UCOVI's Best of the Rest

Upcoming data-related community meetups, exhibitions and talks in the UK. Virtual events are prefixed with ONLINE at the beginning of the title, and paid-ticket events end with (£).

What's new in the world of data and analytics, plus the latest best-in-class infographic and dataviz pieces and Youtube data skills and careers content.

30th January 2024 Data Visualization Society Surveys and reports Newly published State of the Industry report for 2023.
16th February 2024 Layoffs.fyi Surveys and reports Fresh on UCOVI's radar is Layoffs.fyi, which is a website of crowd-sourced data on employees made redundant at tech companies over the past 2 years. It has some basic time series charts showing a decent pattern of economic growth and stagnation in the tech industry, but the gold is in the accessible Google Sheets files for each company that discloses the job titles of those laid off. (It has their names and emails as well which has to be some kind of data breach, but hey, GDPR schmee-DPR.) A great resource for personal-portfolio data projects and for assessing how vulnerable different data roles might be in the current economic climate.
26th January 2024 Alex Mancini Youtube Video Canadian data consultant Alex Mancini offers a slightly sobering 23-minute summary of data jobs in 2024 and the coming years, intimating that we might have hit peak data-bro hype in 2019.
22nd January 2024 Luke Barousse Youtube Video UCOVI fave Luke Barousse has added three new videos this month to his channel on tools and learning priorities for data analysts in 2024. Mostly obvious tips (SQL/Python/ChatGPT and fellow travellers), but they make for a useful, broad summary when watched on 1.5 playback speed.
30th December 2023 Visual Capitalist Data Viz Visual Capitalist - who frequently come up with excellent data viz pieces that catch the eye of UCOVI Best of the Rest - have released their best of compilation for 2023... and have produced a bit of stinker. It's full of either designery bar charts with sepia glows that give answers we could guess for ourselves, or gimmicky and insightless visual comparisons. Apparently if you stacked all the empty office space in New York vertically it would be as high as Mount Everest. So what? We've added this to Best of the Rest because data viz competitions such as the IIB Awards also judge work in this way. As such it's a timely reminder to citizen data analysts not to get their hopes up entering these competitions for recognition of interesting data projects. Their judging panels prefer treemaps framed by shopping trolleys showing which countries have the most Costco branches.
4th December 2023 Visual Capitalist Data Viz Visualising global population density by showing what countries people would be in if the world were 1,000 people. Amazed no-one has tried this before.
15th November 2023 Adam Roderick Data Viz Adam Roderick from Denver has built a useful mega spreadsheet of data viz and BI tools, all evaluated and ranked by important selection metrics such as cost, community support, data security and functionality. Some of the info is incomplete but the idea and presentation should both scratch an itch for data team and analytics leaders.
27th October 2023 Visual Capitalist Data Viz A stylish change-over-time data viz piece on music sales by format across the world over the last 50 years. It makes one wonder how many homes are cluttered with CD roms and iPods.
26th September 2023 Hugo Lu Data Blog A compelling 5-10 minute read on the reasons for data engineer/analyst burnout and what should be the organisational strategy for setting up and building data teams.
4th September 2023 IIB Awards 2023 Data Viz The 2023 Information Is Beautiful Awards longlist for 2023 has been announced.
4th September 2023 Data Is Plural Data Blog Jeremy Singer-Vine's Data Is Plural blog has been going for 8 years but is updated fortnightly and is a round up of best-kept-secret interesting open datasets for citizen data analysts and scientists to analyse and use for data viz portfolios.
11th August 2023 IBM Youtube Video A ten-minute explainer on how much data breaches cost organisations in different industries, how they happen, and effective prevention strategies. The video is a precis of a 78-page Cost of a Data Breach Report produced by IBM from a survey of 500 breached-companies, which is a wealth of detailed and practical insights and is linked to the Youtube video. Somewhat ironically for a report on data breaches, the cost of downloading it is of course your own personal data (email, phone number and organisation).
3rd August 2023 Milos Popovic Data Viz A simple but styling and impactful heatmap viz on regional unemployment in the EU from Milos Popovic on Twitter. Basically get as far away from the Mediterranean Sea as you can if you want to be in work.
10th July 2023 Robert Yi Data Blog As the online conversation around data steadily becomes an AI/ChatGPT-tips bore-athon with a conversation about data attached to the side, it's refreshing to read posts such as Robert Yi's latest blog reminding data analysts and scientists about the importance of collaborative relationships with business stakeholders and how they contribute to job satisfaction and success in data.
7th June 2023 London Business Analytics Group Youtube Video Microsoft launched Fabric last month - which includes new analytics and data engineering functionality to support Power BI. This of course means more stuff to learn for data folk using Microsoft tools - and Mark Wilcock from London Business Analytics Group expertly talks through the new interface, functionality, and look via a ten-minute tutorial video using UK Land Registry property sales data.
19th May 2023 Robert Yi Data Blog More good stuff from data scientist Robert Yi of Hyperquery about the waste of human ingenuity and talent inherent in data analytics teams being expected to make dashboards for their own sake.
19th May 2023 Leila Gharani Youtube Video Doing Excel Pivot Tables properly with Leila Gharani - an excellent use of 11 minutes.
14th April 2023 Robert Yi Data Blog Data scientist Robert Yi's blog post from January this year talks about the technical-skill feedback loop that he believes holds data analysts back, and the need for tools that combine heavy-code data work with storytelling and presentation of insights. This is a groundbreaking article that tackles simultaneously the subjects of data-analyst job satisfaction and over-saturation of BI tools. "We're having a Henry Ford moment, and we need to stop yearning for faster horses."
14th April 2023 David Jayatillake Data Blog David Jayatillake - Co-Founder of Delphi Labs - has written a detailed three-part blog series on the semantic layer. The latest installment on his Substack is here.
4th April 2023 Data Visualization Society Surveys and reports The Data Visualisation Society have published their State of the Industry Report for 2022. An insightful report (with a healthy n-number of survey respondents) on what drives data visualisers (who are mostly employed data analysts), and what their frustrations, tools of choice, salaries, and growth ambitions are. The raw data is made available as well.
22nd March 2023 Data Viz Catalogue Data Viz Introducing The Data Visualisation Catalogue website - a thoughtful and very practical blog and glossary of chart types explaining for each one intended uses, advantages/drawbacks, and (best of all) BI tools and prgramming languages that support them. An excellent resource for analysts looking to broaden their visual vocabularies.
24th Febuary 2023 Centre for Data Innovation Data in the news An interesting opinion article from earlier this month discussing the shortcomings of the EU's proposed Artificial Intelligence Act (AIA). Because 261 pages of GDPR just wasn't enough...
24th February 2023 Curbal Youtube Video A pithy summary of this month's Power BI updates from Ruth Pozuelo Martinez on her Youtube channel. Good new functionality for security management and image embedding.
16th February 2023 Informatica Surveys and reports Informatica's CDO Insights 2023 report (sample size 600) was conducted in December 2022. Its key findings contain useful lessons on organisational structure and data estate complexity for companies looking to extract maximum value from data.
16th February 2023 Luke Barousse Data Viz Data analyst and Youtuber Luke Barousse's new webapp - Datanerd.tech - is a super interactive dashboard showing top data skills to learn by average salary, job role, and skill type (coding language/library extension/visualisation tool).
8th February 2023 Mother Duck Data Blog Big Data as a thing to aspire to or feel intimidated by is becoming less and less prevalent, according to this blog article from a former Google BigQuery engineer.
8th February 2023 Dr Peter Bleackley Data Blog An interesting take on the limitations of ChatGPT and the wider topic of natural langauge processing from data scientist Dr Peter Bleackley of Playful Technology.
2nd February 2023 Leila Gharani Youtube Video Leila is in her Excel happy place with this short but sweet five minute video explaining how to give Excel charts a hand-drawn feel and design. It's more simple than you'd assume and a neat way to elevate reports above Excel default without too much work.
2nd February 2023 Visual Capitalist Data Viz Visual Capitalist on great form with this infographic on political polarization levels in 28 countries. Stylishly presented, enriched with commentary and linked to the source data, which itself is robust and open about sample size and margin of error.
29th January 2023 Analytics Power Hour Podcast The Analytics Power Hour podcast discusses career directions for data analysts and ways of evaluating job satisfaction.
4th January 2023 Venture Beat Data in the news A useful top-14 rundown of data and analytics trends, buzzwords and new technologies to look out for in 2023.
2nd January 2023 Katie Bauer Data blog Katie talks more good sense in her latest blog about the right habits to get into for success as a data analyst or analytics leader, particularly within companies where data is not the main product or service and plays more of a supporting role to other business functions.
7th December 2022 LinkedIn Data Viz A visually clear and useful heatmap viz from Hive Systems reposted on LinkedIn which shows complexity of passwords against the time taken to guess them by brute force hacking.
7th December 2022 Curbal Youtube video A good summary of new Power BI features from the November 2022 release. Curbal sings the same tune as UCOVI with her frustration at feature upgrades long overdue in the core software which lock you into more third-party tools.
28th November 2022 Luke Barousse Youtube video An entertaining 14-minute watch covering the versatility of Python when it comes to all stages of analystics from preparation to presentation.
20th November 2022 Youtube Data debates A clear and detailed outline of DaaP - casting each piece of data science/analytic/operational output within a business as its own product that needs servicing, marketing, and potentially expiring - can be watched here in this data.world seminar recording from BigData LDN 2022.
20th November 2022 LinkedIn Misc This LinkedIn meme for its on-point depiction of the attention that data-process complexity gets from business stakeholders through a lovely homage to 90s/00s laddish behaviour.
8th November 2022 Twitter Data Viz A 6-minute bubble animation from @WallStreetSilv summating 500 years of European history via countries and key empires as moving circles - bashing into each other during wars. Neat stuff (even if the background music isn't entirely necessary).
7th November 2022 The Guardian Data in the news An insightful article written by a UK House of Commons statistician on key areas of government policy that were found later to be based on mistakes in spreadsheets.
4th November 2022 Visual Capitalist Data Viz A visually appealing and slightly tragic new piece from Visual Capitalist plotting social interaction vs age range in the USA.
4th October 2022 Information is Beautiful Data Viz The longlist has been announced for the 2022 Information is Beautiful Awards. Take a look at some 1,000 infographics and data viz pieces from the past 3 years.
2nd October 2022 Validity Surveys and reports A survey of 1000+ CRM and data professionals on the standard of CRM data quality in their companies and common causes of problems. View here.
27th September 2022 TechCrunch Data in the news An article showcasing the rise of Unravel Data - a software product to help data teams report on the complexity and cost of their own data stacks. Read here.
19th September 2022 Visual Capitalist Data Viz Another good one from Visual Capitalist, visualising statistical blinds spots in data analytics. Good starter materials for those exploring statistical concepts such as sampling bias or Simpsin's paradox.
11th September 2022 Katie Bauer Data blog A highly insightful essay from a US-based data science leader on what homework to do during the interview process for management or leadership position within data analytics. Relevant to non-management roles as well.
4th September 2022 Luke Barousse Youtube video A new 10-minute whistle-stop tour of different types of machine learning and how to get into it.
26th August 2022 Hold the Front Page Data in the news A free new six-week course in data literacy for journalists has been launched by Sheffield University. Read here.
5th August 2022 Leila Gharani Youtube video Microsoft MVP Leila Gharani covers new functionality in Excel to get data from images or screengrabs that contain numbers. It has its limits but overall a good productivity hack.
5th August 2022 Visual Capitalist Data Viz At UCOVI we love a beer, and we love this worldwide beer consumption chart on Visual Capitalist. This hybrid pie-chart/treemap visual seems to be catching on, and the technique of arranging the areas into randomly-shaped but easy-to-size-compare areas instead of slices emanating from the centre point boosts readability, style and sense of fun.
3rd August 2022 Adam Dant Data Viz Possibly stretching the bounds of what constitutes data viz, but the London-based artist Adam Dant is very much the David McCandless of the hand-painted world with his new book Adam Dant's Political Maps. This is a wide collection of drawn London-map infographics (a comprehensive map of scandals involving Boris Johnson and garish architectural ideas that never materialised being two examples), as well as amusing randoms such as a drinking occasion for every day of the year and what to drink. It scratches an itch for anyone interested in information visualisation.
31st July 2022 Visual Capitalist Data Viz Allow us to introduce Visual Capitalist - a real treasure trove of magazine-quality infographics and reports on the global economy, climate change, the mass media and much else. Their latest piece is an animated pie chart tracing the rise and fall of popular web browsers since the 1990s.
22nd July 2022 Microsoft New Software Features Power BI July 2022 Update shipped - feature summary here.
22nd July 2022 Financial Times Data Viz A colourful downloadable poster from the FT grouping chart and graph types into 9 core statistical and analytical goals (spatial/variable correlation/change over time etc).
14th July 2022 Stack Overflow Surveys and reports Stack Overflow's 2022 developer survey findings have been published. If there's a question about developers, tech and coding that this survey didn't ask, it simply wasn't worth asking. Plenty here for data folk.
14th July 2022 Leila Gharani Youtube video A handy new demo from Leila Gharani on embedding Power BI reports in PowerPoint and keeping the tooltip, filtering and drillthrough functionality.
10th July 2022 Twitter Data Viz William Lau (@MrLauLearning) with a London Underground map visual representation of the GCSE IT and Computer Science course.
An imaginative and accessible view of how IT, programming and data are taught at school level in the UK and a good shopping list of new concepts to look into for budding data engineers and programmers.
29th June 2022 Reddit Data Viz A truly excellent deployment of a 2-axis heatmap to show popularity of compound insults used on Reddit.
On the X-axis you have the first part ("dumb"), with the second part on the Y ("ass").
View here.
26th June 2022 MSNBC Data in the news A spotlight on data privacy legal loopholes as they relate to the Roe vs Wade controversy in the US. Read here.