Data in Tech: Insights from Spotify, Airbnb, Instacart, Zulily, Soundcloud, and Lyft [DSR #107]
There were tons of excellent posts about data from innovative tech companies this week. Each article tells a story of a data team operating at the top of its game, achieving truly unique things.
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Focus on: Data in Tech
Whoah. I’ve wanted to read this article for two years. I’ve been a Discover Weekly fan since they launched the feature in 2015 and this is the first writeup I’ve seen of how it works. My favorite surprise: it incorporates a raw audio CNN to find tracks with directly similar characteristics, skipping the human element completely.
Really excellent read.
At Airbnb, R has been amongst the most popular tools for doing data science in many different contexts, including generating product insights, interpreting experiments, and building predictive models. Airbnb supports R usage by creating internal R tools and by creating a community of R users. At the end of the post, the authors provide some specific advice for practitioners who wish to incorporate R into their day-to-day workflow.
This is the deepest writing to-date on one of the most innovative, collaborative data teams in the world. Must read.
Using Monte Carlo simulations to balance supply & demand in a marketplace.
Zulily’s data infrastructure focuses on building a wrapper around the entire stack so that they could deliver heterogenous services with a homogenous API. Powerful, but quite a challenging task.
Based on the experiences of our Data Scientists, we distilled a set of steps, tips and general guidance representing the best practices that we collectively know of and agree to as a community of practitioners.
After figuring out what the issue was, we revamped the experimental design and learned that what we intuited was right — user churn did increase with increased auth frequency.
Fascinating story of an subtle flaw in experimental design.
Other great posts this week
Data Pipelines can be time-consuming to build. Should you buy Segment, Stitch, or Fivetran to do it for you?
Stephen Levin, the author, is an analyst @ Zapier, member of the dbt community, and super-smart guy. I don’t 100% agree with everything in his post (I’m less of a Segment fan), but this is an excellent take on an important topic.
I’ve noticed that the things that I value and the things that work for me aren’t always the same things that big companies tend to recruit for. So in this post, I wanted to list a few things that I think make a really good data scientist [at a small company].
This is an excellent post. Relevant if you’re seeking or hiring for a role at a startup.
Incorporate cartoons into your presentations and writing more. Bring your iPad to work, download Paper, and have at it.
“Should I learn Python 2 or Python 3?” Here’s the definite answer, based on the opinion of practicing data scientists.
The multiple Python versions confused me when I first learned the language. This is worth a read for other new Python devs.
Data viz of the week
Simple, very powerful.
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The internet's most useful data science articles. Curated with ❤️ by Tristan Handy.
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