think_differently  jujutsu  William_Cohan 
november 2017 by jerryking
Big Companies Should Collaborate with Startups
Eddie YoonSteve Hughes
FEBRUARY 25, 2016

Growth is increasingly hard to come by, so large companies are increasingly looking to entrepreneurs to help them find it. In the food and beverage category, growth came from 20,000 small companies outside of the top 100, which together saw revenue grow by $17 billion dollars.
Despite that aggregate revenue growth, not every startup is successful — in fact, the vast majority will fail.

Ironically, startups and established companies would both improve their success rates if they collaborated instead of competed. Startups and established companies bring two distinct and equally integral skills to the table. Startups excel at giving birth to successful proof of concepts; larger companies are much better at successfully scaling proof of concepts.

Startups are better at detecting and unlocking emerging and latent demand. But they often stumble at scaling their proof of concept, not only because they’re often doing it for the first time, but also because the skills necessary for creating are not the same as scaling. Startups must be agile and adapt their value proposition several times until they get it right. According to Forbes, 58% of startups successfully figure out a clear market need for what they have.

In contrast, big companies often end up launching things they can make, not what people want.

Successful collaboration between startups and established companies must go beyond financial deals: it must be personal and mission-oriented.....areas of emerging and latent demand are often highly concentrated.... spend time physically in hotbeds specific to your sector. ....met people...walk the aisles ...... explore up and coming datasets. SPINs is a retail measurement company that covers the natural and organic grocers. Yet too many companies don’t even bother to acquire this data because they dismiss it as too small to matter.....Just as important as personal knowledge are personal relationships. ...spend time with customers....skew more toward emerging customers......connect with key people who have tight connections with both startups and established companies in your industry.....collaboration needs to be mission-oriented, meaning it has to be focused on something larger than financial success. ......Executives who wish to tap into the growth of these smaller companies will find that having a big checkbook is not going to be enough, and that waiting for an investment banker to bring them deals is the wrong approach. A mercenary mindset will only go so far. When big companies try to engage with startups, a missionary mindset will create better odds of success.
large_companies  Fortune_500  brands  scaling  start_ups  collaboration  face2face  personal_meetings  personal_touch  information_sources  personal_relationships  personal_knowledge  HBR  growth  funding  M&A  success_rates  latent  hidden  proof-of-concepts  mindsets  missionaries  mission-driven  Mondolez  cultural_clash  Gulliver_strategies 
march 2017 by jerryking
A field guide to lies : critical thinking in the information age : Levitin, Daniel J., author. : Book, Regular Print Book : Toronto Public Library
Year/Format: 2016, Book , 304 pages

It's becoming harder to separate the wheat from the digital chaff. How do we distinguish misinformation, pseudo-facts, distortions and outright lies from reliable information? In A Field Guide to Lies, neuroscientist Daniel Levitin outlines the many pitfalls of the information age and provides the means to spot and avoid them. Levitin groups his field guide into two categories--statistical infomation and faulty arguments--ultimately showing how science is the bedrock of critical thinking. It is easy to lie with stats and graphs as few people "take the time to look under the hood and see how they work." And, just because there's a number on something, doesn't mean that the number was arrived at properly. Logic can help to evaluate whether or not a chain of reasoning is valid. And "infoliteracy" teaches us that not all sources of information are equal, and that biases can distort data. Faced with a world too eager to flood us with information, the best response is to be prepared. A Field Guide to Lies helps us avoid learning a lot of things that aren't true.
books  nonfiction  critical_thinking  infoliteracy  biases  lying  information_overload  TPL  Daniel_Levitin  engaged_citizenry  signals  noise  information_sources 
september 2016 by jerryking
Understanding SecDB: Goldman Sachs’s Most Valued Trading Weapon - WSJ
By JUSTIN BAER
Sept. 7, 2016

traders use the system to track how a position would have performed over the past year, how it might do in the future under different scenarios, and how the holding might alter their broader portfolio. They can also use the system to help determine a price to charge the trade’s counterparty.

But traders aren’t SecDB’s only users. The firm’s risk managers use the system to peer into positions held by a trading desk or business to determine aggregate exposures.

Every Wall Street firm has tools to run each of those functions. But SecDB’s power comes from its universal use throughout the firm, its flexibility to add new variables or new sources of information, and its ability to tap into all of Goldman’s data.
Goldman_Sachs  traders  Wall_Street  databases  counterparties  information_sources  SecDB 
september 2016 by jerryking
What Scented Candles Say to an Economist - The New York Times
By DIANE COYLE NOV. 7, 2015

We need a wider variety of indicators to help us take a more accurate reading of the economy. Some of these might seem frivolous, but paying close attention to worldly detail could make forecasting more reliable.
(1) height of hemlines
(2) the number of cranes visible on the skyline
(3) Spending on luxury items is another example. During a boom, sales of fast cars, expensive paintings, prime real estate and diamond necklaces all soar, as do their prices.

Less obvious are trends in retailing. When the good times roll, people decide that their great idea for a specialty store is viable. Thus booms bring all those boutiques selling just one type of good: socks or scented candles or freshly squeezed juices. But like flowers that display the behavior known as nyctinasty — opening to the sun’s light and warmth — they close as soon as the skies darken and things start to cool.

(4) how easy, or otherwise, it is to get restaurant reservations or tickets for shows.
(5) how many “help wanted” signs appear in the windows of stores and restaurants.

....G.D.P. almost certainly fails to capture newer areas of economic activity, such as today’s digital innovation — so other sources of information are needed to fill the gap....economic policy makers usually scrutinize tens, or even hundreds, of indicators, covering different industries and assets, different parts of the country, different groups of people. They monitor jobs reports, advertising rates, wage settlements, the cost of shipping freight, asset prices, sales of consumer durables and much, much more.
economics  economists  forecasting  non-obvious  GDP  indicators  trends  retailers  boutiques  detail_oriented  economic_data  information_sources  policymakers  policymaking 
november 2015 by jerryking
Meet the SEC’s Brainy New Crime Fighters - WSJ
By SCOTT PATTERSON
Updated Dec. 14, 2014

The SEC is mustering its mathematical firepower in its Center for Risk and Quantitative Analytics, which was created last year soon after Mary Jo White took charge of the agency to help it get better at catching Wall Street misconduct. The enforcement unit, led by 14-year SEC veteran Lori Walsh, is housed deep within the warrens of the SEC’s Washington headquarters, and staffed by about 10 employees trained in fields such as mathematical finance, economics, accounting and computer programming.

Ms. Walsh says access to new sources of data and new ways of processing the data have been key to finding evidence of wrongdoing. “When you look at data in different ways, you see new things,” she said in an interview
alternative_data  analysis  analytics  arms_race  data  data_driven  enforcement  fresh_eyes  hiring  information_sources  mathematics  misconduct  models  modelling  patterns  perspectives  quantitative  quants  SEC  stockmarkets  Wall_Street 
december 2014 by jerryking
Using 'remarkable' source of data, startup builds rich customer profiles - The Globe and Mail
Ivor Tossell

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Monday, Jan. 06 2014

RetailGenius, a product from a Toronto startup called Viasense, promises to algorithmically generate customer profiles based on a remarkable source of data: Anonymous location data that’s collected by big mobile carriers, from the passive pings that every single cellphone sends out as it goes through the day.

The data that RetailGenius uses is anonymized – it doesn’t have any way of knowing whose cellphone belongs to who; it simply has a gigantic plot of where thousands of cellphones were at any given time.

“We create a unique identifier between those signals, and we can see those signals move throughout the city,” says Mossab Basir, RetailGenius’ founder. “We can see those changes in your location but we never really know who it is.”

What the product does next is intriguing: Based on some 50 million pieces of location data a day, RetailGenius crunches the numbers to make inferences from where each cellphone spends its time, and generates customer profiles by the thousands.

For instance, if a given cellphone spends the hours between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. in a single area, it’s a good bet that its owner lives there. If that cellphone spends its working hours downtown five days a week, its owner is probably a daily commuter. And if it visits a given retail store once a week, a picture of its owner’s habits living and shopping habits starts to emerge.

By lumping these inferred profiles together, RetailGenius can give retailers a picture of who walks through their doors. For instance: What are the top 50 postal codes that are represented in their customers? What kind of volumes of customers are arriving at the store? How long do they stay?
data  start_ups  customer_insights  customer_profiling  RetailGenius  location_based_services  massive_data_sets  data_marketplaces  algorithms  Viasense  metadata  postal_codes  inferences  information_sources  anonymized  shopping_habits 
january 2014 by jerryking
Pulling More Meaning from Big Data
August 2013 | Retail Leader | By Ed Avis

"A.G. Lafley [Procter & Gamble's CEO] spoke of the two moments of truth," says John Ross, president of Inmar Analytics based in Winston-Salem, N.C. "The first occurs when a consumer buys a product, and the second when they use it. Much of the data today is about orchestrating and understanding those two moments. But two additional moments of truth are emerging to bookend Lafley's. One occurs when a consumer is planning to make a purchase. The other happens following use, when the consumer talks about his or her experience with the product. All of these activities leave a 'data wake' that describes how the consumer is moving down the path to purchase." (jk: going to assume that data wake = exhaust data).

Like most consumer packaged goods companies, Procter & Gamble relies on data to determine what consumers are looking for. "Consumer insight is at the core of our business model. We approach every brand we make by asking the question, 'What do people really need and want from this product? What does this mean to their lives?' Let me be clear – this is not casual observation. We employ teams of behavioral scientists, researchers, psychologists, even anthropologists to uncover true insight based on intensive research and exploration," said Marc Pritchard, P&G's global marketing and brand building officer, speaking at the Association of National Advertisers' 2012 Annual Conference....Most firms haven't advanced beyond localized analytics and don't fully capitalize on the existing data they have at hand – such as POS data, loyalty club data and social media traffic – according to a 2012 Deloitte study for the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
massive_data_sets  Sobeys  grocery  supermarkets  Safeway  P&G  A.G._Lafley  Kroger  point-of-sale  loyalty_management  customer_insights  insights  CPG  exhaust_data  psychologists  psychology  anthropologists  anthropology  ethnography  behavioural_science  hiring-a-product-to-do-a-specific-job  data  information_sources  moments  moments_of_truth 
december 2013 by jerryking
Palantir Reloads for the Corporation - NYTimes.com
December 5, 2013, 10:00 am Comment
Palantir Reloads for the Corporation
By QUENTIN HARDY

Palantir Technologies is a big data software company whose roots in government security mask a growing corporate presence. It is also getting a larger war chest to go with that growth....The company’s initial customers included several United States defense and intelligence agencies. But today, more than 60 percent of its revenue is from commercial sources, according to the Palantir executive, who spoke on the condition on anonymity.

While most big data companies create databases that gather large and diverse information sources, then apply pattern-matching software to see if something interesting pops up, Palantir’s technology tries to encode a human element. It has worked on augmenting the way humans in a given field parse information by studying specialists in such areas as fraud spotting, or doctors who isolate outbreaks of food poisoning. The software then augments those human pattern-finding skills.

While this has proved effective for finding insurgent bomb makers and missing children, it also seems to work in finance, health care and other industries.
Palantir  data  data_mining  artificial_intelligence  large_companies  massive_data_sets  security_&_intelligence  pattern_recognition  information_sources 
december 2013 by jerryking
More Data Can Mean Less Guessing About the Economy - NYTimes.com
By STEVE LOHR
Published: September 7, 2013

measurement shortfall in the small-business sector, and a series of other information gaps in the economy, may be overcome by what experts say is an emerging data revolution — Big Data, in the current catchphrase. The ever-expanding universe of digital signals of behavior, from browsing and buying on the Web to cellphone location data, is grist for potential breakthroughs in economic measurement. It could produce more accurate forecasting and more informed policy-making — more science and less guesswork.... THE economics profession is gearing up to exploit new sources of digital data. In a recent paper, “The Data Revolution and Economic Analysis,” two Stanford economists, Liran Einav and Jonathan Levin, concluded that “there is little doubt, at least in our minds, that over the next decades ‘big data’ will change the landscape of economic policy and economic research.”

At Intuit, the small-business data portray a sector that was “hurt much more than big business by the recession and its recovery has been far worse,” says Ms. Woodward, the economic consultant. Over the last three and a half years, payroll employment for all companies has increased 6.9 percent, while small-business employment has risen far less, just 1.9 percent. Hiring among the small companies, though still sluggish, has inched ahead in the last three months.
data  Steve_Lohr  massive_data_sets  Intuit  information_sources  small_business  measurements  Freshbooks  economy  Erik_Brynjolfsson  economics  indicators  real-time  forecasting  economic_data  information_gaps  signals  economists  data_driven 
september 2013 by jerryking
Delivering the message: How premium hotel brands struggle to communicate their value proposition
2006 | International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management Vol. 18 Iss: 3, pp.246 - 252 | by Winfried Daun, Raffaela Klinger.

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review the ways in which premium hotel brands address the challenge of building and sustaining their value proposition and communicating the essence of this value to their customers.

Design/methodology/approach – The article draws on commercial market research, published information sources and industry experience to identify the key issues that impact on the effectiveness of marketing communications.

Findings – The conclusion is that luxury hotel chains have worked hard to improve the effectiveness of brand management but that several key factors (such as market insight, differentiation, relative uniqueness) influence the long-term effectiveness of the brand management approach.

Research limitations/implications – Practical measures for improving brand management practices are identified and explained.

Practical implications – The key success factors are explained, with suggestions for implementation.

Originality/value – The paper draws on consulting experience and contains analysis and practical suggestions that are especially relevant to practitioners.
value_propositions  Communicating_&_Connecting  hotels  brands  branding  information_sources 
august 2013 by jerryking
Lessons I learned from SNC-Lavalin’s woes
Jul. 26 2013 | - The Globe and Mail | by GWYN MORGAN.

Information is key

Because directors get most of their information from people within the company, they need to do everything they can to build and diversify their sources. There should be a robust whistle-blower system, independent of management, so employees can pass on information to directors without fear of reprisal.

Financial reporting structures matter. Internal auditors should report directly – and only – to the chair of the audit committee, not to management. The chief financial officer should have a direct reporting relationship to the audit committee chair. Operating division comptrollers should report to the CFO, not to the division leader or the business-unit head.

Focus on leadership

It’s important to have strong financial controls and ethical codes, but they will fail unless all people in leadership roles, from the CEO on down, follow them diligently and consistently.

Culture, culture, culture

It is said that corporate culture is defined by how people act when no one is looking. But it is also defined by how employees react when they see behaviour that is inconsistent with the values of the organization. When their reaction is, “We’re not going to let this happen in our company,” the organization is built upon a solid ethical foundation.
Gwyn_Morgan  boards_&_directors_&_governance  lessons_learned  SNC-Lavalin  scandals  engineering  information  information_flows  financial_reporting  financial_controls  auditors  CFOs  leadership  organizational_culture  whistleblowing  ethics  information_sources  reprisals 
july 2013 by jerryking
Forbes.com: Queen Of Arts
Dirk Smillie, 01.10.05

Louise MacBain is buying up art publications around the world. Squeezing money from these titles will be an art in itself.
Louise Blouin MacBain just hates talking about her social life, which involves tabloid-fodder like dating Prince Andrew, entertaining Bianca Jagger and hosting dinner parties for European royalty.

What she really wants to gab about is her latest collecting passion. Over the past two years her Bermuda investment company, LTB Holdings, has snapped up 160 art titles in 20 countries, including the dominant Art + Auction magazine. That already makes her one of the biggest art publishers in the world.

Now she is laying out $20 million to launch a Web portal this summer, a kind of Bloomberg terminal for the arts, delivering breaking news from the auction and collecting worlds. "Globalization is connecting art and its buyers everywhere," she says. "There's no central news or information source covering them."
art  magazines  HBS  information_sources  publishing  news  print_journalism  auctions  collectors 
june 2012 by jerryking
ASAP Interview_Don Valentine
Forbes ASAP | by Rich Karlgaard.

The great thing about evaluating markets first is that usually there are very poor data sources. So you have to create these scraps of information and most people don't do that--they prefer to make a judgement on some other basis, whether the product is patentable, whether the technology is differentiated, whether the people are world class. To us, you can scrape and push and dig and find out tidbits of information which when you put them together, you get a conviction about when something will happen. You talk to people in distribution, you talk to all the sources of information that you can, and you make a judgment....Are you solving a problem? Are there great installations of incompatibility that need to be linked? Who cares about this product? and do they care with a time frame that's important to us--eight years, the length of a fund?...To me, the most important person in management beyond the president has always been the sales manager. I want to meet and get comfortable with the guy who is going to create the backlog. This is different that marketing. Marketing runs the company, as it should, but it is the sales department that creates the orders and creates the cash-flow. So the sales manager is always a very important character to me, much more important that a log of other people. They must be relentless, driven and have enormous energy. Winning is terribly important to them, Where we've had great successes with companies, we've had great sales managers. Where we've had mediocre success with companies, we've had mediocre sakes managers. Nothing happens if you don't get a backlog.
Sequoia  Don_Valentine  Rich_Karlgaard  due_diligence  sleuthing  information_sources  sales  tacit_data  scuttlebutt  incompatibilities  primary_field_research 
june 2012 by jerryking
Data as a Renewable Commodity and Profit Center — Jason Kolb dot Com
June 6, 2011 | Jason Kolb.com | By Jason Kolb.

One of the reasons I love data is because there’s so much potential for mining real value from it, especially when you combine it with other, new data sources. In fact it acts a lot like a traditional commodity such as copper or wool in that someone produces it, and then someone else buys the raw material and makes something new from it. It’s unique from traditional commodities, however, in that it doesn’t get used up at all when it’s used to create something new–this makes it particularly interesting from an economic point of view.

In addition, anyone can make it, it doesn’t get used up, and the industry of using data to create new and valuable things is still so young and ripe for profit-making. In fact I think it’s one of the areas that America needs to focus on if its economy is to recover because for the most part it’s still virgin territory and it’s going to create a lot of economic value. What I really don’t want to see is foreign companies being the first to capitalize on the data as that would suck most of the value out of our economy, just what we don’t need right now.
data  commercialization  renewable  commodities  metadata  Factual  Infochimps  data_scientists  information_sources 
june 2012 by jerryking
Take a page from spy manuals: Grade your informers
September 9, 2006 | Globe & Mail | AVNER MANDELMAN. If
you invest like a sleuth you need informers -- the better they are, the
better your chance of making money. But how to separate good information
sources from the mediocre and the bad? After all, info and advice are
everywhere -- brokers' analysts, newspaper columnists, industry experts,
and best of all, corporate personnel and customers who know the real
score. Lots of sources, not much time to digest them all....view
informers as intelligence sources and grade their performance, as
intelligence services grade theirs. Just how do professional
intelligence services manage it? Here we must go into the realm of
hearsay. The best intelligence services, it is said, rank their
informers by two categories. First is the informer's reliability, based
on his or her record. Second is the informer's own confidence in this
particular info. The first "letter grade" is given by the case officer
-- the agent-runner; the second by the agent.
Avner_Mandelman  security_&_intelligence  information  informants  grading  spycraft  performance  rankings  reliability  confidence_levels  information_sources  assessments_&_evaluations  intelligence_analysts 
may 2011 by jerryking
Nasmyth Started Daily Market Report - WSJ.com
SEPTEMBER 27, 2008 | Wall Street Journal |By GUY CHAZAN.
Obit for Jan Nasmyth (1918 - 2008), who created Argus Media, (the
world's first daily oil market report) which began as a newsletter
published in the dining room of his Hampstead home and grew into one of
the world's most trusted business intelligence services.
obituaries  tributes  oil_industry  newsletters  niches  information_sources  market_intelligence 
december 2010 by jerryking
How does U.S. democracy survive without its newspapers?
Tuesday, Jun. 16, 2009 | The Globe & Mail | by John Ibbotson.

The Globe has also still been spared the savage budget cuts that eviscerated so many once-great American newspapers as the recession accelerated chronic declines in readership and advertising revenue.

But in the U.S., it's time to ask: How will the seemingly inevitable extinction of many metropolitan daily newspapers influence politics and political culture there?

The answer isn't entirely grim. Some newspapers are bound to survive in print form, at least for a few more years, as competition thins and enlightened corporate owners recognize that laying off half their reporters is the surest way to destroy the only thing of value a newspaper has: the reputation behind its name.....there is another, very disturbing, trend. A recent survey by The Pew Center for the People and the Press reported that "a new Washington media have evolved, but they are far from the more egalitarian or citizen-based media that advocates of the digital age might imagine. Instead, this new Washington media cohort is one substantially aimed at elites, often organized by industry, by corporate client, or by niche political interest."

These publications may have an audience of a few thousand, or even a few hundred, willing to pay thousands of dollars in subscription fees for specialized coverage. "These are publications with names like ClimateWire, Energy Trader, Traffic World, Government Executive and Food and Chemical News," the Pew study says. They are proliferating, and hoovering up reporters and editors who have lost their jobs in mainstream media. "Today, it is the niche, not the mainstream, media that [provide]blanket coverage of Congress and other important arms of the federal government," the Pew report concludes.

The collapse of print journalism - network newscasts are also in terrible shape - threatens to bifurcate the public square. Those who know the power of information will pay to obtain it, and use that knowledge to influence the agenda.

Those who lack the means or interest will depend on blogs, social networking and whatever information they choose to look for online. How does democracy survive on that?
brands  budget_cuts  commonwealth  decline  democracy  engaged_citizenry  influence  information_sources  Inside_the_Beltway  John_Ibbitson  local_journalism  magazines  mass_media  market_intelligence  newsletters  newspapers  niches  political_culture  politics  print_journalism  reputation  sophisticated  Washington_D.C. 
june 2009 by jerryking
reportonbusiness.com: Disaster relief
November 28, 2008 at 2:46 PM EST G&M article by DOUG STEINER
Rules for post-disaster investing.
Step 1: Cope and gather new data. Smart people in hurricane-prone areas build defences into their homes and businesses, then watch the weather. Do you do that with your investments?.... Don't invest aimlessly assuming that you'll be able to avoid a crash, then buy at the bottom. I don't know when the next market plunge will happen or how deep it will be, but I'm fortifying my investment castle against disaster by spending less and saving more....Look for new sources of information.
Step 2: Analyze the data. I'm not smart, but I looked at historic data and made a connection-what happens in the U.S. usually happens here, too. We worried enough to sell our house in 2007, but I wasn't disaster-hardened enough to rent, so we bought a smaller house.
Step 3: Consider what country you're in
Step 4: Identify the worst thing that could happen right now. You think Canada's economy is grim? How about the city of Detroit, where the median price of a house or condo dropped to $9,250 (U.S.) in September from $21,250 (U.S.) just a year earlier? Could things get that bad here? Almost certainly not.
Step 5: Act when things stop getting worse (there's an element of "next play" here). Don't wait till they start getting better. If you wait for positive signs, it will be too late. I like hotpads.com, the U.S. real estate search engine with information on foreclosures from RealtyTrac. It lets you swoop across a map of the country like a vulture, looking for distressed properties. I'm not looking in Detroit, but I am interested in Longboat Key, Florida. I'm also combining the online information on foreclosures with updates from a local real estate agent who's desperate for buyers, and who forwards me every property listed in the area.
Step 6: Find out who's ahead of the curve and learn from them. The most interesting financial analysis these days isn't in stock and bond markets-it's in the markets for things like natural disaster insurance. A 2007 study, led by Laurens Bouwer from the Institute of Environmental Studies at Vrije University in Amsterdam (remember that Dutch people living below sea level are keenly interested in floods), includes estimates of the costs of future weather-related disasters. By 2015, potential financial losses from disasters in the world's 10 largest cities will likely climb by up to 88%. Three recommendations: 1) Get more and better data. 2) When adapting to surroundings, take precautions to reduce disaster risk. 3) Find new financial instruments or innovations to spread risks among investors.
Step 7: Invest where the potential returns are highest relative to the risks. Even though stock markets have plunged due to panic, they may not be the most profitable place to put your money in the future. The worst mispricing of assets will almost certainly be in the real estate market, so that's where you may find some of the best bargains. Detroit might turn into a mecca for artists, where $9,000 buys you a house in a neighbourhood that may rebound and thrive. You just have to have the courage to look at the disaster data and act.
ahead_of_the_curve  crisis  dark_side  de-risking  defensive_tactics  disasters  Doug_Steiner  extreme_weather_events  financial_instruments  financial_innovation  first_movers  information_sources  instrumentation_monitoring  investing  lessons_learned  measurements  mispricing  next_play  precaution  risk-sharing  rules_of_the_game  smart_people  thinking_tragically  tips  worst-case 
february 2009 by jerryking
The Future of Reading: In Web Age, Library Job Gets Update
Published: February 15, 2009 NYT article By MOTOKO RICH.
Profiles Stephanie Rosalia, a librarian at Public School 225 in
Brooklyn, who teaches Internet, research and life skills (e.g. thinking
critically about information sources).
critical_thinking  rethinking  life_skills  libraries  books  reading  provenance  information_sources 
february 2009 by jerryking

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