Why Getting Your Hands on the Ashley Madison Data Set is a Must for Every Budding Data Analyst

Our Editor’s Monthly Musings

The Data industry has been reeling ever since the dark web leaked the very private data of more than 32 million users of the Cheating site AshleyMadison.com. (Well many others have been reeling too, but let’s just stick to the Data angle here.) Why have they been reeling? Because yet again, hackers have proved that if data is not protected to the fullest extent possible, then they can and they will hack away at it. It is another stark reminder that Data Security must be a number one priority for organizations, and is a great case in point for every manager out there struggling to convince the top brass, to invest more in enterprise security.

(Read our article on why Security is a Big, Big Data Issue)

According to WIRED, the data  dump was 9.7 gigabytes in size, and included account details and log-ins as well as seven years’ worth of credit card and other payment transaction details. Are you swooning as every data scientist rightly should?

In fact, ever since this data was released, we have had data scientists in ecstasy. Rows and rows of freely available data, each holding the promise of untold stories, what more could they ask for! So, if you are a data crazy, number loving, story teller (or you are training to be one) and you haven’t yet got your hands on this data, WAKE UP!! Klara Jonsson, Data Scientist at DeepText has a great article up on LinkedIn, Ashley Madison Data Science Results that will tell you just how to get this data, and then what to do next with it as well.

This data set will be a big learning experience for you. Your practice playground! Of course if you are a Jigsaw Academy student, you are one of the lucky ones, as you get to practice on some real life data sets as part of your course.  The fact is that the biggest learning comes from practice, so get going.

Also if you just google the topic you will find lots of interesting analysis done by some data stars.

Here is a quick peak at some of the more interesting ones:

  • After analyzing the data, John McAfee one of the most influential commentators on cybersecurity came to the conclusion that  Ashley Madison was indeed not hacked – the data was stolen by a woman operating on her own who worked for Avid Life Media.
  • According to two analyses of the hacked data, users of the site overwhelmingly were men. Robert Graham, CEO ofErrata Security, says the breakdown of self-selected genders appears to be 28 million men versus 5 million women. A separate analysis of the same raw data by online private investigation site Trustify came up with a similar result: just 14 percent of users on the site appeared to be women. (source wired.com)
  • According to www.infofrisktoday.in, around 1,50,000 Indians were registered on the adultery website. The data showed that Delhi leads the pack with 38,652 users followed by Mumbai (33,036), Chennai (16,434), Bangalore (16267), Hyderabad (12,825) and Kolkata (11,751). Even the Tier II cities like Ranchi, Nagpur, Varnasi had at least a thousand users or more. 

If you manage to play with this data and come up with some crazy insights, send them in to us, because as you know we love anything and everything Data related too☺

Image Courtesy: https://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

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