Mastodon C



  • Infamy, infamy

    Fran Bennett Feb 6, 2013

    More recent and upcoming talks from Team Mastodon: A couple of recent ones that are up online: Using data for EVIL! at the Strata Data Warfare conference Big Data comes to the NHS at ODI Fridays lunchtime lecture More public talks coming soon: Open Data for CSR, Intelligent Futures, 12th Feb R and Shiny at Data Science […]

  • What happens when a project gets into the press

    Fran Bennett Jan 4, 2013

    Prescribing Analytics got an awful lot of positive press coverage over the last few weeks. It’s very exciting to see something we’ve made be covered so extensively – it was on the front page of the Independent, on the PM programme on Radio 4 (47 mins in), the Economist, the FT, and even in the Revolution Analytics R blog as well as various […]

  • It lives!

    Fran Bennett Dec 12, 2012

    We’ve finally published the prescribing analytics portal here It covers prescribing variation of statins in the UK last year, making it really easy to explore variation which could be costing extra money. I definitely recommend taking a look – it’s fascinating to explore. It got some great coverage too – the Financial Times, the Economist, and […]

  • Big data, simple analytics, big impact.

    Fran Bennett Oct 29, 2012

    Don’t tell anyone yet, but we’ve got a big project going live soon which aims to help the NHS save an awful lot of money. It turns out that by altering GPs’ prescribing behaviour for a few drugs, swapping generic for proprietary forms where appropriate, it’s possible to save hundreds of millions of pounds a […]

  • Big data, told through the medium of The Muppets

    Fran Bennett Oct 22, 2012

    From the Bethnal Green Ventures Demo Day – my 5 minute version of what we do, told mostly through the medium of Muppets. Not the most technically deep talk I’ve ever done, but I’m actually pretty pleased with this as a very quick teaser on what we do and what it’s for. Now to work on the […]

  • When, will i, will i be famous?

    Fran Bennett Sep 20, 2012

    (if you now have an earworm, congratulations, we are of the same generation) In October you’ll have a few chances to see the very rare and shy Team Mastodon in public. On October 2nd, Fran will be talking at O’Reilly Strata London on How to Make Big Data Massively Greener (contact us for discounted tickets for the […]

  • Hadoop vs data warehouses

    Fran Bennett Aug 20, 2012

    A friend asked me this week what the difference is between using Hadoop and its related ecosystem for data storage and analysis, and using a traditional Data Warehouse. You might want to skip this post if you’re already way ahead on this topic, but for everyone else, I thought I’d try and clarify… A Data Warehouse is […]

  • Hive pain reduction tricks

    Fran Bennett Aug 5, 2012

    Hive is a SQL-like interface onto Map Reduce. It feels nice and familiar to analysts who are used to thinking in a SQL paradigm, but it has some nasty gotchas that can make jobs verrrrrry slow or make them fail altogether. Either way, you waste a lot of time, blood pressure, and machine hours. I […]

  • Green data in the uk – nice job Rackspace!

    Fran Bennett Jul 27, 2012

    We added Rackspace calculations to our footprint data this week, as we’re keen to start running our Hadoop clusters over more infrastructure (in the greenest possible way) and we’re sure you are too. I was getting a bit despondent about our sustainable options for running big computation, so was super excited to learn after talking […]

  • Doing the data centre dance

    Fran Bennett Jul 25, 2012

    We show live footprint estimates for right now on our dashboard at, but it’s also pretty interesting to visualise the different locations over time to get a feel for the size of fluctuation to see how the horse race between time zones and temperatures plays out. This chart shows some real ratings for May. It’s got some […]

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