Nate Williams

About Nate Williams

I’m Nate Williams, co-founder of Flex.io and a few other startups.

I’m a data professional, city dweller and amateur oneironaut. I love new ventures, good design, landscape-changing innovation, cultural history and backpacking in the hinterlands.

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Announcing the Javascript SDK for Flex.io

November 15, 2017 by Nate Williams

We’re pleased and excited to announce the first public release of flexio-sdk-js, the JavaScript SDK for Flex.io. It’s available as an NPM package, and works on Node.js as well as in the browser.

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Lessons from the Data Ecosystem: Part 2

January 4, 2017 by Nate Williams

In my previous post, I covered some recurring themes from our conversations with different user communities in the data ecosystem, which highlight common facets of data projects.

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What We've Learned from Exploring the Data Ecosystem: Part 1

December 7, 2016 by Nate Williams

As we’ve progressed through our private beta, one of the most fruitful activities has been talking with folks in different user communities about their data projects. This has had a profound impact on our product vision and roadmap (including a few major pivots).

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We're Reinventing the Query Builder (Well, Kinda)

November 16, 2016 by Nate Williams

Ah, remember the query builder?

In the brief history of the data ecosystem, the query builder already seems like a relic of a bygone era. Compared to predictive analytics, machine learning, and all the innovation going on around Big Data, the query builder is hardly a shiny new thing.

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Talking With Data Journalists: 5 Takeaways from Our Summer Research Project

September 15, 2016 by Nate Williams

Over the summer, we embarked on a research project to learn more about data journalism and how data journalists work with data.

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Data Journalism Survey Results: Crunching the Numbers

September 12, 2016 by Nate Williams

During our summer research project, we’ve had the pleasure of interviewing over 15 data journalists about their work so far. And while we’ve been hearing fascinating stories and learning a lot about how they work with data, we also wanted to put some numbers to these conversations. Enter our Data Journalism Survey.

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Looking for Data on Data Journalism

August 15, 2016 by Nate Williams

After ten fantastic interviews with data journalists about their work, one point is already clear – data literacy is an increasingly essential skill.

Matt Keifer of the Chicago Reporter puts it succinctly: “Data is getting to be ubiquitous. … I think that ‘data journalism’ is an anachronism waiting to happen. Just call it journalism.”

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Digging into Data Journalism: Our Summer Research Project

July 13, 2016 by Nate Williams

This summer, we’ve started a new research project. The goal? To find out more about data journalism, and what, if anything, might make journalism-related data projects easier.

Our core question: are there any common data bottlenecks that data journalists encounter that Flex.io can help eliminate or reduce?

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The Year of Putting Data to Work

December 22, 2014 by Nate Williams

It’s been a banner year for the data ecosystem.

In terms of sheer data volume… well, frankly, it’s been off the charts:

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5 Steps to Faster Data Projects

November 20, 2014 by Nate Williams

Data projects come in many shapes and sizes. From big data predictive analytics to small data spreadsheet projects, from building new open data applications to reconciling a couple of ERP tables in the accounting department.

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Code for America: City of Chicago Edition

October 21, 2014 by Nate Williams

I had a chance to attend an excellent meetup of the Chicago City Data User Group last week, which focused on Chicago’s contribution to the Code for America Summit:

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Machine Vision: The Next Wave of Big Data

October 8, 2014 by Nate Williams

Recently, we’ve been seeing a lot of news about the promise of emerging applications for machine vision.

Much of it’s at the trial stage at this point, particularly with Google Glass and related projects. For instance, the police in Dubai are testing facial recognition on the streets, ER doctors are exploring uses for quick access to critical medical records and Walgreens is experimenting with augmented reality in stores.

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Using Data for Social Good

October 3, 2014 by Nate Williams

There’s a burst of really interesting things happening in data science these days. One of the more exciting ones is the growing movement to utilize open data to make government more responsive, accountable and effective.

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Apple's "Dangerous Game" and Mobile BI

September 29, 2014 by Nate Williams

It seems that implementing stronger security standards is not without risk. As the New York Times recently noted, Apple’s move to add full disk encryption to iOS 8 and remove any built-in backdoors has not won kudos from the N.S.A. and F.B.I.:

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Hello (Brave New) World

September 24, 2014 by Nate Williams

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity…” – Dickens

It’s an exciting time to be a part of the data ecosystem. Mix together a surge of new data sources along with cheap storage and the ability crunch data quickly – and you have a limitless recipe for the mind-boggling cocktail of new data-related tools and solutions arriving on the landscape.

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