The official PASS Blog is where you’ll find the latest blog posts from PASS community members and the PASS Board. Contributors share their thoughts and discuss a wide variety of topics spanning PASS and the data community.

Confounding Variables from Historical Bias

The following blog post was co-authored by Christine Assaf and William Assaf.

Historical data analysis that is naïve to past discrimination is doomed to parrot bias. How do we combat bias in our data analytics? 

First, we already know that complex, multi-talented teams are best-suited to face complex, multi-faceted problems. A more diverse group of researchers and engineers is more likely to recognize and think harder about bias problems that may impact them personally. “It’s difficult to build technology that serves the world without first building a team that reflects the diversity of the world,” wrote Microsoft President Brad Smith in Tools and Weapons (2019). 

Second, data collection is often provided to us through real-world interactions, subject to real-world bias. No real-world data exists in a vacuum. We should understand that bias in data collection and analysis may be inevitable but is not acceptable. It is not your responsibility to end bias (though that’s a worthy cause), but rather to be proactively informed and transparent.  

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Measure Ethical Data Analysis by Outcomes, Not Intent

The following blog post was co-authored by Christine Assaf and William Assaf.

In January 2020, Robert Williams was arrested on his front lawn in a suburb of Detroit, Mich., after police scanned state driver’s license photos and matched his face to grainy surveillance camera footage. He was held for 30 hours in police custody on suspicion of theft of 5 luxury watches, months earlier. He was innocent. In the resulting lawsuit and public scrutiny, the Detroit Chief of Police admitted in a public meeting in June 2020 that their facial recognition software would misidentify suspects 95-97% of the time.

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Automate Professional PowerPoint Presentations Using R

The following blog post was co-authored by Jeff Renz and Brian Liberatore.

The PowerPoint presentation is the vehicle of choice for information sharing among many businesses. R brings unparalleled power to data analysis and visualization. However, getting those visualizations from a window in R Studio to a formatted slide via copy/paste is tedious and error prone. There is a better way. Jeff Renz demonstrates how R Markdown can automate the creation of presentation-worthy slides from R code. This feature saves hours of time, eliminates errors, and allows a user to update a two-hundred-page slide deck with a key stroke. This is key for decks that include state-by-state data, profit margins across dozens of product lines, or complex visualizations reliant on constantly updated data.

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SQLSaturday Founders Celebrate SQLSaturday #1000

In celebration of publishing SQLSaturday #1000, we asked the three original SQLSaturday founders: Andy Warren, Brian Knight, and Steve Jones to share their thoughts and reflections on this incredible milestone.
 

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#SQLLove Story

COMMUNITY MEMBERS SHARE HOW THEY FOUND LOVE AT PASS SUMMIT

While people attend PASS Summit for many different reasons, including the fantastic speakers or opportunities to network, most don’t come expecting to attend a wedding.

Tamera Clark and Kerry Tyler started dating after meeting at Purdue University in Indiana. Both working as data professionals, they both dreamed of the day where each of their respective companies would pay their registration fees to attend PASS Summit. They started an inside joke saying “it’s all fun and games until you go to PASS Summit,” and told one another that if they ever got the opportunity to attend the conference, they would get married there. It was October 2011, when they finally got their chance.

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PASS Summit Speaker Presentation Template Updates

By Meagan Longoria and Chris Yates

As you may have already noticed, the speaker presentation template looks a bit different this year. To shed light on how the template was created, the talented Meagan Longoria, PASS HQ, and myself are taking some time to give you a behind the scenes look.

Last PASS Summit, I had the privilege of talking with many of you on a myriad of topics; one of the more intriguing ones was the conversation I had with Meagan. Our discussions focused on the speaker templates currently being used and what can be done to improve them. She has a lot of great content on her blog and one specific post that ties into what we are discussing today can be found here

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Data Modernization Tour Highlights

With the Data Modernization Tour well underway, we wanted to share some of the community feedback, highlights, and photos we’ve been receiving from attendees around the world. Be sure to share your own experiences and connect with others on social media using #modernmigration and stay...

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