Monthly Insights #006

Delayed June edition covering an intro to pandas, algorithm bias and an alternative to the iris dataset

Hi 👋,

Welcome to the slightly delayed June edition of my newsletter and thank you to all 108 of you for subscribing!

It's been a particularly tough month and I've struggled writing an intro to this newsletter. This past month has been devastating and eye-opening. I know that I have the privilege of learning about racism over experiencing it, meaning that it is imperative to listen to BIPOC, reflect on how to support the Black Lives Matter movement and be a better ally.

Within Data Science, bias, including racial bias, is something that we all need to be aware of and the effect it that can have on our algorithms and the people they serve. As mentioned last month, I recently read Hello World by Hannah Fry which provides a brilliant introduction to real-world applications of algorithms and highlights some of the issues and bias when applied to justice, health and crime systems, among others.

Algorithm bias and ethical AI are topics I’m particularly interested in learning more about and I'm starting to compile a list of books that I plan to read on this that I will share in an upcoming newsletter - if you have any recommended resources that you have found or people who work on this, please get in touch!

This month I share my latest article, a few resources to check out and my latest reads. Enjoy!


📰 Latest Posts

  1. Data Analysis in python: Getting started with pandas: My latest post will help you to get started with pandas, a tool for data analysis and manipulation, by exploring the Palmer Penguin dataset in the first of a multi-part series!

  2. Learning resources to get started or improve your python skills: ICYMI last month and you're looking to develop your python skills, try a new programming language or check out some courses in data science.

You can also find a selection of my articles on Medium.


🔍Top resources

This month’s recommended resources from across the web and beyond!

  • The Data Digest Newsletter: I recommend subscribing to Ayodele Odubela's newsletter! It's full of brilliant data resources and she shares tips about her journey into Data Science that could also help you to land your next job. Ayodele is also in the process of writing a book which I can't wait to read on uncovering bias in ML!

  • Palmer Penguin's dataset: If you've already checked out my latest article you'll have been introduced to the Palmer Penguins dataset as a replacement for the iris dataset. The iris dataset is one that is commonly used for visualisation and pattern recognition in Data Science and is included in several R and python packages. Since recently discovering the author’s link with eugenics, there has been an effort to source other datasets to replace this. That's where the penguins come in! The data were collected and made available by Dr. Kristen Gorman and the Palmer Station, Antarctica LTER and published by Allison Horst as an alternative dataset to explore! Give it a try!

  • Gender Shades: Fascinating study evaluating the accuracy of IBM, Microsoft, and Face++ AI services on identifying the gender of a face.


📚This month’s reading list

Back to some non-fiction books with two 5✭ reads this month! Still slowly working through a communication book!

#012: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ✭✭✭✭✭

#013: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway ✭✭✭✭✭

📘 Currently reading: Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High


If you're UK based and looking for ways to support Black Lives Matter, you can help fund projects and research by Diverse Tech NW to help them to identify the barriers to entry for Black people in tech, discover how to support Black employees already working in the industry and get visibility on how tech is impacting Black lives.

Are there any topics you're learning about or resources you'd like to see featured in an upcoming newsletter? I'd love to hear from you, send me an email and let me know!

Take care and see you next month!

Kerry