Infographic With Some Data On Pinterest

My favorite part of the infographic is the demographics portion. Notice the gender, age, income, and education of the users.


New Data Science Journal

Springer has just release a new data science journal named EPJ Data Science. The journal is open access which means that articles are freely available online. That catch is that people whom submit articles must pay a fee for publication. Sometimes the fee will be covered by the author’s university or company. Anyhow, if you are interested in data science research, this journal is probably worth following.

Are you interested in academic journals?
Does this excite you?

Data Science And Doctor Visits

Electronic Doctor Visit

I recently received a message from one of the local hospitals. It stated that I can now have an electronic visit with my doctor. Here is how I understand it works. I fill out a brief questionnaire explaining some of my symptoms and submit it online. Within one day, my doctor will review my submission and respond. Obviously, this electronic visit should only be used for minor medical issues such as a common cold or a prescription update.


Being the type of person I am, I initially questioned why the hospital was really doing this. Sure the hospital will be able to help more patients and make more money, but is there something more?

The Data

Think of the data that is collected in this process: a patient entered description of the symptoms and the doctors diagnosis. It appears the hospital is building a training set of data with description of symptoms and a diagnosis. It is a very short step to apply a machine learning algorithm or two and totally automate the process. Maybe this is already done and my doctor just signs off on the result.

Here is how envision the system working:

  1. Use some natural language processing to identify the symptoms
  2. Match the symptoms to some known illness via machine learning
  3. Report the diagnosis and treatment
  4. Prescribe medicine if necessary

What Do You Think?

How do you feel about this process? I am sure there are some companies working on just this problem. Who are those companies?

Note: Yes, I know this data is currently collected by hospitals, but a human (nurse or doctor) interprets what another human is saying before entering the data. The electronic visit just made me realize how easy it would be to automate a doctor’s job for common problems.

New Data Science eBook – Free and Open-Source

Jeffrey M. Stanton, member of Syracuse University’s iSchool, just released an open-source ebook about data science. Obviously this book is intended to be used in the curriculum for the new Data Science Certificate Program. In particular, it will be used for two courses on analytics and visualization.

The book is available in the iTunes store or as a PDF. See the book website to get your copy.

Take and Learn Statistics For Free

Last week, Udacity started a course on Introduction to Statistics, Making Decisions Based on Data. This is a beginners level course on statistics, so it should be accessible to everyone. The course consists of seven units, which are intended to last about one week each. Udacity does not enforce any time limits though. Homework problems are also a part of the course, so you will get a chance to practice what you learn.

Udacity is a learning environment similar to Coursera. I would say the presentation is more focused on the web and the experience is a bit more enjoyable. Courses at both sites are taught by professors from top universities and other leading experts in the field. Both sites offer lots of knowledge for free, and I say try them both. Then let you own personal preference decide which you like better.

What do you think about Udacity? Have you tried it?