Overcoming gravity & achieving escape velocity




EARL Conference, Seattle


It is a truth universally acknowledged that large organizations (public and private sector) develop policies, procedures, and cultures that standardize and streamline business processes, with the aim of making the organization more cost-efficient and to minimize risk. But these corporate policies can inhibit innovations. Gordon Macdonald has dubbed these policies, procedures, and cultures The Giant Hairball. And the gravity of the Hairball “exercises an inexorable pull into mediocrity”. The Province of British Columbia has created a space that allows for the experimental use of open source tools (including R), open development, and open data. This operating environment has allowed BC Stats and other data analysis shops within the B.C. Public Service to go into orbit around the Hairball, including the adoption of R and the implementation of the robust data science workflow that R facilitates.

Long-form article

Overcoming gravity & achieving escape velocity