GB’s Olympic formula: is medal success the ‘right’ goal for UK Sport investment?

Rio 2016 has seen Britain’s best medal haul in over a century: second in the world with 67 medals. Whilst the more cynical might attribute some of its success to the decline of other nations, it is generally acknowledged that UK Sport’s system of investment lies behind GB’s success. But is the magnificent medal haul the intended aim of these public funds? Currently sports such as basketball (one of the most popular sports amongst young people in the UK) receive no funding, whilst high-performing sports continue on a self-perpetuating virtuous cycle of more funding and even better performance.

Continue reading “GB’s Olympic formula: is medal success the ‘right’ goal for UK Sport investment?”

Visualisation in Business – Part 3

This follows on from Part 1 and Part 2 in this 3-part special on Visualisation in Business.

What types of chart best tell my data’s story?

The rule of thumb is to use the simplest chart to showcase your results. Far too many people try to jam their data into a funky type of chart for the sake of it, but if it doesn’t fit well with the data type, it just over-complicates the visual and can be hard to figure out for the uninitiated. That being said, many of the newer chart types (coming later in this article) are intuitive and don’t need any explanation to figure out, so if used in the right circumstance can be very effective and even fun!

Continue reading “Visualisation in Business – Part 3”

Visualisation in Business – Part 2

This follows on from Part 1 “What is visualisation?” in this 3-part special on Visualisation in Business.

How is visualisation used in business, what value does it bring?

Visualisation can save you time, elicit improved insights, bring your data to life, boil data down to its essence, and best of all, it puts data back in the hands of the decision-makers!

Continue reading “Visualisation in Business – Part 2”

Visualisation in Business – Part 1

So far most of my blogs have been on “just for fun” applications, largely because I can’t go into specifics on business applications due to their confidentiality. But it’s the business world that’s really driving acceleration in the field, so I will try to redress the balance here in describing (in suitably broad terms) how visualisation is helping businesses make better decisions. This is the first in a 3-part special to illustrate the topic: Part 1 “What is visualisation?”; Part 2 “How is visualisation used in real life to improve business decisions?”; and Part 3 “What new types of chart are there to tell my data’s story?”

Continue reading “Visualisation in Business – Part 1”

London transport’s overcrowding: what’s causing it & can we solve it with data?

As featured in CapGemini Business Analytics Blog

London’s transport overcrowding has become so pervasive that it has been cited as London’s #2 biggest issue – after the housing crisis, of course, but the two are heavily inter-related. It factored into every mayoral candidate’s manifesto in a big way, and impacts on each of us who calls this sprawling city home or travels through it.

In this article, I look into how bad the issue has become, assess some of its causes, and finally outline some ideas about what can be done to resolve it for the future.

Continue reading “London transport’s overcrowding: what’s causing it & can we solve it with data?”

Half-marathon network maps

I ran a half-marathon last weekend! It was tough but I think the great thing about running is that you can see so much improvement if you’re prepared to put in some good preparation (using data of course!) combined with a healthy dose of motivation. I felt that the race I entered was dominated by regular runners with very few casual participants (except for me!), so I was interested to investigate: is there a pattern to which races are selected by regulars, and is there a “circuit” that regular marathon-runners prefer? Continue reading “Half-marathon network maps”

Is London really too dominant a capital city?

Various reports have bemoaned London’s dominance within the UK. Helen Lewis of the Guardian recently stated “the capital’s uncontrolled growth has given it a dominance that damages the rest of the country” ( This bloating of London has been most publicised in terms of house prices, with students topically claiming to have been “priced out” of our capital, and others too. All this made me wonder if this phenomenon is true elsewhere, or are we being UK-centric in thinking this challenge is unique to our country? Continue reading “Is London really too dominant a capital city?”