The Data Buzz series brings you a regular roundup of what’s trending in data science.
The beauty of a career in data science is that you can follow your passion to study any subject in the world and dig deep to discover something new about it. This burgeoning field is limited only by your imagination. Ongoing learning happens everywhere.
To that end, check out some of these incredible TED Talks on the subject of data analysis. There’s something here for everyone, whether you’re dipping your toe in the data science waters or are an expert itching for someone to tell you something you don’t know.
1. The Birth of a Word
MIT researcher Deb Roy gave this TED Talk in 2011 to a rapt audience. Deb and his research partner/wife rigged their home with cameras to capture every moment of their newborn son’s life, and the result was an astonishing wealth of data that allowed them to track their son’s language development. Science gets personal in this fascinating talk. Recommended for the data-curious and data scientists seeking a shot of inspiration.
2. The Beauty of Data Visualization
In his 2010 Ted Talk, infographic designer David McCandless bridges the gap between data-heads and regular Joes. McCandless highlights several beautiful graphics that show how a great visual can bring your work to life and make it meaningful for people who don’t crunch numbers all day.Recommended for data scientists who need to communicate with the general public or coworkers who are not scientists.
3. Meet the Inventor of the Electronic Spreadsheet
If you were asked to name one person who made the modern field of data science possible, you could make a very strong case for Dan Bricklin, inventor of VisiCalc. Bricklin explains his process in this 2016 TEDx Talk. No data scientist will want to miss such a seminal moment in the history of their field. Recommended for computer programmers and students majoring in data science.
4. Battling Bad Science
Epidemiologist Ben Goldacre warns about the perils of poor analysis in his 2011 Ted Talk, and his video is worth a revisit in the era of fake news. His plain-spoken and passionate talk illustrates how research results can be distorted and sensationalized when people don’t – or won’t – understand the numbers. Recommended for medical professionals, data analysts and journalists.
5. Why Smart Statistics Are the Key to Fighting Crime
New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram worked to bring data analysis to the criminal justice system, and her results have been astonishing. Her 2013 Ted Talk details the numbers behind the system and how data helped refocus her work. Recommended for public servants, statisticians and career data scientists looking for new lines of work.2