Keeping up with data — Week 5 reading list

5 minutes for 5 hours’ worth of reading

Adam Votava
2 min readFeb 5, 2021

The week has brought some interesting news in the world of data. First, Belgian start-up Soda — building a data monitoring tool — has raised $11.5 million in the series A funding, which is great news for the growing data quality space. Likewise, Databricks closed their $1 billion round G resulting in a mind-boggling $28 billion valuation (with $425M ARR!!). And finally, the new CEO of Amazon will be the current head of AWS.

It is a pleasing reassurance of the importance of data on the scale of small start-ups, large tech companies plus the massive ones!

Moving on, what else did I enjoy reading this week?

  • How to Make Dashboards Using a Product Thinking Approach: Dashboards are still heavily relied on by many people in almost every company. Yet, they can fall into oblivion very easily and there is no way to force people to use your dashboard, let alone act upon it. Unless, of course, it is compelling! How to do that? Understand the goal and the audience, build the dashboards for the users, follow up and iterate. (Shopify Engineering)
  • Should You Use Python pathlib or os? Managing paths in Python is a common task. Many people have been using os. But there is also an alternative in pathlib. Which one is better? The author claims it is the object-oriented pathlib. Check out the comparison of making, reading, finding and managing files and folders to learn why. (Adam Green @ Better Programming)
  • Uncomputable Numbers: I’ve always enjoyed the popular mathematics books (way more than the mathematics tomes I had to study at the university). Even with a very basic knowledge, a reader can follow a fascinating problem. It is also often mixed with the history of famous mathematicians, so one learns not only about the actual problems but also about the people solving it. This article is a great example of such a story about mathematicians and one particular problem. Rational and irrational numbers are widely known. Computable and uncomputable numbers not so much. (Jørgen Veisdal @ Cantor’s Paradise)

This pandemic time is not easy. Many companies are failing. There are stupid failures and noble failures. And then there are people failing with grace and people failing without it. The following two articles — unrelated to data — are a great reminder of that: Good leaders lose with grace; and On closing Considdr.

Thanks for reading!

Please feel free to share your thoughts or reading tips in the comments.

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Adam Votava

Data scientist | avid cyclist | amateur pianist (I'm sharing my personal opinion and experience, which should not to be considered professional advice)