The hottest stories about data science, analytics and the industry

Data scientists are wasting their time

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We all know that time is money, especially when you’re paying a data scientist. But the New York Times reports that… 

“Data scientistsaccording to interviews and expert estimates, spend 50 percent to 80 percent of their time mired in [the] mundane labor of collecting and preparing unruly digital data, before it can be explored for useful nuggets.”

 Steve Lohr, NYT


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Roadless used data from hundreds of travel blogs to create an awesome site that helps you find travel destinations that aren’t in your average guide book. It’s a fun way to find beautiful destinations that are off the beaten path.

How nonprofits are using data to improve lives

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When we read about cool uses of data or it’s “big impact” we often hear about the corporate, business-based use cases. How a large conglomerate was able to increase their profit margins, or how a small business was able to generate hundreds of leads. And while these are certainly good use cases for data, they […]

8 fantastic examples of data storytelling

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Data provides us with much more of a backstory that we usually realize. Maybe it’s because it takes an amazingly trained mind to harvest that data, or to create something visually compelling out of it—but we can do so much more with data than simply draw conclusions. When we see great data storytelling, we’re seeing […]

big data

The best podcasts for people who love all things data

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In the quest to absorb all we can the data world, reading blog after blog can get a little tiring. As we’ve explored the world of data podcasts, we’ve come across several big ones that we’d love to share here (with a major h/t to @mattfogel on Medium, who has showcased many of the same […]

Love in lyrics

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Love in Lyrics Inspired by Valentines Day, this small team decided to use lyrics data to see how music has changed over the decades when it comes to love. Did you know the 90s sang about love most? Well, you do now!

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…

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.

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. 

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.

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

Gender differences amongst sex workers online

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Two weeks ago the UK’s Office of National Statistics (ONS) announced that the UK economy had grown by 0.9% in the second quarter of 2014. This growth was partly due to the decision to include prostitution in gross domestic product (GDP) for the first time ever.

The ONS estimate that Britain’s 60,879 prostitutes contribute £5.314bn (0.4% GDP) to the UK economy.  But, this figure completely ignores male prostitution.  In a previous post we used data from AdultWork, a popular sex worker website, to determine that 42% of UK prostitutes are male, which (all other factors being equal) represents an additional £3.542bn of UK GDP!  

Our initial analysis was very simple, but nonetheless raised a lot of interest from you all, along with some great questions about the gender differences between male and female sex workers.  We decided to look a little deeper into the gender differences amongst sex workers online and this is what we found.  

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.

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.

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.

Data mining vs data collection

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Data is the hot new thing, and as such it has spawned a bunch of new terms and jargon, which can be pretty hard to keep track of. To help you sound like a data guru instead of a data noob, I’ll be taking you through some of the terms people tend to get a bit confused about.

One of the most common phrases I hear being used incorrectly is Data Mining. There is a very important distinction between Data Mining and Data Collection. I know they sound like they’d be the same thing, but they’re actually very different.

Big data in the media

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New month, new debate, new panel talking some serious #DataProblems. The big difference? This was our first Big Data Debate (BDD) as sole organisers of the event.

Cue the panic and excitement!

We first got involved in the BDD to meet people equally as interested in harnessing the power of data on the web as we all are at! From day one we loved co-organising this event. Creating a relaxed environment for everyone to gather and discuss common issues and, most importantly, indulge in beer and pizza proved a pretty great way to spend the evening.

One dataset can start something big

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Here at import•io we often talk of the opportunities a web of data holds for instigating social and environmental change. It is our conviction that today’s data can prevent problems tomorrow and that in democratising access to data, our technology can allow people to hold their governments accountable in a way that hasn’t been previously possible.

A Different Perspective

It is easy for all of us to look at datasets without context, seeing it as no more than well-structured words and numbers. Following a dataset through from its creation to the point where its impact can be measured requires both the right technology, and a new way of seeing the possibilities of data on the web. Spotting something on a web page and turning it into a table of rows and columns to do something different is what our recent work with Oxfam has shown is possible: that one dataset can start something big.  

Dram-atic insights

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You may or may not know this about me, but I consider myself to be something of a whisky connoisseur. I even have my own personal whisky blog where I put up my own reviews and thoughts on whisky. Anyway, the other day I was looking at a few other whisky review sites and it got me thinking about if I could use data to determine once and for all what the best dram is – in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m also a bit of a data nerd.

So I did what I usually do in these situations and took to the web to collect some data. Using a series of Crawlers and Connectors I built using import•io, I collected data from the top 7 whisky review sites that had 1/100 scales for ranking whisky.

The Roadless traveled

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There is so much that can be done by augmenting data that is found on the web today. Presenting existing data in a new format, enriched with content from multiple other sources, can itself become a business.

If you’re using import•io, you don’t need a huge amount of coding knowledge to get data from the web and feed it into your app or website. And, since using our tool is free, it’s a pretty cost effective way to aggregate and normalise a huge amount of data very quickly!