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How a “Best Places to . . .” article is formulated: A data comparison

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I would like to make something perfectly clear . . . I grew up on the uninhibited, care-free love of fun and adventure projected in the cinematic classic The Goonies! But we’ll come back to that . . .

Let’s say that you are interested in publishing a “Great Places to . . . whatever” article, but you’re coming up short on neo-engineers responsible for data standardization—the people who would know about articles and data. Well, Onboard Informatics has plenty of them, and we’ll be more than happy to have a passionate conversation about data with you. If I should be lucky enough to talk to you, I will explain that choosing data is very similar to choosing a spouse. You want attractive data but not stupid data; which means that the data should be impressive to look at, but not only momentarily significant—it should be annually critical. We want to avoid “one night stand” type of data (there is no integrity protection for that little indiscretion). Your data should have standards, respect, and be able to speak for itself. If you don’t hang up the phone after my spouse/data analogy, we would then discuss the weight of your data and how it helps to shape your article’s conclusion. (I’m sure someone is making a “data/spouse + weight=funny” joke . . . shame on you, not classy!!).

The weighting of data—the determining of which data set is more important than the other data set—is easier explained with an example. In this example we will examine two separate pieces of data and we will determine which data is better:

Data (from The Goonies) or Data (from Star Trek: The Next Generation)


Both data points have stood the test of time, they are respected in their fields, and are very impressive (within some groups more than others, but impressive none the less). But the fact of the matter is that one of these two is going to be more important to the story than the other. So we would begin to examine the metadata (technical term meaning data about data) and do our best to determine which deserves more weight given the theme of the story.

Metadata:
Category: Goonies | Star Trek
Character Name: Richard “Data” Wang | Lt. Commander Data
Planet of origin : Earth | Omicron Theta
Inventions : Pinchers of Peril | Lal (self-made daughter)
Best Friend: Chunk | Jean-Luc Picard
Most known for: “Booty traps” | incapable of being human

——————————————————–
Budget: $19,000,000 (estimated) | $35,000,000 (estimated)
Gross :$61,400,000 (USA) | $75,668,868 (USA)
Weekend Gross: $9,105,913 (USA) | $23,100,000 (USA)
Rentals: $29,900,000 (USA) | $35,700,000 (USA)
Filming Dates: 22 Oct 1984 – March 1985 | 24 March 1994 – 9 June 1994
(source: IMDB.com)

And from this metadata we would be able to determine which data is better. So, if our article was going to be “Best Place to Raise a Child,” I would weigh the piece of data on the left a bit heavier than the one on the right—since the best place to raise a child is in Goonie-centric universe. Let’s face it, the other Data is a robot (have any of you seen The Matrix), he could turn on all of humanity at the drop of a hat; he’s like a loaded gun. Would you want to raise your kids near a loaded gun? Cause I sure don’t! . . . but I digress.

So that is how we would go about creating a “Best Places to . . .whatever” article. Onboard Informatics provides you with the data necessary to support your story and you do the rest. That doesn’t mean that we will manipulate the data, it just means that we will provide you with the data that—if you’re mindful of your theme—will best support your story.

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Written by Michael Demetriou

July 21, 2008 at 11:25 pm

One Response

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  1. It’s an amazing post for all the internet people; they will obtain benefit from it I am sure.

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    November 14, 2015 at 11:11 am


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