The Setup - Mark Barrett

As part of an ongoing series where we ask industry professionals what they use to get the job done, we speak to Mark, a Director from the Data Science company Data Flock.

Mark Barrett

Who are you, and what do you do?

Hi, I'm Mark Barrett, one of the Directors at Data Flock. We're a Data Science company that produces insights into topics using Analysis, Machine Learning, Predictive Analytics, Data Visualisation, and Storytelling with Data - powered by espresso.

Outside work I'm mostly shattered, so try to have nice quiet family weekends with my wife, son, cat and dog. We cook pretty much every night, drink gin, and bounce ideas off each other, before collapsing on the sofa and realising that I've fallen asleep and it's only 9:30.

What hardware do you use?

I use MacBook Air at work which I'm trying not to swap for a MacBook Pro until I really need to. I'm starting to worry about it though as it's getting very hot and I'm sure the fans aren't supposed to be on all the time - I think it's days are numbered. Last week I was working with a billion rows of Open Data, so used AWS EC2 to quickly process the data. I've got an iPhone 6 and some Bose headphones too.

At home I use an iMac which I use for video (GoPro & Garmin Virb), and photography work as I've started to blend data with different mediums to see what I can make. I really want to get more into the artistic side of data visualisation so I'm playing around with a few different ideas.

And what software?

For data work I use R, Python, Weka, Rapid Miner, Orange Data Mining, and Matlab.

For visualisations I use Gephi, d3.js, Carto, Processing, Adobe Creative Cloud, QGIS, Mapbox, and anything else I find that I think could be put to work to make something pretty.

For everything else I use Slack, Keynote, Sonos, Spotify, Sublime Text 2, Evernote, Google apps, VNC Viewer, Skype, and Xero.

What would be your dream setup?

Honestly - just a MacBook Pro and a super fast internet connection. Maybe a never ending battery too. Being able to work anywhere is the best, I've always liked the idea of working abroad - just changing the surroundings for a few days / weeks, without having to stop working.

Dream office wise - lots of space, double height ceilings, wooden beams, lots of windows, lots of plants, a couple of Sonos, a 4k projector, an office dog, some vintage desks, wooden panelled walls, an Eames lounge chair for thinking in, a Herman Miller Aeron for desk work, a 70's conversation pit dug into the floor, and some Tom Dixon Melt lights. We've just moved into a new office so apart from the enormous costs involved, there's nothing stopping us.

One item you can't live without?

Let's discount all the Apple products, and say data, especially Open Data (that's an item, right?). It's amazing. I love being able to access so much information and reveal insights that have never been understood before. As soon as I started working with it I knew I'd become obsessed.

Thanks Mark!

Mark Barrett on 25th November 2016. Related talks and lectures:


If you enjoyed this you might like our talks and lectures.