Visualized (part 1)

beautiful or important?

On November 8 & 9 I attended the Visualized conference at the Times Center in NY. I initially thought it would be complementary to the Data Gotham conference I went to in September. Though there was an overlap in audience and goals, the overall philosophy and execution were a lesson in left-brain/right-brain opposites. The gorgeous venue, fancy food, lax time schedule and attention to presentation detail were more of what one would expect from the “artist” type, while the corresponding elements at DataGotham were more what you’d expect from the “number cruncher” type.

“Would you rather your work be beautiful or important?” is a polarizing question. Some some lean toward beauty and others toward gravity, but as usual I find myself in the middle of the gray area of “both and neither.” Continue reading

Visiting the mother ship

Northwestern Sept 2012Though I’ve long socialized and worked online, I am for the first time in my life enrolled in a school program that is completely online. This has been more difficult for me than I imagined it would be when I first enrolled in the Predictive Analytics program at Northwestern. After all, in the time I was at Blackbaud I worked easily with clients and co-workers hundreds of miles away, many of whom I never met face to face.

I jumped at the chance to attend the 2-day September open house that Northwestern hosted for students in four online MS programs: Predictive Analytics, Medical Informatics, Information Systems, and Public Policy & Administration. Having the chance to meet other students face to face, hear from faculty, and see presentations from people working in the field was much appreciated.

The highlight for me was a talk by Bill Franks, author of Taming the Big Data Tidal Wave, who Continue reading