High flood pressure

It’s winter again in the UK which means even more rain than usual, often accompanied by oddly-named storms. Sadly this also occasionally means flooding for many parts of the country, a fact which I usually watched with some detachment from the other (safer) side of a news report. This year is different – I have bought a house quite near the river Avon, which makes the issue more immediate. I suppose I could campaign for flood defences, or petition my new local MP, but for now let’s stick to what I know: data and maths.

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Cooking the books

Since Christmas, at my house we’ve been cooking with 5 ingredients or fewer thanks to the acquisition of Jamie Oliver’s new book, the contents of which are mostly available online here. The recipes are unanimously very tasty, but that’s besides the point. The real mark of culinary excellence (in my humble opinion) is how efficiently one can buy ingredients to make as many of the recipes as possible in one shopping trip. Let’s investigate while the lamb is on.

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Transaction analysis web app

As a poor student, I always tried to keep a close eye on what I spent. This usually amounted to skimming statements and manually keeping track of what went where, a decidedly sub-optimal solution.

Thanks to an initiative called MiData, you are now able to download transaction histories from your current account in CSV format, which is ripe for analysis. I built a small tool for myself, which I put online here for your enjoyment. I should note this is the first slightly complex thing I’ve written in Javascript, so if it breaks in unexpected ways feel free to get in touch and let me know.

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England and Wales House Prices

The last time I looked at house prices it went pretty well, and I ended up winning a data science competition. There I was only dealing with a million or so records, and a relatively small 120 MB dataset. Then I found out it was possible to download 3.7GB of property sale records for all of England and Wales since 1995, so let’s have another go. Continue reading