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17 MARCH 2014

The Pandora Music Genome Project

"We believe that each individual has a unique relationship with music–no one else has tastes exactly like yours. So delivering a great radio experience to each and every listener requires an incredibly broad and deep understanding of music. That's why Pandora is based on the Music Genome Project, the most sophisticated taxonomy of musical information ever collected. It represents over ten years of analysis by our trained team of musicologists, and spans everything from this past Tuesday's new releases all the way back to the Renaissance and Classical music.

Each song in the Music Genome Project is analyzed using up to 450 distinct musical characteristics by a trained music analyst. These attributes capture not only the musical identity of a song, but also the many significant qualities that are relevant to understanding the musical preferences of listeners. The typical music analyst working on the Music Genome Project has a four–year degree in music theory, composition or performance, has passed through a selective screening process and has completed intensive training in the Music Genome's rigorous and precise methodology. To qualify for the work, analysts must have a firm grounding in music theory, including familiarity with a wide range of styles and sounds.

The Music Genome Project's database is built using a methodology that includes the use of precisely defined terminology, a consistent frame of reference, redundant analysis, and ongoing quality control to ensure that data integrity remains reliably high. Pandora does not use machine–listening or other forms of automated data extraction.

The Music Genome Project is updated on a continual basis with the latest releases, emerging artists, and an ever–deepening collection of catalogue titles.

By utilizing the wealth of musicological information stored in the Music Genome Project, Pandora recognizes and responds to each individual's tastes. The result is a much more personalized radio experience – stations that play music you'll love – and nothing else."

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TAGS

analysing dataappeal • attributes • automated data extraction • characteristicsdata analysisdata gathering instruments • data integrity • databasedescriptive labels • ersonalised radio experience • frame of reference • individual preference • individual taste • internet radio • listener preference • machine-listening • metricsmusic • music analyst • Music Genome Project • music taste • music theory • musical characteristicsmusical identitymusical information • musical preferences • musicological information • musicologist • Pandora Radiopersonal taste • precisely terminology • qualities • quality control • radio • radio experience • redundant analysis • relatednesssegmentationsongtaste (sociology)taxonomy • unique taste • user behavioursuser segmentation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
07 OCTOBER 2013

Data Journalism Handbook 1.0

"This website is dedicated to providing anyone interested in getting started with data driven journalism with a collection of learning resources, including relevant events, tools, tutorials, interviews and case studies. The data journalism community and mailing list are dedicated to strengthening the community of journalists, designers, data providers and others, and encouraging collaboration and exchange of expertise."

(European Journalism Centre)

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TAGS

2013analysing dataanalysis data • analysis model • analysis of quantitative informationdatadata analysisdata collection and analysis • data driven journalism • data gathering instrumentsdata infrastructuredata into informationdata journalism • Data Journalism Handbook • data miningdata-drivendigital humanitiesdigital journalism • Dutch Ministry of Education Culture and Science • European Journalism Centre (EJC) • handbookhistorical datajournalismOpen Knowledge Foundationquantitative dataquantitative informationstatisticstrend analysis

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
22 AUGUST 2013

Re-imagining segmentation in Google Analytics

"One of the most popular and powerful features in Google Analytics is Advanced Segmentation. It lets you isolate and analyze subsets of your traffic. You can select from predefined segments such as 'Paid Traffic' and 'Visits with Conversions' or create your own segments with a flexible, easy–to–use segment builder. Then, you can apply one or more of these segments to current or historical data, and even compare segment performance side by side in reports.

We've recently re–imagined segmentation to make it even easier for new Analytics users, yet also more powerful for seasoned analysts and marketers."

(Google Inc)

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TAGS

2013analysing dataanalysis dataanalyticsanimated explainer video • cohort analysis • cohort segmentation • cohort studies • compare segment performance • customersdata gathering instrumentsdemographics • Google Analytics • Google Inchistorical datamarket segmentationmetricsmetrics toolsreports • segment builder • segmentation • site behaviours • sub-segment • subset • traffic analysistransaction datatrend analysisuser behavioursuser demographicsuser groupsuser segmentationwebsite traffic statistics

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
18 AUGUST 2013

Thinking aloud: a method for systematically collecting and analysing data about the design process

"Suppose that you want to understand the design process of architects, the knowledge that they use, the cognitive actions that they take and the strategies they employ. How would you go about this? One obvious possibility is to ask some architects how they design a building. Interestingly enough, they will not find this an easy question to answer. They are used to do their job, not to explain it. If they do try to tell you how they go about their design work, it is quite possible that their account of it will be incomplete or even incorrect, because they construct this account from memory. They may be inclined to describe the design process neatly in terms of the formal design methods that they acquired during their professional training, whereas the real design process deviates from these methods. Psychologists have demonstrated that such accounts are not very reliable. Another possibility is to look at the architects' designs and at their intermediate sketches. However, now you are looking at the products of the thought processes of these architects, and not at the thought processes themselves. What is needed are more direct data on the ongoing thinking processes during working on a design. If you want to know how they arrive at their designs, what they think, what is difficult for them and what is easy, how they reconcile conflicting demands, a different research method is needed.

A good method in this situation is to ask architects to work on a design and to instruct them to think aloud. What they say is recorded and used as data for analysis of the design process. This is a very direct method to gain insight in the knowledge and methods of human problem–solving. The speech and writings are called spoken and written protocols. In this book we will describe a method for systematically collecting and analysing such think aloud protocols. This method can be used by psychologists and other social scientists who want to know more about cognitive processes. It is also an important method for knowledge engineers whose goal is to build a knowledgebased computer system on the basis of human expertise."

(Maarten W. van Someren, Yvonne F. Barnard, et al., 1994, pp.1–2)

Maarten W. van Someren, Yvonne F. Barnard and Jacobijn A.C. Sandberg. (1994). "The Think Aloud Method: A Practical Guide to Modelling Cognitive Processes".

TAGS

academic researchanalysing dataarchitectural thoughtcognitive actionscognitive processescognitive psychologycognitive sciencecognitive theoriesconceptual modeldata collection and analysisdata collection techniquesdesign knowledgedesign process • design strategies • design workdirect observationexperimental knowledgeformal design methods • human expertise • knowledge engineer • knowledge-based systems • problem-solvingpsychological analysispsychological modelsresearch methodsketching ideas • social scientists • spoken protocols • task analysis • testing theories • theoretical model • think aloud (research method) • think aloud protocols • thinking processthought process • unreliable evidence • user testinguser-based evaluation • written protocols

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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