Friday Updates: Preceden Redesign Progress, Learning Tailwind, Data Survey, Housing Prices Ranking, and Yoga with Adrienne

Photo courtesy of Marius Ciocirlan

What I’m working on at Preceden

Work continues on the site redesign project.

I found a talented designer on Dribble named Asif Howlader who I wound up hiring to put together some mockups to brainstorm ways to improve Preceden’s design.

Here for example is Preceden’s current Case Studies page:

And after a few iterations here’s where the redesigned page stands:

Not bad right?

He’s currently working on redesigning the homepage and later will tackle other areas of the site as well.

The next task is actually implementing this on the site. My plan is to hire a front-end developer freelancer who can knock it out. I’d also like to have him or her transition Preceden to Tailwind in the process which should go a long way towards making the site easier to develop in the future and also standardize a lot of the design elements (right now it’s a hodgepodge of colors, font sizes, margins, etc). Before I hire someone though, I want to get some experience with Tailwind, so this week has had me diving into Tailwind courses and trying to get it set up in Preceden.

This in turn had me upgrading Preceden from Rails 5.2.2.4 to 6.0 and Ruby from 2.6.5 to 2.6.6, which has me thinking about this Malcom in the Middle clip:

What I’m working on at Help Scout

In an effort to get a better feel for where to focus my efforts in the coming months, I created a survey and posted it in our metrics Slack channel for anyone to take. Here were the questions:

Score from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree):

  1. I rely on data to make decisions in my job
  2. I am satisfied with my ability to use Looker
  3. Looker has reports that are useful to me
  4. Looker has reporting on everything I want
  5. It’s easy to find reports on specific things in Looker
  6. I am confident that I understand the meaning of the metrics and data fields I use
  7. I trust the accuracy of the reporting in Looker
  8. I am satisfied with the speed that my data questions are answered

Open ended questions:

  1. If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about our data work at Help Scout, what would it be? (optional)
  2. Anything else you would like to add? (optional)
  3. What department are you in? (optional)
  4. What’s your name? (optional)

Two big takeaways from the responses are that people want to learn more about how to use Looker and also that there’s a demand for more product analytics (we have some, but comparatively little compared to our marketing and finance reporting).

What I’m studying

After a few more hours of iterating on my housing prices prediction notebook, I finally made it into the top 5% of scores:

Around 2% of the high scores are cheaters though (because the full data set is public so people can find it and just submit the actual house prices to get near perfect scores) so this score is closer to top 3%. And many of the higher scores cheat in a more subtle way, by creating a model that incorporates the training data (aka data leakage) which gives you an advantage over someone who is just creating a model based on the training data (which is the right way to do it).

I’m at the point of diminishing returns on this though so will probably wrap up soon. I’ve read through a lot of the public notebooks and don’t feel like there’s a ton more to learn, at least relative to jumping into another competition. I’ll likely put together a final notebook and share it on Kaggle next week for others to learn from.

What I’m watching

Too much time at the computer has inevitably led to me to have frequent back pain. A lot of things help though:

  • Standing instead of sitting
  • Weight lifting
  • Chiropractor
  • Yoga

For this last one, I’ve been doing a lot of Yoga With Adrienne on YouTube. Here’s an example:

If you have back issue or just want to try to work more yoga into your life, check out her videos.

Adios for now 👋

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