Blog Posts

Data Science Training Programs

We take a look at the various data science training programs available on the market. Sean breaks the various programs out into some useful categories.

December 2017 Newsletter

2017 Year in Review

What's a Data Scientist?

Identifying the competencies required to be a data scientist.

List of Lists

List of publicly available free datasets.

November Newsletter

November Newsletter November was a very momentous month for Data & Sons. We had five major accomplishments this month and a lot of good news to share. (1) First, we completed an entire redesign of www.dataandsons.com. The new Data & Sons is designed with a more elegant interface to make the presentation of information on the site more structured and intuitive. Our number one goal is connecting data buyers and sellers and we think the ordering of information now makes that a much more fluid process. Easier to upload datasets, easier to find datasets, good for everyone. I want to recognize and thank Aaron Darr and his team in Perth, Australia for all the excellent work on making this an outstanding data marketplace. (2) Our next major accomplishment was being accepted into the Tampa Bay Wave’s Accelerator program. Data & Sons was one of 13 companies selected from over 100 applicants this year. We have now moved offices to the Wave and have enjoyed a wealth of great information, meaningful connections, and some very good business leads. For anyone considering the Accelerator program, we give our highest endorsement. Landing in the Wave also led to some media coverage for Data & Sons. We were mentioned along with the other Accelerator companies in Tampa Bay Business Journal, Tampa Bay Times, the Business Observer, tech.com, and niblets.com. We also want to thank Wave Founder and President Linda Olson and Accelerator Program Director Rich Heruska for all the work they put into the Wave and the Accelerator. A thanks and shout out to the Accelerator selection committee too! (3) Our third major accomplishment was shattering all of our November growth goals. Our initial goal was 150 users and 100 datasets uploaded on the site. I’m ecstatic to report we now have over 200 users and 174 datasets uploaded! We look forward to continued user and content growth to finish out 2017 strong. After completing the site redesign, we then began our first marketing campaign after the Thanksgiving break. Beginning on 11/27, we launched Google AdWords campaigns to increase site traffic and brand recognition as well directing buyers to specific datasets for sale. We also added social media campaigns on Facebook and had a lot of site traffic from a Reddit user posting our complete listing of US Craft Breweries on the sub-Reddit Datasets. (4) Combined with the Wave related media mentions, our site traffic was up 443% for the last week of November. Not a bad way to shake off the turkey!  (5) Finally, we got our first sales. The increased site traffic led to two purchases of the US Craft Beer dataset. The first was from our good friend Tom Williams, Founder of eLease and St Pete Brewing that saw the dataset on Facebook. Being revenue positive is a major accomplishment for any startup and we are extremely thankful to have crossed over into the world of money making ventures. What’s next in December Big things ahead for Data & Sons before the end of 2017. First, we anticipate finalizing terms with our first third party data provider. Data & Sons would provide a branded, custom gateway to their excellent data. This would significantly increase our data content while providing our partner with a new marketing and distribution channel. We think this will be a win for all involved in the Data & Sons marketplace. Second, we will be adding a data request feature to our marketplace. The feature people asked for the most was the ability for buyers to request datasets at a specified price. You spoke, we listened. We will be adding this excellent idea to the market in December. This will be a great way for data sellers to understand what kind of demand exists and for buyers to readily get the kinds of data they need. Third, we will be launching our affiliate partner management system. The system will create a unique weblink the partners can use in their marketing. When a partner’s customer visits Data & Sons through the unique link and creates a user account, the customer is now affiliated with that partner. Anytime that customer sells data on Data & Sons, the partner receives a commission. This will allow us to reward individuals and businesses that drive content to the Data & Sons marketplace. It also allows a lot of people and businesses to get rewarded for creating new revenue streams for their customers. In keeping with out core values, we think our new affiliate system will be a major win-win-win-win for everyone on Data & Sons. Finally, growth goals for year end: 2 X users and content. Time to get to work!   Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

Tampa Bay Wave

We are very honored and proud to have joined the Tampa Bay Wave Accelerator. Data & Sons was selected with 12 other excellent start ups from over 100 applications. Joining the Wave enables us to tap into the Wave's excellent resources and the opportunity to sit at the nexus of Tampa Bay's technology ecosystem. This is a big step towards connecting data buyers and sellers from across the world! Special thanks to Wave President Linda Olson, Entrepreneur in Residence Rich Heruska, and the Accelerator Selection Committee. 

Why a Data Market?

Why a Data Market? We are all very aware for the promise of big data. Companies, organizations, governments, and individuals can all make smarter decisions faster. The big data revolution promises to make us all smarter and more productive. However, 90% of data still remains inaccessible. Why? I think the answer to this question largely has to do with incentives. So called big data is distributed across millions of entities and individuals. However, very few of these players get an economic gain from their data. More savvy companies are able to leverage their data to increase sales and become more efficient. Researchers at Harvard Business School estimated that data driven companies were 5% more productive and 6% more profitable on average than their competitors1. Still few players have developed highly profitable business models based largely on utilizing their data. For Alphabet’s Google and Facebook, big data isn’t just a means for improving business, it is the business. It makes complete sense for these players to be very focused on organizing and utilizing their data, however all of these incentivized players still own less than 10% of data.  The other 90% of data owned out there is owned by players that have much less economic incentive to utilize their data. Because there is not much incentive for these players to do anything with their data, much it remains unstructured and often completely ignored. The Trouble with Acquiring Data Today Google, Facebook, and other companies’ data acquisition business model has been about collecting as much data as possible by essentially bartering for it (e.g. you give Google your every desire, they give you great search results). This business model is effective for obtaining consumer data, however it breaks down when both sides lack something to barter (or can easily find a bartering partner). Data that is highly unique and/or valuable can often be difficult to barter. Thus, a big reason 90% of data is still unstructured and inaccessible is that it cannot be easily bartered. So why don't the well funded, led, and highly motivated players go out and try to acquire this data? Mainly because its really, really difficult. First, the data is distributed across millions of mostly private entities and individuals. How do you identify much less contact all of these players? Next, how do you identify what data you want since a lot of this data will have limited value? Because much of this data has limited value to its current owners, it is going to be largely unstructured and in multiple file formats. If the current owners don't know what they have, how would outside parties be able to determine it? Finally, if you figure out how to efficiently tackle theses problems, how do you actually transact the data? Determining a fair price would require negotiating, which requires time, which is costly. Oh, and how do you handle privacy concerns across countries and U.S. states? The reason over 90% of data remains underutilized (if not completely ignored) is due to some simple math: the costs of acquiring this data are greater than the value of the data. The Need for a Data Market There’s two basic ways we can change this calculus. The first is to increase the value of data and the second is to reduce the search and transaction costs associated with acquiring data. The simplest way to increase data value while reducing data acquisition costs is creating a data market. A data market: Increases the value of data by providing a efficient way to market and sell data. A single data market draws more data buyers means more data demand. Decreases search costs by providing buyers a single, uniform presentation of data available for sale. Transaction costs are reduced by providing effective governance of data transactions. Across history, the exchange of any commodity progresses from bartered exchange to market exchange as demand for the commodity increases. The Economist recently called data “the most valuable resource.” We think it’s high time for a data market. Data & Sons We created Data & Sons to provide the economic incentive necessary to free up, organize, and exchange a great deal of the world’s data. Freeing up all of this data will increase the speed of new knowledge development and create new revenue streams for millions. The Data & Sons’ data set exchange solves most of the problems surrounding data exchange: A single market place for data sellers and buyers to meet and exchange data of all kinds. Buyer demand creates incentive for potential data sellers to organize and sell their data. Our easy to use data set upload process gets all data in a uniform format (csv) making it easy to exchange and aggregate. We review all data set before posting on Data & Sons to ensure the data complies with our Personal Privacy Policy limiting exchange of personal information. We safe guard all transactions on Data & Sons limiting the sale of fraudulent data sets. We hope you agree and choose Data & Sons. A smooth, secure, and just plain smart way to exchange data. Cheers, Sean Lux, Ph.D. CEO & Co-Founder Data & Sons         1Big Data: The Management Revolution Andrew McAfee & Erik Brynjolfsson Harvard Business Review (Oct, 2012)