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Data Roundup: What it Takes To Be a Data Scientist

Big data and data science are the new buzzwords, and they are becoming more popular when looking for a career. According to an article in Tech Republic, though, the job is not for everyone. Data scientists should be passionate about data in all walks of life, and should love to figure out ways to solve problems using and analyzing data. The article points out, “For good data scientists, it’s not just a job, it’s a state of mind.”

Disaster visualization from Accenture Technology Labs
Disaster visualization from Accenture Technology Labs

Cool Data Visualization

Accenture Technology Labs released an interactive data visualization that focuses on the frequency and location of FEMA (Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency)-designated disasters. Using information from, the visualization allows you to look at disasters in specific counties and change the timeframe and the type of disasters that have occurred.

Along with providing potentially hours of opportunity for investigation, this visualization shows just one of the ways corporations use data in their work.

Home depot logo
Home depot logo

Data Breach

It’s a new week, so there must be a new data breach. While the big news was on the celebrity photo hacking scandal, Home Depot experienced a data breach that is more likely to directly affect you.

This breach is potentially at the level of the Target data breach from late in 2013, affecting millions of people. Target suffered greatly immediately following their breach; Home Depot could see the same impacts.

While data breaches continue to be in the news, Apple is attempting to help prevent breaches. With the newly introduced Apple Pay, Apple hopes that it can end the point-of-sale data breaches that have affected Target and Home Depot. Apple stores credit card information using a unique Device Account Number. When payment happens, that account number along with a transaction-specific number are used, so the actual credit and debit card numbers are never shared with the retailer.

The ESPN Films/FiveThirtyEight docuseries will premiere on October 22
The ESPN Films/FiveThirtyEight docuseries will premiere on October 22

Data in Sports

ESPN Films and FiveThirtyEight, the data-centered website created by Nate Silver, announced a short documentary series that would focus on how data is used across a number of different parts of life, including chess matches, baseball scoring, but also meteorology and the Census. Accompanying data visualizations will be available online via the FiveThirtyEight website. The series will launch on October 22 on FiveThirtyEight.

Data Resources

The City of Chicago is excellent about providing city data. You can find anything from employee salary information, to neighborhoods with the most graffiti, to snow removal records, and more. Sometimes applicable data can be hard to find, but the site, provides a wealth of interesting resources. All the data can be easily downloaded into several different formats, but you are also able to do some simple analyzing and visualizing from within the website.

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!

Sam Edelstein

Sam is an alumnus of the iSchool's Information Management and Data Science programs, and works as the City of Syracuse's first Chief Data Officer. Sam loves to talk all things Orange, tech, and travel. Connect with him on Twitter @samedelstein.

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