Here are a few of the data stories that caught my attention this week.
Twitter’s historical archives, via Datasift
Datasift, one of the two companies that has official access to the Twitter firehose (the other being Gnip) announced its new Historics service this week, giving customers access to up to two years’ worth of historical Tweets. (By comparison, Gnip offers 30 days of Twitter data, and other developers and users have access to roughly a week’s worth of Tweets.)
GigaOm’s Barb Darrow responded to those who might be skeptical about the relevance of this sort of historic Twitter data in a service that emphasizes real-time. Darrow noted that DataSift CEO Rob Bailey said companies planning new products, promotions or price changes would do well to study the impact of their past actions before proceeding and that Twitter is the perfect venue for that.
Another indication of the desirability of this new Twitter data: the waiting list for Historics already includes a number of Fortune 500 companies. The service will get its official launch in April.
Building a school of data
Although there are plenty of ways to receive formal training in math, statistics and engineering, there aren’t a lot of options when it comes to an education specifically in data science.
“It will be years before data specialist degree paths become broadly available and accepted, and even then, time-intensive degree courses may not be the right option for journalists, activists, or computer programmers who just need to add data skills to their existing expertise. What is needed are flexible, on-demand, shorter learning options for people who are actively working in areas that benefit from data skills, particularly those who may have already left formal education programmes.”
The organizations are seeking volunteers to help develop the project, whether that’s in the form of educational materials, learning challenges, mentorship, or a potential student body.
Strata in California
The Strata Conference wraps up today in Santa Clara, Calif. If you missed Strata this year and weren’t able to catch the livestream of the conference, look for excerpts and videos posted here on Radar and through the O’Reilly YouTube channel in the coming weeks.
Got data news?
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