Road Trips, Podcasts, and Data, Oh my!

I knew the moment I was accepted into the MSA program at North Carolina State University that I wanted to drive to my new home in Raleigh. Having grown up and spent all my life in the dry and sunny clutches of the Southwest, I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to explore the country along interstates 10, 20, 75, and 85.

tuscon to raleigh

It wasn’t until I started planning my trip that I realized what a massive undertaking it would be to drive all 2100 miles to Raleigh. I decided to split my trip into three legs, averaging over 9 hours of driving time per day. No big deal, right? Well, spending nine to ten hours in car is quite a long time (and one can only listen to their favorite album so many times before the music loses its appeal).


I had to think fast. So like any good analyst, I started researching other forms of entertainment for the long road ahead. Below I have compiled a list of my top three analytics related podcasts that got me through the drive.


Partially Derivative

Although the format of the show has changed recently, one can still enjoy the banter between hosts Chris Albon and Jonathon Morgan, the self-proclaimed data science super geeks who discuss the everyday data of the world around us.

  • Sounds like: Your beer drinking buddies relaxing and having a conversation about interesting data related news stories and industries
  • Good for: The moments when you need a good laugh to wake you up a bit


Linear Digressions

I particularly enjoyed this podcast for the variety of topics discussed. Not only was the content presented at an introductory level, it also highlighted many of the topics covered in the MSA curriculum. Monte Carlo simulation? Check. Neural networks? Got that too! Especially useful if you’re new to analytics and would like a crash course in some of the more popular analytics techniques.

  • Sounds like: An approachable crash course in machine learning and data science
  • Good for: The wide open road; setting the cruise control and relaxing


O’Reilly Data Show

A bit more technical than the other two options – but the content is insightful and speaks more to individuals who are more familiar with the techniques and technology that put data to work.

  • Sounds like: A great conversation with experts in industry
  • Good for: Those moments when you’re stuck in rush hour traffic


Columnist: Carlos Blancarte

Carlos Blancarte