Editor’s Note: Data Roundup is a regular feature on Information Space.
Jobs working with data are quickly becoming available across virtually every industry. Case in point, Hampton Creek, which aims to redesign the food you eat, has hired a team that wants to catalog the behavior of every plant protein on earth.
Why? Because food, particularly animal protein, is costly, complicated, and takes up a lot of space and environmental resources.
Understanding how plant proteins can be reconstructed to mimic animal proteins could help to solve these problems. Backed by funding from Bill Gates, among others, this approach has the potential to revolutionize the food we eat. Wired has the story.
Jonathan Stray writes for the Columbia Journalism School’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism that data journalists have the responsibility of telling the story of data.
This is easier said than done. Data journalists must know statistics, and the difference between correlation and causation. They also must choose their data wisely. In Stray’s article, he writes about the several different ways unemployment data is collected, and how the “official” numbers don’t always tell the full story. It is up to the journalist to dig deeper and tell the story that goes beyond sets of numbers and charts.
Speaking of data journalism, Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight published a detailed explanation of how their Senate Forecast Model works. This is really worth a read, given that these models have almost perfectly projected both Senate and presidential elections since 2008.
The vast amounts of data that are generated each minute help us make decisions and see the world in different ways than ever before.
But the fact that all of this information is stored digitally means it may have a limited shelf life. Digital Amnesia, a documentary directed by Dutch filmmaker Bregtje van der Haak, examines this phenomenon.
Online dating sites happen to collect a lot of data and potentially shine light on what makes human attraction. Christian Rudder, the president of OkCupid has written a book, Dataclysm: Who We Are When We Think No One’s Looking, that takes a look at what people say the find attractive in a person versus what they actually find attractive. The full story is available from The New York Times.
By the way, once you’ve found that new relationship thanks to a site like OkCupid, Buzzfeed will produce the perfect video for you to share with your new loved one, thanks to its increased reliance on data to determine what type of content is produced.
Data in Sports
For teams that are always searching for a competitive edge, microchips that measure a player’s acceleration, deceleration, changes of direction, and jumping may be the next frontier for sports. Catapult, which produces the microchips, says it serves one-third of NBA teams and half of the NFL. The Dallas Morning News writes about the impacts.
And if you haven’t already read Tim Kowalsky’s article on InfoSpace about using data from tennis matches to make music, read now!
Jimmy John’s, the sandwich retailers, reported that it experienced a data breach at 216 stores that may have included customer credit card data.
The Jimmy John’s on Marshall Street near the Syracuse University campus was reportedly not affected, but a store in Cicero was affected. Find all of the stores that experienced the breach here.
What kind of data news have you heard about this week? Let us know what you think of these reports – or others you’ve discovered – here in the comments!