Farewell, adieu, hasta luego, from The Small Data Forum podcast

The Podnosticators in Malaga, March 2023.

It is with a blend of gratitude and nostalgia that we announce the conclusion of The Small Data Forum podcast.

Our journey began in June 2016, and after more than seven years of insightful conversations and explorations via sideways looks at the uses and abuses of data big and small in business, politics and public life, we published our final episode in December 2023.

This website now transitions to an archive. For those who wish to revisit our discussions or explore them anew, each of the 79* monthly episodes we’ve shared over the years, plus a handful of interviews we’ve done, are preserved here. All audio content also remains accessible on major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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Evolutionary opinions

Screenshot: SDF podcast on mobile

In each episode of The Small Data Forum podcast, we pride ourselves in the “sideways look” we apply to our podnostications on the uses and abuses of data big and small in politics, business, and public life, with our opinions and insights that challenge accepted wisdoms.

We hear, anecdotally, that you like this informed but irreverent style.

As we evolve the podcast, we also think it’s a good time now to invite our listeners to actually tell us what they think of the podcast, its content, and our style. What you think.

And so we have our first listener survey! It’s short and simple, designed to help us gain more understanding about what you think of our podcasts, and what suggestions you care to share that will help us make them even more useful and entertaining for you.

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Meet the Podnosticators – the Oracle of Riogordo

In ancient Greece, people consulted oracles to learn about the future. The best known resided at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, where the blind priestess Pythia provided prophetic prediction for all in need of direction. Above its entrance, the temple had an inscription: Know thyself.

In fact, there appear to have been a total of 147 maxims chiselled into the marble – and they are well worth studying in detail if one wants to fine-tune one’s moral compass. The first three are the best-known: in addition to self-knowledge, they appeal to moderation, and the avoidance of overly strong beliefs or ideology (one might be tempted to call that humility).

It is no surprise that the Sam, as the classicist among the three veterans of the SmallDataForum, came up with our new name, blending the ancient Greek word describing foreknowing – prognosis (with gnosis = knowledge at its heart) with our cherished medium of podcasting. Lo and behold, in an act of neology-meets-etymology, the googlewhacking Podnosticators were born.

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Make sense of Big Data with the #SmallDataForum podcast

Big Data

Welcome to www.smalldataforum.com, the new home of the Small Data Forum podcast.

What started off as a breakfast seminar in May 2016 about the business value of Big Data quickly became a regular monthly podcast.

16 months on, our purpose remains unchanged: Neville, Sam, and I strive to make sense of Big Data for business and communications.

In this time, we have produced 11 episodes, all in the same format of a sober German aiming – and occasionally failing – to reign in two unruly effervescent Brits. And not just in discussions of Brexit.

And I’m sure the outcome of the German elections will form a topic for our next gathering. As I’m writing this, Frau Dr. Merkel wins a fourth term in office, in all likelihood in a ‘Jamaica’ coalition with the Greens and the Liberals. And a far-right party is winning perhaps more than 13%.

How good were the polls? What role did fake news play? Was it a Big Data election? Answers in the next podcast!

So yes, the format will continue, and in future we will also have regular guests to widen our, and perhaps our audience’s, horizon.

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