How to create a free distributed data collection “app” with R and Google Sheets

A really neat concept that reminds me of my time tracking method: Jenny Bryan, developer of the google sheets R package, gave a talk at Use2015 about the package. One of the things that got me most excited about the package was an example she gave in her talk of using the Google Sheets package for data collection at ultimate frisbee tournaments. One reason is that I used to play a little ultimate back in the day.

More data please

Two weeks ago, Rob Stellar wrote about the low rate of college completion among Hartford Public School graduates on TrendCT. More importantly, he raised some important questions that may better explain what’s going on here: “What is preventing so many students who graduate high school from enrolling in college? Is it for financial reasons or lack of access to other resources/college prep programs? How well do Hartford high schools prepare students for college?

Data analysis on the go

A recent Fast Company article describes Tableau’s latest app, Project Elastic, as a potential game-changer in mobile data analysis. The app would allow iPad users to move from an Excel file in to an interactive chart with a few quick taps. Filters can be applied/removed with swipes, zoom levels are adjusted by pinch/spread gestures, and charts can be shared via email. It’s a cleverly designed interface, but Elastic suffers from a critical problem: it assumes the user is accessing clean datasets.