data science

Continuous Learning in a Time of Continuous Change

This blog post is a long-form version of the talk I gave at the Statistical Society of Canada conference on 2022-06-03, one of the invited panelists on "Maintaining Relevancy Through New Tools, Data Science and Data Visualizations". Abstract Continuous Learning in Times of Continuous Change It’s a universally accepted truism that we live in a time of unprecedented change, both in terms of the magnitude and the pace of those changes.

Continuous Learning in Times of Continuous Change

Possible responses that will allow us to keep pace with a perpetually shifting ecosystem

Always another fork in the road

How does a geographer end up with the job title "Provincial Statistician"?

Programming skills that have nothing to do with causal inference or stats

Data science for social scientists

Next Generation Data—Unlocking Data Value with Data Science and Machine Learning

Public sector data science and machine learning

Data mishaps—When variables are, indeed, variable

What I learned from a data mishap

When variables are, indeed, variable

This blog post is a long-form version of the talk I gave as part of the Data Mishaps virtual event on 2021-02-05. Thanks to the event organizers Caitlin Hudon and Laura Ellis for bringing together a variety of people to share their stories. A bit of context I have spent the largest proportion of my career as a public servant at BC Stats, the provincial statistics agency in British Columbia, Canada.

Importing fixed-width files with {palmerpenguins}

Gentoo penguins in Antarctica, walking along a “penguin highway”, a path that joins the sea and their nesting area on a rocky outcrop. Who doesn’t like penguins? They have a quirky charm, and are an amazing demonstration of the power of evolution: they fly but only underwater, and are adapted to thrive in some of the harshest climates on Earth. The {palmerpenguins} R package contains data collected at the Palmer Station on Anvers Island in the Antarctic.

Same name, different bird

Originally posted to, 2019-06-02 What do we mean when we see a bird and say that it’s a robin? A simple description would be a small brownish bird with a red breast. But that’s a superficial description, and when we say “robin” what we mean depends on your location; you don’t have to look very closely to see that the European and American robins are fundamentally different. The European robin (Erithacus rubecula, pictured above) is an Old World flycatcher, catching insects on the wing.

Book review--Storytelling with Data

by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic (2015, Wiley) Originally posted to, 2016-03-06 One of the great strengths of R is that there are some robust (and always improving) packages that facilitate great data visualization and tabular summaries. Beyond the capabilities built into the base version of R, packages such as ggplot2 (my favourite), lattice, and vcd and vcdExtra extend the possibilities for rendering charts and graphs, and a similar variety exist for reproducing tables.