In our latest round up of useful or interesting news and articles we’ve seen over the last month, we signpost stories related to analytics for healthcare, validating your Excel spreadsheets, Indexical Visualization, and calculating your chance of meeting an alien.

 

How to Import Data from the Web into Excel 2016

There are many instances where you might want to import data from a website into Microsoft Excel, so this is a really useful tutorial.

 

Calculating the chance of extraterrestrial life

Calculating the chance of extraterrestrial life

Are we alone in the universe? Play around with the Seager Equation and the Drake Equation to work out the chances of inhabited planets near ours and intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.

 

How Big Data Can Save Lives

An interesting article with Examples of Big Data Analytics in Healthcare that can help to save people’s lives. In some cases and in some places it already is, but adopting it could and perhaps should be more widespread and consistent given its potential benefits.

It could be especially useful in helping to bring down healthcare costs that are spiralling out of control in a number of countries – most notably the US – which McKinsey estimates to be spending $600 billion more than expected for a country of its size and wealth. Currently their spend represents 17.6% of GDP.

 

How to Generate Random Data for an Excel Spreadsheet

Generate random data in Excel

When you want to test a formula or a macro, random sample data can be very useful. This is a good tutorial from Excel Zoom on how to generate some for this purpose.

 

When The Pentagon Left Data Exposed in the Cloud

Just stumbled upon this story from November 2018 – recent enough to be surprising in that it involved the Pentagon leaving at least 1.8 Billion documents exposed in the cloud. Nothing particularly sensitive, but it was no doubt alarming for anyone concerned about how the US takes care of its cyber security and process…

 

Setting up validation rules in Excel

If you wanted to check the validity of your data – perhaps because multiple people have updated a spreadsheet – then this advice on setting up validation rules could be really useful.

If this is of interest, you might also want to check out EQUS – our handy software add-in for Ensuring the Quality and Usability of Spreadsheets.

 

Podcast: Indexical Visualization

Prefer listening to reading? On this podcast about Indexical Vizualization from Data Stories, Dietmar Offenhuber, Assistant Professor at Northeastern University, talks about “Indexical Visualizations”, which reduce the gap between the recorded phenomenon and its representation.