I recently began watching the videos from the O’Reilly Strata Conference, subtitled “Make Data Work”, held earlier this year in Santa Clara, CA. There were seven tracks on data; data science, visualization, big data, and more. Keynotes were given by Avanish Kaushik from Market Motive, Coco Krumme from MIT Media Lab, Dave Campbell of Microsoft, and Doug Cutting of Cloudera O’Reilly Media has made all those sessions available.
The Strata Conference Santa Clara 2012: Complete Video Compilation is a great series and I highly recommend it to anyone who works with or is interested in data science. Any conference of this size has multiple sessions going on at one time; you’ll never be able to see them all. And even for the ones you did see in person it’s great to replay them again and again. For me at least there’s usually some point I didn’t get the first time, or completely missed.
There are 3 days worth of videos to watch, over 100 hours in all. Luckily you can stream them from O’Reilly and just download the ones you want. They’re available as .mp4 files so you can watch them on the device of your choice. So far I’ve only watched the Designing Data Visualization Workshop by Noah Iliinsy (4 videos, 3 hours) but that’s a great start. In it he talks about some of the issues, the difference between data visualization and infographics. He also makes good points about motivation and how bias can affect affect the visualization.
There’s tons of other topics. Day 1 for example has a 4 part series on an Introduction to Apache Hadoop and another on using R for Data Modeling. There’s other sessions on Big Data and Visualization with Tableau. Days 2 and 3 seem to move more away from using specific tools to theories.
I’ve always found O’Reilly videos to be excellent quality, and these are no exception. The audio and video in the sessions I watched was flawless. The video moves from the speaker to the slides I felt as if I was part of the audience. You can hear the questions asked in the background. I’ve always felt this type of format was better than just watching a slide deck with a voiceover. It helps me keep focused on the topic.
The only concern you may have is the price. After all, $399 is not cheap. But if you compare it to what it cost to attend the conference in person, the conference fees, hotel and travel costs, I’d consider it a bargain. Plus you get to see all the sessions, not just picking 1 out of the 7 held at the same time.
If you have any interest in data science, big data, visualization, or just want to see where we’re headed, then you should consider this video set.