Photo by Good Free Photos on Unsplash

We were late. I had rushed from work to my parents’ house, picked them up —only to backtrack to the house as five minutes in Mom realized she was wearing shoes that didn’t match. Then, back on the road, we headed across town in rush hour traffic — only to be detoured off of the highway due to an accident, slowing us down significantly, before finally arriving and then struggling to find a parking space. But now, panting just a little, pits of my shirt visibly damp with sweat — we were seated. At my brother’s graduation.

He’s been a…


Trying to Geocode with Messy Address Data? Tableau Prep to the Rescue

In my previous post (Batch Geocoding On the Cheap), I write that geocoding your addresses is key to being able to fully use them in your analyses. However, in order to geocode your data, you need clean address data to work with. While Excel and direct SQL are good solutions for relatively clean data, for truly messy address data, I recommend the tool, Tableau Prep.

Tableau Prep is part of the Tableau Desktop product suite. Tableau Prep is not free. It does, however, come free with Tableau Desktop. For a variety of reasons which I won’t go into entirely here…


Batch Geocoding the Cheap, Manual Way…With a Data Key

Photo by Calvin Hanson on Unsplash

So you have addresses. Thousands, perhaps tens of thousands-perhaps hundreds of thousands of addresses. Customer data, origin/destination data- it doesn’t matter the context. The addresses are effectively meaningless (data-wise) unless they are geocoded. An address is geocoded once it is assigned a latitude and longitude. And once you have a latitude and longitude, you can map the data, conduct spatial analyses, calculate distances, assign them to census tracts- the possibilities are (almost) endless.

But the task of geocoding itself can pose a significant hurdle. If you have a handful of addresses or even a few thousand, you have a lot…


Photo by christopher lemercier on Unsplash

Do you realize that you will have to let go at some point, perhaps quite soon? How much more time do you need before you will be ready to let go? Will you become less when you let go? Has who you are become diminished by the loss?

In A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle asks these questions to a woman who has lost her grandmother’s ring, a very treasured heirloom.

I asked these same questions of myself yesterday and today and I will probably do so again tomorrow and for some time after, not for the loss not of a…


How I Met Ruthie

Photo by Gérôme Bruneau on Unsplash

Once upon a time, I moved to Denmark. For love? To find myself amidst ancient Nordic forests, medieval castles, and brilliantly tall and beautiful Danes? Sadly, no. ‘Twas only for work.

So, one bitterly cold fall day, I found myself with three very large and very heavy suitcases in front of an apartment building with no elevator. I eyed my suitcases warily, sizing them up. But I had no time for mulling over poor packing choices. There was a task at hand and stairs to climb. Four floors worth of stairs in fact and 150 pounds of stuff to drag…


Photo by Christina Kirschnerova on Unsplash

“So what are your New Year’s Resolutions?” My friend had just finished telling me hers. They were solid, admirable, albeit predictable. Along the lines of being healthier and doing better financially. I hadn’t reflected on mine much yet and so started to share a loosely disguised version of hers.

And then I added, surprising us both, “And I want to stop lying.”

This was December 2017. Over the course of 2017, I had gone from being a fairly honest non-lying person to an amorphous shape shifting version of myself that could barely keep her latest persona straight. To one person…


“Far out in the ocean the water is as blue as the petals of the loveliest cornflower, and as clear as the purest glass. But it is very deep too. It goes down deeper than any anchor rope will go, and many, many steeples would have to be stacked one on top of another to reach from the bottom to the surface of the sea. It is down there that the sea folk live.”

Or so the story of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid” begins.

I had always known that the Disney version of “The Little Mermaid” was vastly…


“Gastronomy is the art of using food to create happiness,” writes Theodore Zeldin.

Zeldin, both a philosopher and a historian has dedicated much of his life to discovering what it means to be human and what it means to be happy. One of his books, An Intimate History of Humanity, is a treasure. Each chapter explores a different theme, emotion, or element of the human life. Examples of chapter titles include, “How men and women have slowly learned to have interesting conversations” and “Why the crisis in the family is only one stage in the evolution of generosity.”

Underlying all…

Jennifer Livingstone

Obsessed with Data and Libraries. Always Curious. Editor of Data-Driven Decisions

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