Pre-conference reads in advance of Information On Demand
Delaney Turner 270003RQ8K Delaney.Turner@ca.ibm.com | | Tags:  ibmsoftware iod11 #ibmsoftware information-insights #iod11
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We're into the home stretch before Information On Demand (you have registered, right?), so I've shared a few recent blog posts that will help frame the discussions taking place in the general sessions and executive keynotes. Feel free to bookmark, read and add to your own social media reading list. Also, feel free to comment on or disagree with these posts right here, as each is bound to raise a hackle or two.
1. GOOD Magazine: The Data Issue: GOOD calls itself an "integrated media platform for people who want to live well and do good" and "a company and community for the people, businesses, and NGOs moving the world forward." Its latest issue looks at areas of our lives that aren't typically associated with (or driven by) data and finds some surprising insights. Yes, data is everywhere and facts can be comforting, but when it comes to our own lives, it's the questions we ask ourselves that lead to true wisdom. As illustrator Andrew Kuo writes: When we search the numbers, we find reflections of ourselves, glimmers of the world we live in and the lives we lead. We may learn immense amounts from this data, but make no mistake: Our search is what gives it meaning. In The Information Arms Race, William Wheeler explores the increasingly effective use of microtargeting in political campaigns, as well as the repercussions for democratic debate. The issue is also chock full of of cheeky infographics and gets meta on data with a chart entitled "Which kinds of people like which charts?"
2. Numerati Baseball = Rope-a-dope, by Stephen Baker: Is a winning strategy boring to watch? Perhaps, but I suppose entertaining the fans is a secondary concern when you're buried beneath "fifty feet of crap," as frustrated Oakland As' GM Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) laments in the movie trailer below. Under Beane's 11-year watch, the A's have compiled the third-best record in the American League and fifth best in all of baseball. Still, Baker (author of The Numerati, chronicler of the Watson story and a baseball fan) explains how Moneyball makes games longer and tests fan patience: I love baseball, and I defend it stoutly against all those who complain that it's boring. But anyone who can sit through a Yankees-Red Sox game without a fast-forward button deserves some kind of medal ... For someone who is not passionate about the Yankees or the Red Sox, it was torturous. The game dragged on for 4 hours and 21 minutes. What's your take on taking a lot more walks? Moneyball pioneer Billy Beane and Moneyball author Michael Lewis will share share their take on wining an unfair game when they share the stage as our keynote speakers.
3. Desert Island Datasets: Over on The Guardian's Datablog, Charles Arthur plays with the "Desert Island Album" concept by asking, "Which set of open data would you like to get from the UK government so as to have the maximum impact on the open data movement?" Arthur's goal is twofold: first, to protect and advance the open data movement overall, and second, to focus on those datasets that can make the biggest improvements in public policy: I recently met some people inside government who are trying to push the open data idea, of getting anonymised, publicly-collected data out there for developers to be able to build applications which will have both financial and societal benefits. It is taken seriously at the top levels of government; they aren't just paying it lip service. The problem though is that there's only so much time available to anyone to push the agenda through.
Bonus feature: IOD Housekeeping Details
A few details to keep in mind as you prep your week and pack your bags: