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July 23, 2014 15 minute read

Five Public Datasets, and Lots of Ideas for Exploring Them

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Benn Stancil

Chief Analyst

The world is full of interesting datasets. But even though data is increasingly accessible, it's sometimes hard think up an interesting problem to analyze. Maybe there are just too many possible questions, maybe it's a pain to set up analytical tools, or maybe it's just too easy to get distracted by animal GIFs.

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General

July 8, 2014 3 minute read

A New Way to Learn SQL—and Five Reasons to Start Now

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Benn Stancil

Chief Analyst

Several years ago, I made the jump from being an Washington, D.C. policy analyst to a data analyst at a San Francisco tech company. Prior to making the transition, I didn't see value in learning SQL. I analyzed data day in and day out, but found little reason to leave Excel.

Learning SQL changed my perspective on the how to analyze data. Here are five of the biggest reasons why, which I've learned apply to all sorts of people who ask questions of data:

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General

June 17, 2014 2 minute read

Welcome to Mode

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Derek Steer

CEO

The world is producing fascinating data at an unprecedented pace, on subjects ranging from air quality in Chicago, to the economics of healthcare, to tattoo trends in the NBA. Hidden in this data is a wealth of insights. We're not uncovering them fast enough.

We started Mode last August to make data analysis more open and collaborative. We believe that, when empowered to work together, analysts can significantly speed up how quickly we learn from data. Today, we open Mode to public beta.

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General

January 30, 2014 7 minute read

Are Experienced Founders Better?

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Benn Stancil

Chief Analyst

What makes a good startup founder? It’s a question asked from all angles, on topics ranging from education to technical literacy to personality types. But one of the most interesting debates centers around founder experience.

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General

January 16, 2014 3 minute read

Where Football Players Call Home

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Benn Stancil

Chief Analyst

An update to this post and a post on college basektball are now available.

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General

January 3, 2014 5 minute read

Predictions for Data Analysis in 2014

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Derek Steer

CEO

If one thing is universally true about New Year’s predictions, it’s that they are extrapolations of existing trends. Most published predictions about Big Data in 2014 have to do with enterprise adoption of various technologies because, among other reasons, those trends are more visible. The predictions in this post are a little different. They’re based on experience in the Data Analysis startup community (as opposed to the larger Big Data market), which is a little more hidden, and where some particularly exciting trends are emerging.

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