Data is more than just numbers on a page. It augments every aspect of what we do: what stories we tell, what arguments we make, and what insights we have. Every day, we share a number—a number that has little meaning when isolated, but when given context, connects the dots in our constantly changing world.

Another year older, another year wiser?

September 22, 2017

The aging phenomenon is also occurring in other countries across Asia, including China, South Korea, and Thailand. With the number of births per year dropping below an unprecedented 1 million in 2016, Japan faces both a declining and rapidly aging population. As the biological clock ticks on, this can mean more than just a new majority demographic—the Japanese population faces a score of economic challenges, the IMF warns, due to a declining workforce and a strain on national resources.

Gender Equality is a full-time job

September 21, 2017

Besides showing where we stand today, the IMF study notes that cross-regional differences in access to basic rights, as well as literacy, social and gender gaps, weigh heavily on that statistic. The study finds that disparities between genders are contributing to losses in GDP growth, suggesting that such inconsistencies limit global economic potential. What’s remarkable is that despite this, women  are still the primary drivers of the global economy, controlling $20 trillion in global consumer spending annually. Imagine what the numbers will look like the closer the world gets to equal rights.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…or not?

September 19, 2017

The bulk of Millennials watch television after it has already aired, preferring to stream content or watch it on demand, according to a study by the Consumer Technology Association. That’s significantly less than viewers older than 35 who spend 66 percent of their viewing time watching live television. The discrepancy between older and younger generations pose a number of challenges and opportunities for those seeking out audiences.

Using Google to google Google

September 15, 2017

On this day in 1998, google.com was registered as a domain name. At that time, Google was facilitating about 10,000 queries per day, but in a matter of years saw the same number of queries per second. 19 years later, Google is so heavily used that it is responsible for $222 billion of economic activity for 1.5 million American businesses, according to economicimpact.google.com. Oh, and the verb “google” was officially added to the Oxford English dictionary in 2006, according to Google.

Can I pay for this in bitcoin? 

September 14, 2017

The cryptocurrency—which people around the world are using to buy anything from a slice of pizza, to property, to stock—allows users to pay for items without the need for banks or a digital paper trail. But the transactions don’t reveal the buyer’s identity, they are not linked to a country or regulation, and they are private, which makes them hard to trace and thus a potential nightmare for regulatory-minded economies. The Chinese government plans to ban the trading of bitcoin in its exchanges, and other countries are expressing concern that the new currency, while ample in opportunity, comes at a cost.

We’ve missed you, NFL season

September 12, 2017

If football wasn’t already a playground for marketers, Fantasy Football added an entire new layer with its ability to amass millions of die-hard fans all over the Internet. It’s so marketable, in fact, that IRL technologies like the Whoop 2.0 that are sprouting up are predicted to have direct effects on the virtual game. What’s next?

Is saving the new spending?

September 11, 2017

According to Bloomberg, this number represents a 9.6 percent gain from the $89,100 average of a year ago, and a big leap from the $73,300 average of five years ago. This comes as the stock market hovers near record highs.

Like the police, but in space!

September 8, 2017

The dream job was posted in a recent NASA “help wanted” listing on the organization’s job board. And no, it’s not a role for a science-fiction movie. If you’re ready to hit “apply,” just know you won’t be fighting off Klingons or the Borg…yet. The candidate’s role realistically will entail ensuring that the Earth and other planets don’t get contaminated with extraterrestrial microbes that don’t belong here, and vice versa.

There goes three hours of your day 

September 7, 2017

But, we also check our phones an average of 150 times a day, according to a Google study, meaning we are hardly on there for very long. Our fleeting phone interactions occur anywhere, at any time: first thing in the morning, midway through a task, in a store, and the list goes on. But the speed and randomness at which we use our phones supposedly doesn’t negate the significance—90% of users say they use their phones to make progress towards a long-term goal while “out and about.”

No animals were harmed in the making of this burger…really.

September 1, 2017

That’s how long Richard Branson thinks it will take before we no longer have to raise and kill animals to eat. In fact, he’s banking on it, investing $17 million alongside other investors in Memphis Meats, which produces beef, chicken and duck directly from animal cells without raising and slaughtering livestock or poultry, according to Bloomberg News. This is the latest move by the corporate world to respond to consumers, especially Millennials, who are demanding food that is considered sustainable while also focusing on animal treatment.

…and you say he’s just a friend. 

August 31, 2017

The question at hand was whether a Miami judge needed to recuse herself because one of the attorneys involved in a case in her court was a Facebook “friend.” In its decision, the ruling notes that Facebook’s algorithms lead to people accepting friend requests from people they barely know, or are acquainted with purely from professional circles.

No one really cares if there’s an app for that

August 30, 2017

While more and more Americans are shopping online instead of going to stores, this upturn has yet to hit the grocery industry in a significant way. In fact, almost all Americans say someone in their family still shops for groceries in person at least once a month, with 83% going at least once a week. Despite emerging apps and e-services, disruption of the grocery aisle still has a ways to go.

Why your TV set won’t be attending Netflix’s 20th birthday party…

August 29, 2017

After years of steady increase, the number of television sets in American homes has fallen to 2.3, down from an average of 2.6 in 2009, according to the Energy Information Administration. During the same period, Netflix boasts that its subscriber base has skyrocketed. On this day in 1997, Netflix launched as a DVD mail-rental service, though the company truly took off when it started producing its own television in 2013, thereafter providing a platform where commercial breaks don’t exist and virtually any show can stream from any device. The challenge for the industry: Commercial-free, on-demand media is increasingly accessible on many devices, which creates more competition for TV viewing time. Thanks to services like Netflix, content providers will have to work harder to keep audiences tuned in.

It’s not all about the Benjamin’s anymore

August 28, 2017

As the rise of credit and debit cards, apps, mobile payment solutions and other electronic options explode in popularity—especially with Millennials—society is becoming more comfortable without cash in their pockets.

Read last week’s numbers here.