Data Science Education Workshop in June

Berkeley is hosting an interesting workshop on Data Science Education in June on the 27th – 30th.  It’s free (both in-person and virtually).  If you are interested, there’s a registration form on the page at that link.

I know what you are thinking …. OH NO 😮 that’s the same four days as the DATA+AI Summit mentioned in a prior post!!!

Both events have an online component, so if you are attending virtually, you could bounce back and forth.

This workshop is targeted at faculty and not students and has an in-person component (with very limited attendance) the first two days, and a virtual component the second two days.  The first two days are focused on schools who might be interested in starting a data science curriculum at the undergrad level similar to their Data 8 class for all undergrads. I saw a presentation on this a few years back (pre-pandemic), and it’s pretty amazing in that it’s a Jupyter notebook-based course targeted at providing a basic data science course to all of their undergrad students (like a GE course).  They had customized and hosted their own JupyterHub and had an army of teaching assistants and customized workbooks, and all really scaled up to handle a huge volume of students.  It seemed amazing, but looked like it required deep pockets.  If you are looking to implement something similar, the first 2 days are for you.

The second two days sound like a number of interesting panels that are related to teaching data science.  If you want to get an idea as to whether this may be of interest to you, you can check out some for the recordings from last year’s workshop.

Tableau’s Data Conference (DATA22) – May 17-18 (free to attend virtually)

Tableau’s annual data conference is being held in Vegas this year, and although pricey to attend in person ($1,900), you can attend virtually for free.

There used to be a saying “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”, but at least for 2 days in May it gets live-streamed around the world for free!

The registration page also points out that if you register, you will get a link to the recorded sessions after the conference.  Register here:

If you have participated in the Data Science For All Seminar Telling Your Data Story Using Tableau (or plan to on April 13th – register here for free), the Tableau Conference is an excellent way to build on what you have learned and build your skills for free!

DATA+AI Summit – June 27-30 (Free online registration)

The DATA+AI Summit hosted by Databricks is in San Francisco on June 27-30.  Although the on-site conference is not student budget priced, you can register to attend online for free.  That will allow you to see the keynote addresses and breakout sessions. The online portion is from the 28th through noon on the 30th (the 27th is half-day hands-on training sessions).

A few of the keynotes that could be particularly interesting include:

  • Andrew Ng – Co-founder of Coursera, previously taught at Stanford (popular AI course at Stanford and one of the most popular Coursera courses)
  • Peter Norvig – Stanford and Google
  • Hilary Mason – Founder of Fast Forward Labs, which was acquired by Cloudera. She’s a frequent speaker, and previously had a newsletter that companies paid 25K to subscribe to (yes, you read that correctly – and you get to hear her for free)

To Register, or to read more about the conference, go to this link.

U.S. Census Bureau Launches Data Visualization Standards website

The U.S. Census Bureau recently launched a Data Visualization Standards (DVS) website (still in Beta), that has the goal of providing guidelines for creating visualizations.  The site is still in it’s infancy, but there is a guide to different chart types that you might find helpful.

Although it’s still in beta, it would be worth bookmarking and seeing what it grows into.  On the main  page, it says that their code library is coming soon, so that could be cool.  If we hear more or see new features, we’ll let you know.

They have a link you can click if you wan to provide feedback or suggestions, so you can add your suggestions too.

Selecting the right chart type when telling your story

One of the resources from Tableau that we use in the seminar on telling your data story is this whitepaper titled Visual Analysis Best Practices.  The first section shows different chart types and what’s really nice is it matches them to the story you are trying to tell.  One issue it points out is that although we often see pie charts, they are generally not a good choice.

Another chart that gets used (or misused) a lot is a bar chart.  Although they are excellent for comparing counts, too often they are used to show averages, and they too often hide the interesting story about the distribution behind the average.  An excellent read on this topic is this blog post by Martin Fowler titled Don’t Compare Averages.  Although Martin Fowler is best know more for his work in software development, and particularly agile development, this article provides an excellent example of why not to use a bar chart for visualizing averages.

Since the article talks about showing the distribution of the data, two examples in Tableau’s whitepaper are histograms and box and whisker plots, and Storytelling with Data had two blog posts that are helpful in understanding how these are used: Differences Between Histograms and Bar Charts  and What is a Boxplot?.