The hottest stories about data science, analytics and the industry

What do Startups, Video Game Developers and Canadian Public Servants have in common?

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Answer: they’re all the subject of projects that use data collected via!

At import, we love data – like, a lot. But we know that data is only as fun or as interesting as what you choose to do with it. That’s why we believe in celebrating the cool uses of data that people, just like you, are doing everyday. Here are the top three most interesting data stories we’ve been sent this week…


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87Seconds The guys over at 87seconds have been using data to create a live inspiration feed with all their favorite videos from YouTube and Vimeo. Now they have a fun and interactive way to entice new customers.

Who’s winning the social media battle in the UK election and does it matter?

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I’ve recently moved to a new apartment. When you’re moving, there are lots of things to sort out. Internet being one of them. After spending more than 5 hours on the phone over the course of 2 weeks with an internet provider, and still not having internet, I decided to take my frustrations public. I sent them an angry tweet! And lo-and-behold within 2 hours I had the internet up and running. This really showed me the power of social media and it got me thinking – is it going to be a deciding factor in this years election.

With election fever well and truly sweeping the UK, I thought it would be fun to take a look at who’s winning the battle on social media. To do this, I used to build APIs to the Facebook and Twitter pages to each party to gather the amount of likes, followers and tweets each party has. Then I used Tableau to give you a visual representation of the winners and losers on social media.

14 fantastic examples of complex data visualized

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By 2015, the global annual rate of data production is expected to reach 5.6 zettabytes, double the rate of growth in 2012, according to IDC. That’s a lot of information to digest, especially in black-and-white typeface or an unattractive, 50-page PDF. Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text which makes it […]

Most popular sources on growth hackers

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So, I was playing around with our new Bulk Extract feature after my webinar on it earlier this week, and I came up with this super cool use case that I just had to share. The great thing about Bulk is that it helps you get 1,000s of rows of data without breaking a sweat. 

Like many people, I always enjoy taking a break to check out Growth Hackers to see what the latest trending news is. Which got me thinking: Is there one source that gets posted more than any other? 


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ThatGift When finding a present for your partner gets tough, do what this guy did and build your own affiliate site! ThatGift lets you search all the best unique gift sites at one time.


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Plug.Dj A good developer can be hard to find. That’s why the founder of used data to find all the available candidates in his area to land the perfect coder for the job.

Here’s the recipe for the perfect Oscar winning movie

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Oscar fever is sweeping the world! Will it be a Birdman sweep? Which depiction of a great historical British character (Stephen Hawking or Alan Turing) will take home Best Actor? Can Meryl Streep pull off yet another win?

Well, we may not be able to answer those questions just yet, BUT using the power of historical data, I have devised the the perfect formula to create a film that’s a shoe-in for an Oscar win! And today, I’m sharing that analysis with you lucky people. Use it wisely!

Finding the best UK castles with Tableau

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Yesterday’s webinar was all about castles. I was joined by Sophie Sparkes, data analyst at Tableau, who helped me to demonstrate how to extract data using and visualize it using Tableau Public. This allows us to create beautiful looking visualizations with data.

Marketing espionage with Ron Gat

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Last Monday’s User Meetup included a brilliant talk by Ron Gat, Co-founder of Launchalyzer, about how he uses data for Marketing Espionage. Just like the stellar name implies, marketing espionage is about finding what successful marketers in your area are doing, taking the best ideas and incorporating them into your own strategy. 

Stand your ground: Using to analyze race and gender bias in Florida assault cases

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Is there statistical evidence of race and gender bias in the enforcement of Stand Your Ground (SYG) laws in the United States?

SYG laws – in operation across most US states – state that a citizen may use any level of force, including lethal, if he or she reasonably perceive an immediate threat of bodily harm or death. Florida passed the first such law in 2005.

Justin Murphy, Assistant Professor (Lecturer) at Southampton University, recently shared a paper where he used and data from the Tampa Bay Times to argue that: “’Stand your ground’ laws reinforce white supremacy in the streets and patriarchy in the home”. You can read Justin’s blog post (which we’ve posted a summary of below) here and his paper in full here.

A data analysis of music samples

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This is a guest post by I’m Emanuele Conti, a freelance graphic designer and co-founder of Tuxtax.

Creating a Music Infographic

For this self-initiated project, I wanted to combine my passions for music and data by creating an infographic for music. 

I used as the source for my analysis. This site has well-structured pages, with a lot of informations about sampled songs, so it was the right choice for this project. was extremely helpful in collecting the data I needed.

How to use in academic research

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This is a guest post by Dr Neal Haddaway (@nealhaddaway), Project Manager at MISTRA EviEM.

What is grey literature?

Typically when policy-makers and practitioners need to understand how something works, for example a painkiller or a particular method of conserving an endangered species, they would commission a piece of research to investigate and provide an answer. This research can be very time-consuming and expensive, and would likely just be one case study. I work in an area of research called secondary synthesis. Essentially this means getting the most out of research we already have, rather than commissioning new research. By looking at what has already been done and published we can combine lots of smaller studies into one large experiment, using data that exists in research articles.

A conference strategy built with Silk and

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Silk’s CEO Salar al Khafaji was invited to attend the DLD confab this year. It’s a great conference with entrepreneurs, scientists, and politician. Salar likes to organize his conference forays in advance and connect with people he hopes to meet for coffee or a chat. This isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. Often, the directories that conferences provider are static and hard to filter. This can make viewing speakers and figuring out who to contact cumbersome.

Using import and infogram to analyze jobs data

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Guest post by Saurav, Co-Founder of


While doing a Job search, we came across many aspirants who have less idea about the prospects and trends about the openings in their areas of interest, so we at thought of displaying it in an Infographic using and extracting data using Magic API as primary tool.

Give Thanks and Give Back

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Before you sit down to your lovely roast turkey this evening surrounded by family and friends, it’s always good at this time of year to pause for a moment and consider those less fortunate than yourselves. We like to do a lot of fun data sets here at, but this Thanksgiving we thought we’d do something a little more serious and bring attention to an issue that continues to stump the nation. 

We extracted data from the Homeless Shelter Directory and the National Conference of State Legislatures to look at the number of people who are without homes vs. the amount of food banks available to them. We then compared these numbers on a state by state basis to see which states are doing the most (and least) to help the homeless. 

Who posts the most interesting links on Growth Hackers? (hint: it’s not Sean Ellis!)

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Because the evenings are closing in and its getting dark earlier, some I find myself looking for indoor activities to keep me busy. Because I belong to the Data Addicts Anonymous club (support group here) I thought I would try to set a record for some kind of data insight… and this is what I came up with:

  1. Extract the first 20 pages of data from Growth Hackers 
  2. Slap it into a pivot table
  3. Remove the outliers
  4. Play with the numbers
  5. Make a Chart/Viz

The spooky data project

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Halloween is rapidly approaching, and panic is setting in. What are you going to go as this year? Will it be the scary zombie, the topical GoT character, the fun filled group costume or something that shows off a little leg? This weeks webinar is for those of you who haven’t quite decided what to be for Halloween yet. I’ve got a very special (return) guest with me, the wonderful and talented Jewel Loree from Tableau, who is going to help me build a Halloween costume dashboard. As you can see, Jewel and I already have our costumes sorted; but we know how hard it can be to decide. Which is why we’ve turned to the trusty data to help you figure out whether to go scary or sexy this year!

The future of wearables

Written by: was once again super excited to host another Big Data Debate. We managed to secure a bigger venue this time (Central Foundation Boys School), which meant we had space for even more data lovers. And good thing too, because this event was packed! Which may have had a little something to do with that night’s subject: wearables.

How much does prostitution contribute to the UK economy?

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How many prostitutes are there in the UK?  According to the Office of National Statistics the answer is 60,879.  In figures due to be released next week this number is being used to add £5.314bn to the official size of the UK economy.  But the ONS only attempted to measure the number of female prostitutes.  If male prostitutes are included in the count then the contribution that prostitution makes to the UK economy rises to £8.856bn.  

Become a data scientist in less than an hour

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We had a very special guest presenter for this last webinar; Louis Dorard, author of the popular book Bootstrapping Machine Learning, was here to show us how everyone can do data science with the help of a few tools. To prove this he showed a simple three step way to analyse the relationship between price and all the other attributes of the house (square footage, number of bathrooms, etc). In practical terms, doing this should allow us to predict how much a house might sell for based on it’s characteristics. Pretty useful if you’re looking to sell your place soon!

Real estate data infographic

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At import we love a good data Visualisation, but over the last few weeks has been working with our friends at NeoMAM studios to explore the role of web data in custom/bespoke content infographics. 

Data Viz and infographics are two different things; A common use of infographics to appeal to a wider audience and to drive traffic to the creator, and often to drive a message. In our mind a data viz presents Data in an easy to understand way where as and infographic might better present an idea or concept.

So we decided to look at some data, and see if we could derive an idea. We wanted to see if we could make some entertaining and interesting visual infographic style content based on web data… and here is the result.

Analyzing indie music data from Pitchfork

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My name is Johnny Stoddard, and I am a management consultant, an avid indie music lover, and a data nerd, among other things… I wrote this post to tell you about some exciting data analysis I did of Pitchfork webpages with the help of

For those who don’t know, Pitchfork is a music review and news website focused on independent music. I am addicted to this site. I visit it multiple times per day reading its daily-posted album reviews, song reviews and music news in hopes of discovering good new music—this ritual pays off almost daily. I also spend 51 weeks of the year waiting in Christmas-eve-like anticipation for the week Pitchfork releases it year-end lists of favorite albums, songs, music videos and news posts.

Make data beautiful with and

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For this week’s webinar we joined data forces with the lovely Kristaps from Once again, we’ll be returning to one of my favorite data subjects: football! In particular we’ll be looking at the valuations of all the teams.

What the richest American family could buy for the world

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As many as 185 dynasties in the US amassed a fortune of $1 billion or more. Collectively, they are worth $1.2 trillion and Forbes has just released the first comprehensive ranking of those richest clans of America. The Kennedys, the Rockefellers, the Waltons are only a few names that will ring a bell and bring to mind private airports, yachts and seaside villas.

The Walton, Koch and Mars families top the table, with $152 billion, $89 billion and $60 billion respectively. The first 24 clans pride themselves on wealth exceeding $10 billion.

The World Cup of data

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Today’s webinar is all about my favorite thing – Football (or “Soccer” for our American viewers).

With the World Cup in full swing, I thought it would be fun to show you how Chris created this ultimate football stats web app which updates live.

The boom and the bust

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A new devastating housing crash is in the making, the International Monetary Fund warned on Wednesday. Its global house price index has shown that in many countries property prices are well above their historical average. The IMF called on governments and central banks to take quick action on booms, which are a threat to global economic stability.

The world’s most expensive housing market is Canada, where housing is 33% above the long-run historical average relative to incomes and 87% relative to rents. An average Canadian house is now worth $409,708, up 7.6% in the past year.

Can we ever get enough of music festivals?

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One thing is certain: if you are planning to go to a festival this summer, Queens of the Stone Age is the one band you will not miss. They are set to appear in 15 major music events across Europe, always as headliners. Boring, right?

This is what 14% of gig-goers think ahead of the new festival season. A third will not attend one this year, and the main reason is that too many events are staging the same acts. Meanwhile, they are getting too expensive.

Using data to generate sales leads

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A little while ago we put out a post showing people how they could use data from the web to generate great sales leads for their business; and lo and behold here it is in practice! Don’t take our word for it, hear what LeadChat themselves had to say:

LeadChat is a service which helps companies to get and maintain customers by providing them with 24/7 lead generators via live chat. In order to grow our business we needed to build a list of Adword Spenders (businesses who were advertising through Google’s paid search), who we could contact about possibly using LeadChat’s services. That information could then be used to form an outbound outreach program to speak to these highly targeted businesses for LeadChat so we could perform lead generation and create brand awareness.

Analysing Designer News with

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Personal background

Hi, I’m Artiom Dashinsky, a young UI/UX Designer and entrepreneur from sunny Tel Aviv who likes to define himself as maker. I’d like to share with you the latest thing I’ve made using

Designer News

Every field has it’s go-to source for all the new and hot information you should know from around the industry. Tech-people have Hacker News created by Y-Combinator. But for designers, that site has to be Designer News.