Insights: Data Manipulation

Stringing together a database

This blog is about an early and mysterious database system that seems to have been used for OSINT and other purposes by the Incas. Not only that but it’s a 3D system using both base ten and, some believe, binary coding.

Creepy Data

There’s an excellent article here in the Guardian by Ben Goldacre on our modern digital exhaust. Well worth a read.  You want to know what creepy is? Well it’s this.

Ace Data Tagging

The business of “tagging”, cataloging or indexing databases has a fascinating history and goes back hundreds of years. I’ve blogged before about some early database systems such as the one used by Linnaeus in the 1760s but there are some other early cataloguing systems that are pretty interesting (for such a dry subject).

Data Generated Insight

There’s a quote going around on LinkedIn at the moment, by the noted American management consultant, W. Edwards Deming: “Without data you’re just another person with an opinion” There’s another more recent variant on the theme, by Jim Barksdale, former CEO of Netscape: “If we have data, let’s look at the data. If all we…

Presenting Data – Fighting the Russians

IMSL is currently spending a lot of effort developing the mechanisms by which we present analysis of data to our clients.   I think everyone agrees that the same-old-same-old Powerpoint is too crude, too boring and too limited in its presentation tools.  Over the next few weeks we are going to show you some of…

Smarter than you think

New technological tools are changing the way that fundamental intelligence analysis is done – it’s more than an efficiency improvement – it’s radical.

The Death of the RFI (and why that’s a good thing)

My last post on the problems inherent with delivering written, linear intelligence reports has got me thinking.  As I discussed there, the speed of modern analytical tools allows huge data crunching to be done almost instantaneously. This really causes a problem for those whose broader operational systems are wedded to an intelligence cycle that operates at…

Kindle to Evernote Geekery for Analysts

This tip might only appeal to the subset of analysts who use a Kindle or Kindle app to make notes on books they are reading and who also use Evernote. I do both with the passion of an evangelist, and believe the two systems are fabulous tools for the analyst and blogger. And I’ve just worked out how to merge the two and derive great synergy, so I’m chuffed with myself. Apologies if you aren’t interested or you knew this years ago.