Obvious Data

What do you think this is a picture of?

Unfortunately I can’t find an enlarged version.  It’s an illustration of character connections in the Marvel Universe.  Iron Man is responsible for the top blue bit, and the rogue bit to the right is the Ultimate Marvel universe, a rebooted, continuity-free version launched in 2000 with Ultimate Spider-Man serving as a heavy connection to the normal universe.

This is my favourite example of data analytics.

There was some research by Stanford University recently published showing that sunny weather makes people happier.

Sounds like a staggeringly obvious thing to say, right? I agree.  They found that people were happier when the weather outside is an ideal blend of warmth, cloud cover and humidity, and vice versa when the weather was bad or too hot.

Perhaps more interesting, to me at least, than the actual result of the study was how it was performed.  The researchers data mined 3.5 billion Facebook and Twitter posts made between 2009 and 2016.  That makes it the busiest study of its kind by some considerable distance.

That’s 3.5 billion data points just for the social posts, let alone the weather.  That’s ridiculous.  That should be impressive enough, but then think about how the analysis was done.  There will have to have been an AI that understands sentiment to analyse the posts.

It’s a stupidly easy conclusion that was found, but the effort to get to it is staggering.  I’m sure we’ve all felt that way sometimes! Well, maybe not superheroes.

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