Jul 312013

I’ve been carrying on a personal challenge for a while – attempting to remain in the 90th percentile for any activities I attempt. To some extent, I think it’s in my nature to compete with others. Alternatively, it’s a good way to be certain I’m actually applying myself.

Some activities are harder than others to gauge, but I find this system provides a good metric. It’s exceptionally hard to be the best at anything, but if you’re in the top 10% then you can be comfortable knowing that you’re doing reasonably good work. If you’re not in the top 10%, then you know you need to improve your methods and/or put in more effort.

Eliot Eshelman Top 10% of Profiles on LinkedIn

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Mar 272011

Google, Eyebeam and Fast Company are hosting a data visualization challenge:

Every year, Americans fill out income tax forms and make a payment to the IRS. It’s an important civic duty, but it is also a lot of money. Where does it all go? Using data provided by WhatWePayFor.com, we challenge you to create a data visualization that will make it easier for U.S. citizens to understand how the government spends our tax money.

When I learned about the visualization challenge, I’ll admit I didn’t actually know many hard facts about government spending. I knew the military and national defense were huge expenditures, but wouldn’t have been able to accurately place them in relation to other large expenses, such as social security.

I decided my level of knowledge would likely be similar to that of potential visitors, so I used that as a strength. Building a tool which helps me better understand the budget should be equally useful to others.

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