In case you follow them, our apologies for not posting weekly highlights last Friday! Our blog editor was indisposed. But we're back this week with double the highlights to make up for it!
- Bryce Maddock, CEO of TaskUs examines the human side of data analysis for Huffington Post—and does so quite persuasively, emphasizing the importance of data scientists, social scientists, and users in generating and making sense of data. It's easy to get swept up in talk of automation and supercomputing, and Maddock reminds us, "Humans are not an important part of utilizing new data, they are single most important part of the process."
- Meanwhile, for a different take on the human side of data, check out the Sketchnotes Sacha Chua posted from the 2012 Quantified Self conference at Stanford, September 15-16: Opening plenary day 1, opening plenary day 2, day 1 and 2 ignite talks, and Kevin Kelly's closing plenary.
- And one more human take on data-driven innovation, this one from Klint Finley at Wired: "Why Everyone (Not Just Geeks) Should Care About Big Data." Finley's piece is a nice preview of Rick Smolan's Human Face of Big Data project, which we included in our roundup two weeks ago.
- InformationWeek editor-at-large Charles Babcock critiques a New York Times article that raises doubts about the eco-friendliness of data centers, thus casting a negative shadow on cloud computing in general. Babcocks unpacks and refutes many of the article's claims, like the Power Utility Efficiency ratios of modern data centers versus used for cloud computing versus those built long ago for enterprise purposes. Babcock's main criticism of the NYT piece is that it conflates these two kinds of data centers, which have wildly different composition and functions.
- Finally, Derrick Harris at GigaOM writes about Disney's scrappy "big data" platform development, a great example of a Fortune 500 company harnessing data-driven innovation more like a startup.