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Bad Data Handbook: Cleaning Up the Data So You Can Get Back to Workby Q Ethan Mccallum
Synopses & Reviews
What is bad data? Some people consider it a technical phenomenon, like missing values or malformed records, but bad data includes a lot more. In this handbook, data expert Q. Ethan McCallum has gathered 19 colleagues from every corner of the data arena to reveal how theyve recovered from nasty data problems.
From cranky storage to poor representation to misguided policy, there are many paths to bad data. Bottom line? Bad data is data that gets in the way. This book explains effective ways to get around it.
Among the many topics covered, youll discover how to:
Even if you're relatively new to the data science field, you've likely encountered your share of bad data: missing values and arcane file formats are rather pedestrian matters. But those are just the beginning. The idea of bad data is an ecosystem unto itself, that also includes mismatches in character set, data that changes behind your back, and data you don't know how to handle on your own.
In short, bad data is data that gets in the way.
In the Bad Data Handbook, Q. Ethan McCallum gathers cast of authors to explore the wide variety of data headaches, including:
Welcome to data sciences dirty secret: real-world data is messy. Data scientists must spend a good deal of time playing software developer, writing code to clean up data before they can actually do anything constructive with it.
Its a necessary evil, but you can still make the most of it. This practical book walks you through several real-world examples to demonstrate the theory and practice behind working with and cleaning up dirty data.
No one tool solves all of the problems well. Wise data scientists learn many tools and learn where each one shines. To that end, this book takes a polyglot approach: most examples will involve R and Python, but expect the occasional smattering of Groovy and sed/awk fun.
About the Author
Q Ethan McCallum is a consultant, writer, and technology enthusiast, though perhaps not in that order. His work has appeared online on The OReilly Network and Java.net, and also in print publications such as C/C++ Users Journal, Doctor Dobbs Journal, and Linux Magazine. In his professional roles, he helps companies to make smart decisions about data and technology.
Table of Contents
About the AuthorsPrefaceChapter 1: Setting the Pace: What Is Bad Data?Chapter 2: Is It Just Me, or Does This Data Smell Funny?Chapter 3: Data Intended for Human Consumption, Not Machine ConsumptionChapter 4: Bad Data Lurking in Plain TextChapter 5: (Re)Organizing the Webs DataChapter 6: Detecting Liars and the Confused in Contradictory Online ReviewsChapter 7: Will the Bad Data Please Stand Up?Chapter 8: Blood, Sweat, and UrineChapter 9: When Data and Reality Dont MatchChapter 10: Subtle Sources of Bias and ErrorChapter 11: Dont Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Good: Is Bad Data Really Bad?Chapter 12: When Databases Attack: A Guide for When to Stick to FilesChapter 13: Crouching Table, Hidden NetworkChapter 14: Myths of Cloud ComputingChapter 15: The Dark Side of Data ScienceChapter 16: How to Feed and Care for Your Machine-Learning ExpertsChapter 17: Data TraceabilityChapter 18: Social Media: Erasable Ink?Chapter 19: Data Quality Analysis Demystified: Knowing When Your Data Is Good EnoughColophon
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