Eric Goldsmith (AOL): Why everyone has to think like a data scientist [PODCAST]

It was a great honour and a privilege to chat with AOL performance evangelist and operations architect Eric Goldsmith for this week’s podcast. If you’re newer to the performance scene, Eric’s name may not be familiar to you. That’s because in 2010 he got pulled off the web performance circuit sideways into the world of big data, and went from headlining at Velocity to headlining at Strata.

But web performance and big data are intersecting worlds, and make no mistake about it, Eric is still very much a big thinker — and doer — in the performance world. With real user measurement (RUM) poised to become a topic on every site owner’s lips, Eric shares some important insights about how to extract actionable metrics from your RUM data, and how to avoid falling into the trap of confusing correlation with causation.

While Eric is in the enviable position of having massive amounts of data to mine (in his own words: “I revel in the scale”), he points out that, for those mining smaller data sets, the fundamentals remain the same. He also mentions that preaching the importance of statistics is an uphill battle at any size of company, even AOL.

We covered a lot of ground in this podcast, from how to teach stats within a corporate culture to changes in the RUM world over the past seven years. Enjoy.

Listen to the podcast: Eric Goldsmith

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