Thoughts on the data ecosystem

The Flex.io Blog

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? Why data journalism? Flex.io is all about making data projects more efficient. Most of our previous experience has been working hand-in-hand with...

If you haven’t already heard of Chi Hack Night, you probably should. Originally known as Open Gov Hack Night, this weekly gathering of open data aficionados, data scientists and civic technology mavens is a fixture in the Chicago data ecosystem. The community shares a common mission “to build, share and learn about tools to create, support, and serve the public good.” When it started in 2012, the...

As everyone knows by now, data is the new black. Conventional wisdom says businesses will either be data-driven or be at a serious competitive disadvantage. But, as everyone also knows by now, it takes significant effort to get raw data refined before you can extract its sweet analytic elixirs. Flex.io is a productivity tool that falls squarely into this world of data preparation. However, data preparation is a pretty...

One of the most important promises of open data from government agencies is the potential for greater transparency. As Jeni Tennison, technical director of the Open Data Institute, puts it: Publishing open data is one way of being more transparent about what you're doing. More transparency can help with being more accountable for your decisions [and] help engender trust. Trust and transparency are central to the Consumer Financial...

In my previous post, I explored commonalities found in any given "data project." Here we'll run the first of the five gauntlets: data access. A few moons ago, we visited a customer to talk about some analytics he wanted to explore. Big company. Big ideas. Big IT infrastructure. The idea sounded great and we were happy to help 'em out. "All we need is the XYZ file,"...