Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Always go to @YouTube First! #LessonLearned

Recently I have been having problems charging my iPhone, I found myself holding the charger in different positions to try to get a connection. The problem was getting worse. I thought - no option but to go to a phone repair shop and shell out a small fortune for a new part in the phone. 

But what about going to YouTube first - in case there was a simple explanation? Thanks to Rudy's Productions I had the perfect fix with a toothbrush in two minutes. My iPhone is charging very successfully as I type without having to hold the charger in. It turns out that the problem is caused by dust and dirt - Rudy shows us how to get the job done. Here's his excellent  video!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

7,000,000 @YouTube Views!

This morning the number of views for my Learn with Dr Eugene O'Loughlin YouTube Channel passed the 7,000,000 mark! This is a very big number - it would take 81 days to count this far non-stop (counting one number per second/24 hours a day). The estimated Watch Minutes is 34 years and 155 days - this is just counted from 1st September 2012.

Image Source: Get Set Games.
When I set the channel up on 7th April 2006 I had no idea that it would hit anything like these numbers. I guess in those days that numbers of things like "views" and "likes" were not part of how this type of on-line media presence was measured. To each and every one of the viewers I thank you all most sincerely - I am both astonished and humbled that so many people still find these videos useful. 

It has taken just over four months since 19th September 2014, when I reported hitting the 6,000,000 figure, to add the 7th million. One of the things that I have noticed at the end of last year is that for the first time the growth in views did not increase in the same way as previous years. Looking carefully at the last big growth at the end of 2014 below you can see that it is very similar to the growth pattern in 2013. Over the years the growth rate has been approximately double the previous year - but in 2014 it was the same as in 2013. Despite adding more videos I've no explanation for this other than a levelling off of demand. 


On to 8,000,000!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Exploring Northern Ireland's Causeway and Mourne Coastal Routes - book nearly there. #CausewayCoastalRoute

I am still working on my second travel book which is in two parts: the Causeway Coastal Route, and the Mourne Coastal Route. I have just finished the first part from Derry to Belfast and am about to start the Belfast to Newry section. At the rate I'm going to will be at least March before this is ready for publication though Amazon. The plan is to release it as an eBook via Kindle Direct Publishing, with the possibility of creating printed versions too via CreateSpace.

I certainly had a blast on the Causeway Coastal Route. It is east to do with lots to stop and see on the way - and it is an ideal motorcycle ride. This is part two if my trilogy following the Exploring Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way book. These two books combined cover the coast of Ireland in a clockwise direction from Kinsale to Newry. I have done the rest from Newry to Kinsale, and much of this is already written up - I will most likely publish this as an eBook too later this year.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Why Great Presenters are Boring People! via @ethos3_scott

It's official! According to Scott Schwertly in a Slideshare article "Why you Need to be Boring", some of the best presenters are "boring people with predictable schedules and habit". Check out Schwertly's slides below:


The lessons from Schwertly are based on his personal experience and have a meaning for the rest of us. His three key ways to become a better presenter are:

  1. Say “No” More Often
  2. There is Beauty in Compounding
  3. Embrace the Pain
In particular I like item "2" above where Schwertly adds "Good habits compounded over a long, predictable, boring cycle produce magnificent results. Routine always wins. So, if you want to be a better presenter by next month or next year, let those good habits start to work for you right now. The longer you can let them compound, the greater the end result". The message is practice-practice-practice, even if it is a boring thing to do.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Motorbikes (1977-2015)


Below is a blog post first published on 24th December 2007. It was just my 14th blog post at a time when I was figuring out what blogging was all about. I have been messing with old photos on Facebook this morning and decided to re-publish this old post in honour of the 38 years since I first rode a motorcycle...

Honda 50
My brother Joe bought a Honda 50 from Damian Doyle of Carnew in 1977 so that he could use it to go to school in Bunclody. In one of those "small world" coincidences, Joe's son Niall goes to school with Damian's son Harry in Bunclody!

Of course, I got to ride the Honda 50 as well - I didn't know at the time how uncool this was, or that it would be the first of several bikes that I would ride. I remember feeling particularly cool once when riding home in the dark smoking a cigarette. The tobacco burned down inside the cigarette paper as the wind blew in my face. I was only 18 or 19 at the time, so to me this was cool!

The picture here was taken during a family summer holiday in Cork on which Joe took the bike. As well as the Honda 50, the picture features my Mum, Joe, our dog Pheobe, and me in very fetching flares!

Honda CD175

After the above Honda 50 Joe bought a new Honda CD175 - the picture shows Joe and me with the bike on the day he bought the bike (note plastic still on seat). Look at that hair! The bike is not yet registered - it was later to get the number 8923 NI. I still have the registration book. In the background is a Renault 4 van in which I learned to drive.

Joe bought a car within a few years - I think in 1980 and this bike "became" mine. I loved it and took it to Dublin while I was in Trinity. My landlady, Mary Dillon-Kelly, used to allow me to park it in her front hall! I used the bike to commute from Drumcondra to Trinity, and also going up and down home to Ballingate.

Sadly, this bike was stolen on 8th December, 1981. At the time I was staying in Rooms in Botany Bay at Trinity and used to park the bike in the shed beside the tennis courts. The previous evening I had returned from Ballingate and I remember the weather was really bad. To this day I am not certain that I locked the bike properly - so it was possibly easy to steal. I reported the theft to Pearse St Gardaí, but no trace was ever found. My motorbiking days were over for 18 years.

Honda 250N Nighthawk

In September 1999, the QBC on the Stillorgan Road was opened. The significance of this is that my morning commute from Blackrock to Clonskeagh was doubled in time as I used to use the inside lane to drive to work in my car. I didn't have the patience for this. One day I said to Roma "I should get a motorbike again" and guess what - she said "Why not!". In October 1999 I turned 40 years of age - some people think that there is a link here!

I went to a bike shop on Pearse St and after looking at several bikes I settled on a Honda 250N Nighthawk. It was blue and was the same as the one pictured here. I had it for a few weeks before I got a licence and insurance. My first trip on it (to Deansgrange) was very strange and wobbly! It took a lot of getting used to - soon however, I was riding like a natural and started the work commute soon after. One problem with this bike was that it was very light and used to fall over in strong winds when parked. Happy days - I loved the "freedom" that a motorbike provides and was delighted to be back on two wheels again.

Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 Hugger
In January 2000 I was on a SmartForce trip to Scottsdale in Arizona. Now that I was a biker again I decided to visit a bike dealer near the Hotel - Harley-Davidson naturally. I was mesmerised by the colour and style of the Harleys - beautiful machines. I didn't have the courage to hire one. I did buy a denim jacket in the shop and I do remember joking with the Shop Assistant "I suppose I'll have to buy a Harley in order to wear this". I never had a denim jacket before and this was my reason for buying one. I also promised myself that I would investigate Harleys on my return to Dublin.

I visited Harley-Davidson Dublin soon afterwards and was interested in two second-hand Sportsters. However, they were expensive - one was almost £5,000, while the other was over £5,500. A new one was about £8,000 - so I decided to go for it. I bought a white 883 Hugger like the one pictured here. I was warned that everyone who buys a Sportster sooner or later wants one of the big Harleys.


My longest trip on this bike was to London for the "Last Ever CBT Systems Party!" in October 2002. This was just after SmartForce was taken over by Skillsoft and I had already applied for voluntary redundancy. It took me most of the day to get there and I had a severe hangover for the return trip.

I customized this bike a lot. But on my last trip to Scottsdale in Arizona I hired a Fat Boy and was bitten by the Big-Twin bug. With 2003 - the centenary year for Harley-Davidson - around the corner I decided that I would buy a centenary model Heritage Softail Classic.

Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic

This bike is the King of Bikes and is my most favourite thing that I possess. I ordered it in 2002 for January 2003 delivery so that I would have a special centenary edition. I spent a big chunk of my SmartForce redundancy money on this bike - but it was worth every penny. It looks just like the stock photo here. My number plate is 03 D 1903. You'll see elsewhere in this blog that I have travelled quite a bit on it.

I have added quite a bit of custom material to it. I have changed the pipes, added light covers, and lots of pieces of chrome. It has cost a hell of a lot to maintain - tyres are expensive, I have also torn the drive belt, and once destroyed a new tyre with less than 500 miles on it by riding over a metal peg in Booterstown. I would still like to customize it some more - I'd like higher handlebars that would help me to sit straighter on it. A new saddle would also help.

I don't think I'll ever change this bike for another - it's my dream bike! I don't know what will happen to it when I stop riding. I have promised it to Kate, or maybe I'll have some Grandsons who might be interested in it.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

An Introduction to Business Systems Analysis new book cover #excited

My first book is going to reprint this week! So glad it did not end up being pulped. 1,000 copies have been sold and it is out of stock. I decided the cover needed a new image to replace the old one that had floppy disks and CD-ROMs on it. I like the idea of a maze and we found the image below on istock.com to freshen up the book a bit. I also had a few typos spotted over the years corrected, so it is not a new edition.

I'm as excited as a terribly excited person who has a really good reason for being terribly excited (George - Blackadder series 4).

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Book Review: "Hidden Streams" by Brian Mac Aongusa

Image source: Amazon.
Recently I was given a lend of Brian Mac Aongusa's history of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown (DLR), "Hidden Streams", published in 2007. Mac Aonghusa links local history with the geography of this part of South Dublin. Though I'm not a native of DLR, I have lived here since 1990. Neither have I any family ties here - I come from south Co Wicklow, my Mum's parents were from Galway and Wexford, while both my Dad's parents were from North Cork. I have no roots in this area, so it was time to find out a little bit more about where I live.

"Hidden Streams" is an interesting account of how the streams influence the locations of places such as Dún Laoghaire, Rathfarnham, and Stillorgan. I was particularly fascinated to learn the there actually was a brewery on Brewery Road, where the Glaslower flowed. A pity a lot of locations like mills and breweries are long gone, but nevertheless the history is fascinating. A few more larger scale maps, with perhaps modern roads overlaid, would have added a bit more value - some areas mentioned I did not know where they are. While the history and geography of the region is fascinating, there are not many central characters who had an serious impact on the development of the county. Surprising also that the likes of Frascati House and the Fitzgeralds were not mentioned, but this is part of Blackrock history, and not of "Hidden Streams". 

Overall - an interesting read for anyone interested in the history of south Co Dublin.

Friday, January 09, 2015

The Best Big Data Quotes Of All Times via @BernardMarr on @LinkedIn #Analytics #HDSDA

Quotes are always interesting and some of them stand the test of time even though the persons making the quote are long gone to the big quote in the sky. Recently I read about The Best Big Data Quotes Of All Times - my favourite two are:

Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all.
Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871), inventor and mathematician.

To call in the statistician after the experiment is done may be no more than asking him to perform a post-mortem – he may be able to say what the experiment died of.”
Ronald A. Fisher (1890 - 1962), biologist, geneticist, and statistician.

See the other quotes at Bernard Marr's Slideshare below:

The 10 Best Big Data Quotes Of All Times from Bernard Marr

I bet some of these quotes will makes it into my lectures notes for Statistics classes! 

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Great review of "Exploring Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way" via @LJReviews & @LibraryJournal

Out of the blue I have received news of a great review of my book by Victor Or for the Library Journal - it's on-line here. (it's the last book reviewed near the bottom of the page) This is the first major review and I'm thrilled that it is so positive!

Here's the review in full:

O’Loughlin, Eugene. Exploring Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way: A Motorcycle Odyssey. Liffey. 2014. 228p. photos. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781908308559. pap. $31.TRAV
Desiring to seek out his ancestry, appreciating the fact that medieval castles and abbeys are reminders of bygone glorious eras, and aware that truly hidden gems can be found in the most unexpected places, O’Loughlin, a college lecturer with a fondness for Harley-Davidsons, sets out on a motorcycle journey along Ireland’s “Wild Atlantic Way,” considered the longest coastal driving route in the world. At various discovery points, the author introduces the reader to renowned and historical figures, as well as Celtic mythology and legends. While his musings about the contrast between ancient archaeological sites and modern-day structures and conveniences are intriguing—for example, being able to view the Bronze Age Drombeg Stone Circle only after having to use a satellite map on his iPad to locate it—particularly fascinating are the snippets of history he imparts about many of the points of discovery he comes upon. The prose reflects a fascination with the scenery¸ complete with commentary, much like an expanded version of TripAdvisor. O’Loughlin’s straightforward style, devoid of any profound revelations, focuses strictly on dispassionate observations. VERDICT This guide, with maps and color photography, will satisfy those who seek an immersive drive around Ireland.—Victor Or, Surrey Libs., BC

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Happy 4th Birthday "How To...Create a Basic Gantt Chart in Excel 2010" @YouTube #analytics

This time four years ago I uploaded a video that has gone on to become my biggest "hit" on my YouTube channel. Four years later it has reached just over 826,000 views and it accounts for a significant amount of my total views (6,852,665 as I write this post). During this time it has received 8,708 "likes" and 90 "dislikes". It has also received 783 comments (mostly favourable), and made me a nice four figure sum in revenue. Try as I might to get another "hit", four years later it is still my most popular video. Here are the view trends over the last four years:


The USA and the UK account for almost half (49%) of total views though I am surprised to see countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines in the top ten below. Within the USA, the states of California (13%) and Texas (9%) top the table:

Geography
Views
253,426 (31%)
902,035 (33%)
4:25
150,937 (18%)
525,035 (19%)
4:08
58,725 (7.1%)
198,774 (7.2%)
4:12
45,279 (5.5%)
153,913 (5.6%)
4:08
26,939 (3.3%)
92,472 (3.3%)
4:07
26,676 (3.2%)
91,159 (3.3%)
4:05
15,983 (1.9%)
56,295 (2.0%)
4:07
15,192 (1.8%)
46,973 (1.7%)
3:53
14,682 (1.8%)
48,853 (1.8%)
4:06
13,248 (1.6%)
38,558 (1.4%)
3:30

Here's the video:

Saturday, January 03, 2015

If the Cap Fits

I got my first ever cap as a Christmas present - it was more than welcome given that my new short hair style means that I feel the cold a bit more. Unfortunately the cap did not fit, so I bought myself one that does fit in Kevin & Howlin, and gave the other one to my Dad. I couldn't resist a selfie, so here's the result!

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Looking Back at 2014

It's the 1st of January 2015 and time to take a quick look back at the events of 2014. In no particular order, here are the highs and lows of 2014 for me:

Exploring Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way
Undoubtedly the highlight of the year for me was the publication of my second book: "Exploring Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way" which was launched in June. The original print run is almost sold out and I had a great time in the early summer promoting the book on radio and at Bikefest. I'm working on a new book "Exploring Northern Ireland's Causeway and Mourne Coastal Routes" which will be out in 2015.

Claire
It's two years and four months since my eldest daughter Claire left home to go to America. In January of this year we visited her in New York for just a few days - this is the only time I have seen her since she left. I miss her. With a bit of luck I'll get to see her in 2015!

Social Media
The number of times I have posted to this blog continues to decline - in 2014 I posted 161 times which is my lowest number of posts per year since 2009, and 101 posts less than my highest year in 2011 (262 posts). I used Twitter a lot more in 2014 - especially from January to July when I tweeted 3-4 times a day photos of the Wild Atlantic Way. One resolution for 2015 will be to blog a bit more - especially about education matters.

YouTube
My YouTube channel continues to perform well. I added several new videos in 2014 and had 2.75 million viewers for the year (made some money too!). For the first time the rate of increase in views has slowed. My most popular video remains "How To...Create a Basic Gantt Chart in Excel 2010" - it is almost four years old. I feel a bit like a fading rock star who hasn't had a hit for a long time. One disappointment was that a paper on YouTube analytics that I wrote and submitted to a conference was not accepted - one review was particularly savage! I may try again in the coming year.

Riding my Harley-Davidson around Northern Ireland
Back in July I took three days to tour the Causeway Coastal Route and the Mourne Coastal Route. A lot of the road (the A2) runs right along the seashore and it was a great ride that I enjoyed so much. I started at the border in Donegal and finished in Newry. I learned a great deal about these routes and the places of interest along the way. I am currently writing up this trip along the similar style of the Wild Atlantic Way book. I plan to publish it myself through Amazon Createspace and Kindle Direct Publishing. 

Lecturing
2014 was a year where I got more involved with Data Analytics at work. I am now really enjoying my Statistics classes having revamped my notes and course resources to work better for the successful Higher Diploma in Data Analytics course at NCI. Each time I prepare and teach a new class I discover something new that I did not know before. I will continue to develop this some more as well as keep up-to-date with my Project Management and Business Analysis classes.

Health
2014 was the year that my Dad Joe was operated on for cancer which he has now beaten. Even though Dad is 28 years older than me it is still a reminder of our mortality. I even had a medical check up this year and resolve to keep this up. I am now suffering quite a bit from sore heels and put this down to my weight. I'll have to find a way to do something about this. Also on a health note I passed the 100 blood/platelet donations mark just before Christmas.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Reading my own book #weird


In preparation for the reprint of my sold-out first book, An Introduction to Business Systems Analysis, I have just finished reading through the entire book checking for typos and errors. Since it was first published in 2010, I have spotted some minor items that need correction. There are several that I hope can be updated before a reprint is ordered by The Liffey Press.

Reading my own book feels weird! When I read books by people I know and have met, I always find that as I am reading I hear their voice in my head coming from the pages. In contrast, I do not hear my own voice from my own pages, and I wonder if other authors feel the same? I'm sure other authors will always be self-critical and feel as they re-read their own material that they could have done better. For example, I found that as I re-read my own book I over-used words like "vital", "essential", and "imperative". Very tiresome I have to admit.

Ahead of the likely reprint of my Exploring Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way book in the New Year I also plan to read through it again in the next few days. I only know of two errors, one of which is erroneously placing the colourful village of Allihies in Co Kerry - it is of course in Co Cork!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Look up - the sky is full of air planes! #thingsididntknow

Today I saw a tweet from @airlivenet that a Virgin Boeing 747 was "circling at 5,000ft with serious gear issues", and the embedded URL brought me to emergency.airlive.net. I didn't know this but you can track the position of any air plane in the air anywhere in the world. Sure enough the Virgin jet was circling south of London Gatwick Airport, and later flew out over the channel - presumably to dump some fuel before an emergency landing - here's a screen grab from emergency.airlive.net of its flight path (in both shades of green) while circling (the pile of planes near the top is Gatwick airport):


Thankfully the plane later landed safely after circling for four hours. This site got me thinking about how many planes there are in the sky at any one time - above you can see three planes approaching Gatwick from the east in their landing paths. According to Science on a Sphere, at any given moment, "roughly 5,000 planes are in the skies above the United States". Here's what a screen shot of the world looks like today - screen grab taken from www.flightradar24.com:

Click to enlarge.
This is a fun site (www.flightradar24.com) to look at as you can zoom in and out over any location in the world for more detail. Some of the things you will notice is the low number of flights over Africa as well as being able to see flights avoiding Ukraine.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

2,225 viewers on Christmas Day

Quite often when I use my own YouTube analytics in my classes I draw attention to Christmas Day and make a joke about viewers watching my videos while eating their turkey. It is always one of the lowest daily viewing figures for the year, and this year was no exception as 2,225 viewers tuned in. So -  what were they watching and which countries did they come from? The table below lists the top ten countries (with number of videos watched in brackets), and the top ten videos (with number of views in brackets):

CountryVideo
1 USA (283)How To...Add Music to a Presentation in PowerPoint 2010 (193)
2 India (297)How To...Create a Basic Gantt Chart in Excel 2010 (147)
3 UK (134)How To... Plot Multiple Data Sets on the Same Chart in Excel 2010 (137)
4 Malaysia (113)How To... Create a Progress Gantt Chart in Excel 2010 (123)
5 Turkey (82)How To...Plot a Normal Frequency Distribution Histogram in Excel 2010 (105)
6 Saudi Arabia (57)How To... Create and Edit a Basic Table of Contents in Word 2010 (79)
7 United Arab Emirates (56) How To... Calculate Mean and Standard Deviation in Excel 2010 (77)
8 Canada (51)How To... Create a Basic KPI Dashboard in Excel 2010 (75)
9 Philippines (50)How To... Draw a Simple Box Plot in Excel 2010 (73)
10 Singapore (47)How To... Create a Basic Pivot Table in Excel 2010 (72)

Judging by the types of videos watched, it's clear that viewers tuned in to learn how to do various Microsoft Office tasks - eight of the top ten videos viewed were based on Excel, with one each for Word and PowerPoint. Below is a heat map for all countries. Ireland, with just 14 views, ranked 37th of the 109 countries that had at least one view. YouTube lists 233 countries and territories in total, therefore there were 124 countries in the world where no one tuned in to my channel. Interestingly, North Korea was added this year to the list of countries with views on my channel. So far there are just three views - on 20th and 21st of September, and on 22nd October. The videos watched were about creating Gantt charts!

Heat Map of World Views.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

"Trade Route 66 for the Wild Atlantic Way" says @Ryanair #WildAtlanticWay #Route66

The good folks over at Ryanair have set up a new web site for America (http://www.ryanair.com/us) according to the Irish Independent. Even though Ryanair do not yet offer flights to America they are doing their bit for Irish tourism, and of course they are also hoping that Americans will fly Ryanair when they come to Europe.

Image source: Ryanair.

If you are American and thinking of coming to Ireland to see and experience the Wild Atlantic Way, why not read all about it in my new travel book "Exploring Ireland Wild Atlantic Way: A Motorcycle Odyssey". It's available on Amazon here!


I'd love to ride the iconic Route 66. At 3,940 km it is about 1,440 km longer than the Wild Atlantic Way. There are no highways on the Wild Atlantic Way - in fact only between Oranmore and Galway City did I get to ride at more that 80 km/hour for a few minutes. The rest of the Way has an 80 km/hour speed limit. Route 66 no doubt has places where you can open up the throttle and enjoy the beauty of America. Route 66 for me? Maybe some day!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Google+ Year in Photos 2014

A nice feature provided by Google is that they create a 50 seconds video of your photos from the past year that is downloadable (and they add music to it!). I just got an email about mine today. I don't know how they select the photos or if they are taken from my Google Drive or other cloud service. It was a nice memory of the year - here it is:

video

Click here for full larger version.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

SOLD OUT! "An Introduction to Business Systems Analysis"

My first ever book is officially "Out-of-Stock"! Yesterday I picked up the last seven copies available from The Liffey Press of "An Introduction to Business Systems Analysis". This book was published in early 2010 and all 1,000 original print copies are now out of supply at the Liffey Press distributors. It has taken nearly five years for this to happen, so it has been a slow seller. At least I didn't have the indignity of having excess copies of my book pulped as happens when books don't sell. The book is still on several college reading lists - Algonquin College in Ottawa are the latest to recently add it. As we are out of supply it is likely that they will use an eBook instead of printed copies. We are planning to run a second print - this can now be done with what's called "Digital Printing" where any number of copies can simply be printed and bound to excellent quality - a print run of 100-150 more copies is likely. This also gives me an opportunity to correct some typos that escaped my several proof-reads!

Below are some sales data rankings from Amazon (Author Central) - this only accounts for books sold through Amazon and not through other sources. I am guessing each peak represents the sale of a single book, followed by a drop in ranking until the next book is sold. The top chart represents sales ranking from Amazon.co.uk  - the highest ranking achieved was at the lofty heights of #8,510 on 24th March 2013. The lower chart shows a similar pattern from Amazon.com - the highest ranking achieved here was at #43,845 on 7th April 2014. Very modest figures I think you'll agree, but I'm gratified that it has continued to sell since it was published.

Sales and Ranking for Amazon.co.uk.
Sales and Ranking for Amazon.com
My "Exploring Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way" book is also almost out of stock. It has sold much better and as of yesterday there were just 24 copies left (out of 800 printed last summer). We are also considering a "Digital Print" run for this book, but this is not as easy a decision because this book has a lot (169) of colour photographs and apparently there is a drop in print quality using this quick method.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Data science toolkit via @HarvardEXT #analytics #HDSDA

The good folks over at the Harvard Extension Hub have given some great tips for students interested in a career in Data Analytics in an article entitled: "Why Data Science Jobs Are in High Demand". They provide a good model for what skills a data analyst should have:

Image source: Jonathan Davidowitz.
  • Wrangle the data (gather, clean, and sample data to get a suitable data set)
  • Manage the data in a way that gives you access to big data quickly and reliably
  • Explore the data so you can generate a hypothesis
  • Make predictions using statistical methods such as regression and classification
  • Communicate the results using visualization, presentations, and interpretable summaries.
At the National College of Ireland we cover all these skills (and more) in our Higher Diploma in Data Analytics course. We use the Python and R programming languages, plus tools like SPSS and Excel to analyse data. If you, or a colleague, are interested in studying Data Analytics part-time, check out our course at the SpringBoard website now. In addition we will be holding Open Evenings on Tuesday 7th and Thursday 22nd January from 5-7pm - why not come along, meet the NCI team, and find out more about the course?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Life is a struggle on €232,000, says university president #WTF?

Dr Michael Murphy, president of UCC, tells us that the heads of Irish universities "are as challenged at paying their bills as anyone else" according to a report by Niamh Horan in the Irish Independent. Dr Murphy is paid €232,000 per year, yes - that's over €19,000 per month, or about €4,400 per week, or almost €900 PER DAY! Nice money if you can get it, and Dr Murphy certainly is getting it.

Dr Michael Murphy.
Image source:
Irish Universities Association.
Why does an intelligent person like Dr Murphy feel the need to spout this shite? Why does he feel the need to elicit pity from the average Irish citizen for his desperate financial situation? He is quoted in Horan's article as saying:

"Contrary to popular opinion, I do not have a house or a car provided by the university. But I do know that a university in Britain last year advertised the post of vice-chancellor (for a university) the same size as UCC, (which is) behind us in rankings, and if I had applied for it I would have doubled my salary, got a house and the use of a Jaguar".

Seems to me like a no-brainer decision to make? If you are finding it so hard to pay the bills, why not feck off to the money bags university and drive the Jag around campus?

By doing this Dr Murphy insults every taxpayer (who pays his salary) in Ireland, and the hundreds of thousands of working people who are genuinely "struggling" on a fraction of what he earns. He also insults his academic colleagues - most who earn a lot less than what he does. Sure - academic positions are well paid in Ireland, but telling us that he is as "challenged" at paying his bills as anyone else is just galling to hear. 

Get real - there are probably well over 4,000,000 people in this country with a population of 4,500,000 who would gladly like to have a go at paying their bills on €900/day. Stop this Sean-Bhean bhocht "poor me" nonsense - PLEASE!