Category Archives: Data Science

machine learning,

The Golden Prospect of Machine Learning – from Econsultancy

| Posted in Connected Data, Data Science,

Black Swan Data Science Consultant Rose Barnett has recently had this article on Machine Learning published by digital business, marketing and ecommerce experts Econsultancy.

Rose studied Economics and Politics before entering the tech startup world. She develops our data science into products which empower people in their jobs. She strongly believes you shouldn’t need a PhD to use machine learning, and that software should serve humans, not replace them. Outside work, she writes on public policy and the changing political economy under the fourth industrial revolution.
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Genetic Algorithm

From Ape to Scientist: Explaining A Genetic Algorithm

| Posted in Connected Data, Data Science,

A Genetic Algorithm is a method of solving optimisation problems based on a natural selection process, mimicking biological evolution.

Sam is a on of Black Swan’s quirky data scientists. She has a masters in applied maths and a fascination with the power of machine learning. She is currently working on a masters in Statistics but in her free time enjoys yoga and reading poetry.
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Will I Be Replaced By A Computer?

| Posted in Data Science,

Please read this carefully (or your computer may understand it better than you do…) “Will I be replaced by a computer?”.  This question was not the only thing on my mind when I attended the ACL annual conference – but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t cross it.

Richárd has been working on machine learning-based solutions for NLP since 2003. His main research interest is real-world NLP applications which desire deeper linguistic analysis. Besides publishing 100+ academic papers, he has also delivered commercial NLP software solutions. He is now an assistant professor of AI/machine learning/NLP at the University of Szeged, Hungary and leads a data science team at Black Swan Data.
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Guest Post: Big Data – Does Size Matter? by Timandra Harkness

| Posted in Connected Data, Data Science

This evening, writer, comedian and data expert Timandra Harkness launches her book – Big Data – Does Size Matter, complete with a special mention of a certain Black Swan on page 23! A long time friend of Black Swan, Timandra has written this guest post for our blog to celebrate. If you are interested in buying the book, make sure you read right to the bottom for a special discount code.

A writer, comedian and broadcaster, Timandra has been performing on scientific, mathematical and statistical topics since the latter days of the 20th Century. She has written about travel for the Sunday Times, motoring for the Telegraph, science & technology for WIRED, BBC Focus Magazine and Men’s Health Magazine, and is a regular on BBC Radio, and resident reporter on social psychology series The Human Zoo. Timandra also writes and presents documentaries and BBC Radio 4’s FutureProofing series, and is currently writing a new comedy show about Big Data. In her spare time she is studying for an Open University degree in Mathematics & Statistics.
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Miniconometrics – The Black Swan A-Team

| Posted in Connected Data, Data Science, Insight

Want to measure the effectiveness of your marketing communications? Here the Black Swan A-Team tells you how!

Aiste Karkauskaite: Senior Consultant in econometrics, a.k.a. IDD – Investigator and Data Detective
Alexander Geuder: Software Engineer for the Data Science team, splashing practical convention in theoretical chaos
Rafael Fernandes: Data Scientist, problem solver and self-proclaimed master of the dance floor in Brazilian Zouk dancing
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Taking Care in the Air

| Posted in Connected Data, Creativity, Data Science, Innovation

Applying Big Data and Cutting Edge Algorithms to Drive Better Passenger OutcomesEverybody is always looking for the cheapest flight available, right? The rise of the budget airlines proves that the only thing people are really interested in when they book a flight is to get the lowest possible price. Well no, actually.

Based in our London office and working with the management team, Mick works on our commercial propositions across a number of different verticals. He comes from an airline background having worked on tech projects for Fly Dubai, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays. He has also been known to do a bit of scuba diving, so if you’re ever after some dive advice drop him a line at @blackswanmick
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The Keyword Conundrum – Insights and Brand Names

| Posted in Connected Data, Data Science, Insight

Everyone who has ever worked in Data or Social Listening been involved in building queries will hopefully relate to what I am about to write.
The 1st step in all the briefs we receive is to come up with a query that will enable us to retrieve all the data we need to surface insights.

Marine is a planner at heart. She spends so much time observing the world, understanding behaviour, analysing online conversation and deciphering patterns within pools of data, many think she could be part of the Matrix. After 2 MScs in Advertising & Marketing, Marine joined Black Swan to help the Insight & Innovation team with their interstellar insights.
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Blowing the Black Swan Trumpet

| Posted in Creativity, Data Science, Investment

Sometimes at Black Swan we have some news we just have to share; the last time we couldn’t keep a cork in it was the UK’s Fastest Growing Start-up award from the Sunday Times.  This time we are delighted to confirm our series B investment has been secured from our friends at Mitsui, Japan’s top corporation and one of the largest groups in the world.

Steve King has worked in tech & data science, man & boy. He puts it down to playing with an abacus from an early age in the depths of Wales, with precious else to do. Now he’s all grown up and as CEO spends his days leading our flagship accounts – zipping regularly from the UK to the US West Coast. He’s one of Black Swan’s founders, citing his sources of inspiration as Nate Silver, standing atop the Gower Peninsular and delivering game changing insights for his clients.
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The Exeter Engaged Smart Transport Project

| Posted in Data Science

Black Swan are excited to be involved in the new Exeter Engaged Smart Transport project, launched today in collaboration with Exeter City Council and Devon County Council.

Lara is a Copywriter and Communications Manager at Black Swan, and outside work a social media obsessive and music lover. Passionate about the written word from a young age, Lara is on a mission to rid the world of marketing-speak and ‘nonversation’!
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Underwater Web and The Data Revolution

| Posted in Data Science

The history of the human race is a history of revolutions: agriculture, pottery, religion and wars all defining our development as a species.

Hugo brings a decade of blue-chip consumer marketing experience into the mix, and when we say “chip” we mean it literally – in a previous life he was the man behind Walkers Crisps digital success. Hugo is expert in delivering cosmic insights to our clients and is passionate about technology and data. He loves a bit of rugby and will also often be found strapped to a pair of skis.
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Data Science – How Do We Do It? (Part 2)

| Posted in Data Science

I feel that opening with a dictionary definition of the word ‘pattern’ will lend bit of artistic flare to this post:

Pattern

/ˈpat(ə)n/

Noun

  1. A repeated decorative design. 
  2. A regular and intelligible form or sequence.
Dick has been with Black Swan since day one. He founded our data science team, a group of labcoat-wearing doctors with diverse backgrounds in everything from astrophysics, to complex systems, to quantum computing. Collectively they know more algorithms than you can shake a stick at, and work as one to find innovative solutions to the toughest of business problems.
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What Exactly is the Purpose of Data Science? (Part 1)

| Posted in Data Science

Everyone knows data science is important. Most people have heard stories about companies who used data science to predict the future, revolutionise their business, or even disrupt an industry. Many people know that data scientists ‘build models’, ‘write algorithms’ and ‘make predictions’. Few people know what those buzz words actually mean, let alone why we use them. The answer, in a nutshell, is simple: The purpose of data science is to find patterns.

Dick has been with Black Swan since day one. He founded our data science team, a group of labcoat-wearing doctors with diverse backgrounds in everything from astrophysics, to complex systems, to quantum computing. Collectively they know more algorithms than you can shake a stick at, and work as one to find innovative solutions to the toughest of business problems.
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The Lingo of Logic (and how to tell if you’ll be happy tomorrow!)

| Posted in Best Practice, Data Science, Insight

The study of logic concerns the study of sentences (propositions in the lingo of logic) and whether they are true or false.

Ettie is a trained mathematician with a PhD in artificial intelligence. After a stint in academia she found her way to industry and now works on crunching natural language processing algorithms at Black Swan.
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My Sentiment Exactly…. We loooooove data science!

| Posted in Data Science, Insight

Black Swan’s Data Science Lead Architect Henrietta Eyre on the complexities of Sentiment Analysis, and how to build a sentiment classifier.

Ettie is a trained mathematician with a PhD in artificial intelligence. After a stint in academia she found her way to industry and now works on crunching natural language processing algorithms at Black Swan.
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Shop ‘Til You Drop this Christmas with Black Swan’s Secret Formula!

| Posted in Connected Data, Data Science, Marketing

Wondering how to use up those few days of annual leave you’ve got left?

Lara is a Copywriter and Communications Manager at Black Swan, and outside work a social media obsessive and music lover. Passionate about the written word from a young age, Lara is on a mission to rid the world of marketing-speak and ‘nonversation’!
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Creativity vs Logic. Art vs Science. Left Brain vs Right Brain.

| Posted in Creativity, Data Science
Scott loves to makes things – whether it’s a data inspired digital experience for one of the world’s most loved brands, a best selling book aimed at getting Dads to make ‘cool stuff’, or an illustrated project for his award winning blog. It’s this approach that has helped him win business, win followers and win awards. Fun fact: As a kid he won a national drawing competition and was invited to the Take Hart studios to meet Tony Hart, but was left devastated when told he couldn’t meet Morph!​
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Welcome To The Brain

| Posted in Connected Data, Data Science, Effiency

Farming! José! Bunnies!

Our Chief Technical Officer, Gary Townsend, shares his thoughts on The Brain, our latest innovation which will change the way Data Scientists produce scaleable models, forever!

Based in our LA office Gary is the brains behind much of our artificial intelligence technology and really knows his stuff. Gary cut his teeth on aviation internet technology before joining as CTO this year and he’s an alumni of the Dakota School of Mining, so…if you need to know about inflight internet or find yourself short of a Davey Lamp – he’s your man…
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Of Crabs and Beetroot: A Statistician’s Tale

| Posted in Connected Data, Data Science

How probabilities can affect even the smallest business decisions.

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Unlimited Holidays, and How Dolly Parton got it Wrong, by 30 Minutes!

| Posted in Best Practice, Creativity, Data Science, Effiency, Office Culture

Richard Branson recently made a stir with his announcement that Virgin employees could take as much leave as they wanted.

Scott loves to makes things – whether it’s a data inspired digital experience for one of the world’s most loved brands, a best selling book aimed at getting Dads to make ‘cool stuff’, or an illustrated project for his award winning blog. It’s this approach that has helped him win business, win followers and win awards. Fun fact: As a kid he won a national drawing competition and was invited to the Take Hart studios to meet Tony Hart, but was left devastated when told he couldn’t meet Morph!​
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Adaptive Behaviour

| Posted in Data Science, Insight

LANGUAGE GAMES WITH VAGUE CATEGORIES AND NEGATIONS.

Our amazing Data Scientist Henrietta Eyre recently had a research paper published in Adaptive Behavior, the official journal of the International Society of Adaptive Behavior.

Ettie is a trained mathematician with a PhD in artificial intelligence. After a stint in academia she found her way to industry and now works on crunching natural language processing algorithms at Black Swan.
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