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It’s an absolute myth that you can send an algorithm over raw data and have insights pop up. … the predicament of data wrangling [is] big data’s “iceberg” issue, meaning attention is focused on the result that is seen rather than all the unseen toil beneath.

“For Big-Data Scientists, ‘Janitor Work’ Is Key Hurdle to Insights” via NYTimes

A great article that covers the inherent issues of dealing with unstructured data. “Data wrangling” is as important as the actual magic delivered by “data science.”

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Goldman likes to call RelSci “the Death Star of business development.” … The model is apparently so enticing that Goldman won hundreds of clients and, the company says, nearly eight figures’ worth of business in 2013, which was RelSci’s first year since coming out of stealth mode.

Relationship Science: Harnessing Big Data for Power Networking” via Inc Magazine.

I read about this fascinating company on the train this morning. RelSci is a hyper-exclusive social network that is trying to build a digital networking of relationships between the top 1% of people (power-wise) in the world. 

Check out what their engineers have been doing for the last few years:

“This not only requires constantly scraping the Web for updates but also building rich profiles from tens of thousands of databases, ranging from SEC filings to paparazzi photos to tax records. These pieces have in turn been joined to link everyone through past and present employers, board memberships, investments, donations, politics, and even siblings, children, and spouses.”

Incredible stuff. 

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Google Plus may not be much of a competitor to Facebook as a social network, but it is central to Google’s future — a lens that allows the company to peer more broadly into people’s digital life, and to gather an ever-richer trove of the personal information that advertisers covet. Some analysts even say that Google understands more about people’s social activity than Facebook does.

The Plus in Google Plus? It’s Mostly for Google” via The New York Times.

I am mostly pleased (although sometimes caught off guard) whenever Google’s services help me out in a way I didn’t expect. My favorite scenario is a simple one: when I map an address on my Mac at work, and then 15 minutes after leaving the office I pull out Google Maps on my phone when I (inevitably) get lost getting to my destination. One tap in the search field and it pre-populates with the last search destination from my desktop, saving me a step. Again, nothing revolutionary but very helpful. 

As a technologist and someone who wants to understand and make the most use of anything I sign up for, Google+ frustrates me because I don’t feel like I use it at all. This article is a good reminder that although many of us feel that way, G+ is becoming the key to Google’s service fabric and will likely have a big impact on the way you use their services (if it hasn’t already).

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By analyzing the behavior patterns of its digital and mobile users in 3 million locations worldwide—along with the unique climate data in each locale—the Weather Company has become an advertising powerhouse, letting shampoo brands, for example, target users in a humid climate with a new antifrizz product.

THE WORLD’S TOP 10 MOST INNOVATIVE COMPANIES IN BIG DATA” via FastCompany

I traded off the Weather Company’s mobile app a while back and sort-of forgot about them. It’s incredible to see how big they’ve become and what they’re doing with the piles of mobile data they’re getting from their millions of users.

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Having recently switched fully to Android and the Google stack (G-Apps, Gmail, etc.), I’m impressed by helpfulness of some of the recommendations and suggestions coming out of Google Now. Judging by the amount of “prep” work I do for my day (which is, admittedly, a function of how much I enjoy organizing things), I think the PDA space is going to revolutionize individual productivity.

Google Wants To Build The Ultimate Personal Assistant | TechCrunch