Analytics Magazine Analytics Magazine, November/December 2014 - Page 70

Five- M in u t e A n a lyst Bicycle counters Bicycle counter in Rosslyn, Va., along the Arlington Loop. This sign is one of several bike counters installed by Arlington to monitor bicycle traffic. By Harrison Schramm, CAP 70 | As longtime readers and friends know, I like bicycles almost as much as I like analysis, and I frequently think about both on a long ride. I cycle for fitness, fun and as transportation – I have been a bicycle commuter for almost 15 years now. For these reasons, I was overjoyed to discover that the city of Arlington, Va., has installed pedestrian / bicycle counters along the ‘Arlington Loop’ [1] and, even better, the data is freely available on the Internet [2]. The good folks at Bike Arlington have already done some very nice analyses of the data on their website, and it is really cool that they are using trail usage data to determine how to invest in future trails. The Arlington data set is particularly nice because it includes daily weather information in the same portal. As with most analytic tasks, the hard part is not the actual analysis itself per se, but rather the import and cleaning of data. I used MS Excel 2013 to pull the data from the Web via XML, and with minimal cleaning, the a n a ly t i c s - m a g a z i n e . o r g w w w. i n f o r m s . o r g