All posts in Trawling - a blog by Big Lake Data tagged with analytics

Economic Forecasting

We’re happy to have added our analytics expertise to the development of the Harbor District’s land use plan. We project that Milwaukee could see more than $860 Million in property value increases and more than 2,300 new, family-supporting jobs.

Urban Milwaukee explains what this means for Milwaukee.

Interested in learning how spatial analytics can support your work? Drop us a line.

wundr – an R package for micro-climate analysis

Making contributions to the broader analytics community is fun benefit of Big Lake Data’s on-going investment in professional development. As such, we’re honored to have worked with J.A. Marin and Stephan Zohren in the development of an R software package for micro-climate analysis.

If you are an R-user, we invite you to view the basic README below and explore the development version of this software yourself. Your feedback is welcomed!

wundr provides API interfaces to Personal Weather Station (PWS) data maintained by Weather Underground. Tables of PWS locations and metadata for user specified geographic areas are constructed. Robust retrieval of current and historical weather condition data for selected PWS. Computational tools for spatial analysis, including kriging (Gaussian processes) for interpolation, as well as prediction of missing data and forecasts. Visualization of micro-climate data methods including contextual static maps and interactive web maps.


This package was developed as a final project for Prof. Balasubramanian Narasimhan’s Paradigms for Computing with Data class at Stanford University.


Install the development version from github

# install.packages("devtools")
install_github("MatthewSchumwinger/wundr", build_vignettes = TRUE)


Key features of wundr include:

  1. Creation of S4-Class Table describing a given region’s PWS.
  2. Subsettable tables based on #1 above.
  3. Robust web retrieval of data and storage in memory.
  4. Visualization of micro-climate data through density maps and time-series.
  5. Computational tools for spatial analysis, including kriging (Gaussian processes) for interpolation, as well as prediction of missing data and forecasts.
  6. Web interface for interactive visuals using leaflet.js.

To see examples of these features in use, please view the ‘overview’ vignette.

vignette(package = "wundr")

Leveraging Insights from Crime Data

We love it when one of our clients sees big gains from partnering with us.

Last week, the Gateway to Milwaukee Business Improvement District was able to counter false perceptions about crime in its area. Using an analysis conducted by Big Lake Data, the Gateway to Milwaukee was instead able to tell a fact-based story about falling crime trends.

This positive story was picked up by local news stations, like this below:

total crime

Learn more about the solution we provided to the Gateway to Milwaukee.

Get in touch with Big Lake Data today. We’ll help you make data-driven decisions and tell your story.

building a custom analytics tool


We’re pretty excited about the ongoing development of the custom business intelligence tool pictured above. Combining multiple public data sources with our client’s proprietary data has made the difference in their investment decisions.

When making an important decision, its crucial to have all the key information in the same place. Not there yet? Don’t worry, we can help. Get in touch.

for the win

We have a professional development budget here at Big Lake Data. As such, I recently completed a graduate course in data mining at Stanford University. The best part of the course was competing as a team with two other working-professionals on a predictive modeling contest sponsored by Kaggle. We programmed everything in R. And for a guy like me, who hacked my way into R, collaborating with a couple of wicked-smart computer scientists was a revelation.

We won. You can read the hoary details of how we did it from the Kaggle winners’ blog. No cash prize, but substantial bragging rights awarded . . . and claimed.

Predictive modeling? Other types of analytics? Yes, we can help you with that. Get in touch.

A used park is a safe park

Edgar Mendez of Milwaukee’s Neighborhood News Service has a nice story up about the Urban Ecology Center‘s role in creating safe environments where city kids to play and explore nature. As mentioned in the article, my prior analysis of crime data supports the anecdotal evidence that parks where UEC has started or expanded its programming have indeed become much safer.

And –as a personal aside– let me also say that these parks are no doubt much more enjoyable because of the Urban Ecology Center. This past Winter, my family and I got to ski through the industrial heart of Milwaukee at Three Bridges Park thanks to equipment we checked-out from the UEC. It’s quite something to ski past the 100-year-old FALK manufacturing company and take in a spectacular view of downtown . . . all the while hoping that you have not disturbed newly planted native species!

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