The history of the data economy

data economy illustrations

Data is now the fuel that drives business – identifying potential markets, shaping new products and targeting consumers. But this wasn't always the case. Our modern "data economy" has developed over the course of 200 years, and we explore that history in a special four-part series produced in partnership with Impact, the magazine of the Market Research Society.

Continue Reading

A story about a tiny bot

tiny robot

The prediction of the stock market is without question an interesting task. A basic motivation for it is financial gain. To accomplish this task there are a number of methods available, including time series forecasting, computer techniques, and technical and fundamental analysis.1 My focus is on a branch that analyses charts. I monitor the time series of hundreds of stocks, looking for known patterns in share price changes in order to make better investment decisions. I would like to tell you how I do that.

Continue Reading

Facebook data harvesting: what you need to know

Facebook likes

Facebook makes most of its money from advertising, and – as the Cambridge Analytica scandal continues to haunt Mark Zuckerberg’s company – users are demanding to know how their data is being wrangled and harvested. But while concern about Facebook user privacy has spiked, it’s been clear since Facebook’s inception that its business is based on widespread surveillance of people, whose data is the product.

Continue Reading

Teaching machines to understand – and summarize – text

Swamped in paper

We humans are swamped with text. It’s not just news and other timely information: Regular people are drowning in legal documents. The problem is so bad we mostly ignore it. Every time a person uses a store’s loyalty rewards card or connects to an online service, his or her activities are governed by the equivalent of hundreds of pages of legalese. Most people pay no attention to these massive documents, often labeled “terms of service,” “user agreement” or “privacy policy.”

Continue Reading

Are robots taking our jobs?

If you put water on the stove and heat it up, it will at first just get hotter and hotter. You may then conclude that heating water results only in hotter water. But at some point everything changes – the water starts to boil, turning from hot liquid into steam. Physicists call this a “phase transition.”