The data newsletter by @puntofisso.
Hello, regular readers and welcome new ones :) This is Quantum of Sollazzo, the newsletter about all things data. I am Giuseppe Sollazzo, or @puntofisso. I’ve been sending this newsletter since 2012 to be a summary of all the articles with or about data that captured my attention over the previous week. The newsletter is and will always (well, for as long as I can keep going!) be free, but you’re welcome to become a friend via the links below.
This tweet of mine generated a few interesting replies. Fundamentally, there is no/little data to address this question extensively, mostly because exactly what “company headquarters” are is an ill-defined concept. Effectively, the easiest option would be a company’s registered office, but this often not a real office. There’s a question of size, too: is the HQ of a company the office where most of its employees work? Where the CEO works? Where most of the production is carried out? These questions will apply in different ways to different companies (and sectors).
But I also realise that my original question should be rephrased to something like “what other companies have a large office in teh outskirts that feels like a village?”. Because that’s what feels “odd” about McDonald’s having its HQ – and, in this case, registered office – in N2: the fact that East Finchley is fundamentally one of those old fashioned, suburbian villages with a high street that isn’t just a dorm-town, it’s a commuting residential area but with its own life that is somewhat dependant upon belonging to the London ecosystem.
On this topic, read this interesting thread by Adam Gripton, which looks at the distance between company offices and the nearest public transport access point. Matt Ballantine pointed out that there is a dataset that can give some limited insight into companies in the FTSE 250. He’s also done this map for the FTSE100..
Meanwhile, David Kane made this map showing that “20/39 companies with more than 20,000 staff are based outside London”, using the Gender Pay Gap data as his starting point.
Massimo Conte has sent me this interesting conference: “Information+ Conference 2021: Interdisciplinary practices in information design & visualization. Online, 27th September – 1st October 2021”. It’s got quite a line-up!
My “Six Questions” series is taking a few weeks’ break after 14 issues while I prepare the next series. Which gives me the opportunity of asking: who would you like to be featured in the next series of interviews? I’m just a few interviews away from completing this, so please do shout.
In case you’re in the mood for some GCP and don’t have an account… “Whenever someone signs up for a Google Cloud free trial using your referral link, they’ll get US $350 worth of credits — that’s US $50 more than the standard free trial offer. When any of your referrals become a paying customer, you will earn US $100 free credits which will be deposited automatically into your account. There’s no cap on how many people you refer or how many rewards you receive. GCP Referral Code.“
‘till next week,
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“Of the women who lost jobs in 2020, almost 90 percent exited the labor force completely, compared with around 70 percent of men.“
Great insight from this article on the Washington Post.
Lisa Charlotte Muth of Datawrapper looks again at what’s happening in the German electoral polls, for the upcoming federal election. This is seeing a surprise recovery of the SPD versus their CDU-CSU rivals, but the data analysis also shows how “different time spans can give readers different insights”.
The ever resourceful Jonty Wareing has created an auto-updating venue dataset for Open House London:
Detects ticketed venues!
CSV’s for spreadsheet fans!
Full data as JSON!
Has ticket availability!
“Israel and Hamas have fought four wars over the last 13 years”, and the Associated Press looks at the conflict through the lens of data and some highly visual analysis.
“27 GW of unnecessary planned coal power plants threaten India’s RE goals”. An analysis and data visualization by Ember, an independent climate and energy think tank focused on accelerating the global electricity transition from coal to clean power, argues that “27 GW of proposed coal power plants are not needed to meet India’s growing electricity demand.“
A summary Twitter thread is also available.
(h/t Durand D’Souza)
ICYMI, Robin Lovelace, a transport academic and R guru, developed the stplanr package, which “provides functions for solving common problems in transport planning and modelling, such as how to best get from point A to point B”. It was co-founded by the UK Department of Transport, and some of my former team mates were involved in this.
As Robin himself highlights, this package has now been used for an entirely different purpose: calculating the distance to tuberculosis clinics in Africa.
htmlq is “like jq, but for HTML. Uses CSS selectors to extract bits of content from HTML files.“
If you’re not familiar with jq, it’s a command-line tool to parse JSON files on the fly and extract useful content (e.g. for data exploration, etc…); htmlq does exactly the same for HTML files.
“An explanation of the Bayesian approach to linear modeling”. Just in case you need it ;-)
Where do you stand on the frequentist vs Bayesian debate? The author says: “in problems where we have limited data or have some prior knowledge that we want to use in our model, the Bayesian Linear Regression approach can both incorporate prior information and show our uncertainty.“
“This article looks at applying basic music theory to the guitar using Python in order to derive chords and scales for alternate tunings.“
It’s quite in-depth, but you can skip the blabber if you look at the Github Gist version.
Not really data, but useful reference – a website created “to provide comprehensive information about historical film color processes invented since the end of the 19th century including specific still photography color technologies that were their conceptual predecessors.“
(via Web Curious, which is sort of like this newsletter but BIGGER AND BOLDER)
Leonardo Carella, a Politics researcher, makes an interesting observation around the distribution of decimals in COVID-19 data, spotting an outlier.
Well, this is interesting: “The study was commissioned by Massive Attack in 2019, with the band saying that they had budgeted for carbon offsetting in their touring accounts for years, but no longer felt that that was enough.“
The full report is here.
Alex Hern, writing in the Guardian: “The shift to this new brand of governance stems from a marriage between the introduction of nudge theory in policymaking and an online advertising infrastructure that provides unforeseen opportunities to run behavioural adjustment campaigns.“
Brilliant work as ever by Erin Davies, following on from her previous piece on the world’s average colours. As usual, she provides a rough “how to” which uses satellite imagery, so what are you waiting for…
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