Making my life easier with a great pair of tools

“Yep, There’s the problem right here — this isn’t a touchscreen…” Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

I am a prodigal son of data analytics. The last time I did any heavy-duty analysis work was almost a decade ago. That’s an eternity in tech. But, through some life changes and perspective realignments, I decided I wanted to get back to my roots.

For those of you who are still young and just getting started in the field, I can only say that your day will come. I think the most surprising thing to me was the challenges that come from pursuing a pure tech role after 45 years old.

I’m not going to pull out a card…

Making Sense of Big Data

Relational Databases can be one of your biggest allies in wrangling data. Let’s move off the beaten path to learn how.

Person trying to figure out why their query is running slow — Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

I’ve worked with developers and engineers for a long time and there are a few commonalities I’ve come to expect and count on. One of the more consistent truisms I’ve observed is that there is often a tunnel-vision that develops. By that, I mean if a developer is a front-end person, most solutions focus on trying to handle everything with a front-end focus. If the developer is more middleware focused, they want to use that layer for everything. If a developer is “full stack” they then revert to their area of greatest comfort.

This isn’t a bad thing, per se…

Move from data to visualization and say more with less while adding depth to some basic designs.

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“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few are to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.” ~ Sir Francis Bacon

The vast majority of our data exploration is relatively simple. We need to compare two values or we need to see how our data appears in context. …

Hashing Data is for more than just verifying software download

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A few years ago, I was running operations for an AI startup. We had a great team of talented but relatively young and inexperienced data engineers led by a very talented and experienced data scientist. It was far from an abnormal setup.

We were doing a lot of models on mostly structured data; however, the cleanup on some of it was a bear. It was originating from our customers and comprised historical business records. Of course, as all good data functions go, we were enriching it appropriately with various internal and external data sets.

One day, the team mentioned on…

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By now, we can all pretty much agree that we live in a pretty odd time. I won’t get into all the ways things are odd, but I will call out our old friends gold and silver. Nothing says it more than this week.

We’ve had some rough times on the futures market for both of our favorite metals. The prices have been depressed and somewhat slow to recover. However the past week has seen both grow considerably:

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“I have been on at least two hundred meetings where I’ve given my pitch. Not one deal came from any of them.”

This is a common refrain from anyone trying to raise money for their startup — especially in the earliest of stages. Without a product or customers or traction, you have to raise on story. How well you convey that story is the big hurdle to overcome.

From competitions to class work to seminars and even direct interactions, I’ve seen a lot of pitches in my time. Most of them stink. …

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It’s no secret that I love precious metals. They are perhaps some of the most fun investments I have. Not just the physical metals that are enjoyable to play with, but also the markets. I get almost as much joy from analyzing the futures markets for metals as I do holding a new Morgan dollar or Silver Eagle.

The one glaring issue I’ve seen is that there are many out there who share my passion, but don’t quite know how to do the analysis. I figured I would break it down.

Price Action

The exercise of analysis often begins and ends at…

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Here we are again. The close of another week filled with all manner of fun and frivolity.

While unlike the past couple weeks we didn’t have the Fed Chairman make an appearance, we definitely had some action on the Hill. In this case, we saw the Senate and the House pass the newest $1.9T Covid relief bill. On Thursday that became law when President Biden made his mark.

That frames much of our discussion. So, buckle in, pour yourself a nice glass of week ending libation, and let’s drop some knowledge bombs.


Much like last week, the lurking economic stalker…

Money, money, money, money…

Well, this was quite the week. Just as we thought we recovered from the Fed Chairman’s remarks up on Capitol Hill, new challenges popped up.

Let’s dig in…


The big drivers over the past few days have been the raising rates for 10-Year Treasury Bonds. With rising rates, the markets got the jitters that the smell of inflation is in the air. Unfortunately, Mr. Powell’s comments yesterday did nothing to calm fears.

Industrial Copper — Where’s all the silver at?

Every investor is susceptible to tunnel vision. It’s one of the biggest dangers of a pure technicals trading approach. You can miss the details or other things sneaking up. This is why most research tools provide industry comparisons on fundamentals and other metrics. Because only in context, can certain things make sense.

Metals are no different. We can’t look at a single metal in a vacuum and expect the revelations of the universe to enlighten our understanding. We have to take a broader view. Unfortunately, that can present a few challenges. But, the effort is worthwhile.

For the last several…

Brad Bartram

I am a technical strategist and thinker who enjoys writing on the finer aspects of technology, business, compliance, and finance.

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