There’s a lot of excitement about big data, so I wanted to talk to someone who was diving in and trying to learn for themselves. Coming from a background in quality assurance for complex offer products, Cordny Nederkoorn is deeply interested in data, particularly visualization.
One of the surprises that he has encountered is how hard it is to visualize data online. It’s important to remember that using a library like ggplot in R is very different than posting to the web. This is particularly true when you’re trying to have dynamically updated graphs, instead of just posting an image into WordPress.
Another unexpected difficulty that he ran into as he began to explore data is that so frequently there are missing values. His experiencing software testing surely helped him remember that you needs to deal with all sorts of weirdly formatted inputs (here are some wacky examples!)
Like many, his motivation for getting into data is it the application for improving business processes, and an excitement for always learning new things. With a field moving so fast, you can’t just think of yourself as learning “Big data” and being done. You need to think of yourself as constantly learning the latest technologies, tips, tricks, and best practices.
It sounds like he’s having fun, and you can follow along with the ventures on Twitter