Sunday, 21 January 2007

A sideways look at data.

So I finished Freakonomics in just over a day. This is pretty impressive for me since , most of the time I fall asleep before I've finished the second page of any book I try to read. Anyhow i was surprised how much I enjoyed the book, and how applicable it was to what we do as engineers every day; which is to sift through lots of data looking for the clue that will give the answer to the problem at hand. Often we're looking at the same data that other engineers have seen and try to interpret the data in a different way, or indeed look at data which has previously been overlooked. In the case of Freakonimics the data is not code, errors or performance statistics, but nor is it about 'monetary' data. It's Sumo wrestlers win/lose ratios against same opponents (looking for corruption in Sumo) and other stuff too like 'why do drug dealers still live with their mums?'. Entertaining, and well worth a read.

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