Devil’s Data Dictionary

Wherein Jim Sterne makes big fun of Big Data

This book is, without question, an homage to Ambrose Bierce‘s Devil’s Dictionary from 1906 and includes such entries as:

Regularly recurring remarks from the former U.S. VP who invented the Internet.

Artificial Intelligence
Fourth cocktail.

Big Data
Giga, tera, peta, exa, zetta, yotta, yadda, yadda.

Cloud Computing
That one looks like an IBM Mainframe!  … or a bunny rabbit.

Coincidence confidently mistaken for cause.

A dependent couple with the same deviation.

Although my current, personal favorite is:

Normal Distribution
Sitting as far from each other as possible in an uncrowded auditorium.

Corollary: Abnormal Distribution
Republicans voting for universal healthcare.

Finally on sale at Amazon after a great deal of fun signing books for attendees at the eMetrics Summit. I was going to do a book singing but corrected my spelling just in time.

Yours in jest,


Look Inside

Big Data:

Giga, tera, peta, exa, zetta, yotta, yadda, yadda.

Alt: That which does not fit into an Excel spreadsheet
(Stephané Hamel, Twitter, circa 2013)

Enterprise Data Warehouse

A data warehouse, but devoid of ownership.

Meta Data

There are only forty-one letters in this sentence.

Load Balancing

Limiting carry out orders to even numbers of Grande, Quad,
Nonfat, One-Pump, No-Whip, Mochas.

More to come…

Praise for The Devil’s Data Dictionary

Avinash Kaushik

Digital Marketing Evangelist, Google. Author, Web Analytics 2.0

Jim has made data accessible to the masses since the dawn of the digital age. And now, he’s making it funny. And, awesome. Get this book, and come share a smile with me.

Gary Angel

Partner/Principal, Advisory Digital Analytics Center of Excellence, Ernst & Young

Numbers need not kill wit. Jim provides us with needed proof that analytics and data are about people and to laugh at ourselves; to forget how damn silly we all get when we take ourselves too seriously.

Tom Davenport

President’s Distinguished Professor of Information Technology and Management at Babson College, co-founder of the International Institute for Analytics, Fellow of the MIT Center for Digital Business, and Senior Advisor to Deloitte Analytics.

Those who know Jim Sterne have always appreciated his irreverent sense of humor. Now he’s focused his laser wit on technology, data and analytics terminology–a domain with which he is painfully familiar. All the fun you need is here, from A to W. Is that the definition of “missing data”?

Ben Gaines

Senior Product Manager, Adobe

A masterpiece . . . I laughed, I cried, I — apparently — completely misunderstood everything about data and analytics. Thank goodness we have Jim Sterne to set the record straight!


Jim Sterne

Jim Sterne has been in data processing since 1979, an online marketing consultant since 1993, an online marketing analytics consultant since 2000 and a creator of doggerel since Hector was a pup.

Sterne is the author of:

  • Social Media Metrics: How to Measure and Optimize Your Marketing Investment (2010)
  • 101 Things You Should Know About Marketing Optimization Analysis (2010)
  • Advanced Email Marketing (2003)
  • Web Metrics: Proven Methods for Measuring Web Site Success (2002)
  • World Wide Web Marketing: Integrating the Web into Your Marketing Strategy (3rd ed., 2001)
  • Email Marketing: Using Email to Reach Your Target Audience and Build Customer Relationships (2000)
  • Customer Service on the Internet: Building Relationships, Increasing Loyalty, and Staying Competitive (2nd ed. 2000)
  • World Wide Web Marketing: Integrating the Web into Your Marketing Strategy (2nd ed., 1998)
  • Customer Service on the Internet: Building Relationships, Increasing Loyalty, and Staying Competitive (1996)
  • Advertising on the Web (1997)
  • World Wide Web Marketing: Integrating the Internet into Your Marketing Strategy (1995)

His books have been translated into Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Finnish, French, Italian, Korean, Orthodox Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish.

Sterne is the founder of the eMetrics Summit and co-founder of the Digital Analytics Association. He has consulted to some of the world’s largest companies, lectured at MIT, Stanford, USC, Harvard and Oxford, and sat on a plane to Las Vegas grading the CRM strategy plans of a Nigerian mobile phone company for a course he taught in Singapore produced by a training company in Shanghai.

Sterne has thrown a cast party for the Bitola National Theatre of Macedonia after their performance of Henry VI, Part 3, at Shakespeare’s Old Globe in London, has discussed marketing with Lester Wunderman, theatre with Sir Ian McClellan and analytics with Tom Davenport. He has also fallen in love without doubt and stayed that way, taken coals to Newcastle and caused $3,500 of damage to a brand-new car before its first washing.

Yevgenia Nayberg

A native of Kiev, Yevgenia Nayberg is an award-winning illustrator, painter and stage designer.

Her paintings have been featured in solo exhibitions in New York City, Miami, Los Angeles and Moscow as well as in numerous international group art shows. She has designed sets and costumes for over 40 theatrical productions, receiving many prestigious awards. Her illustrations have appeared in magazines and children’s books as well as on album covers, book covers and theatre posters.

After graduating from The National School of Arts she worked as a freelance illustrator and as an assistant production designer for “UkrAnimaFilm” animation studio.

After moving to the United States, Nayberg studied theatre design at Carnegie Mellon University. At the age of 23 she received her MFA degree in Theatre Design from California State University. The following year she was selected to represent the United States at the prestigious Prague Quadrennial.

Nayberg has exhibited in a number of national and international shows of fine art and stage design. She has designed sets and costumes for over 40 theatrical productions. Her theatre credits include Mark Taper Forum’s Taper, too, Pittsburgh Playhouse, East West Players, California Repertory Company, Long Beach Opera, Lit Moon Theatre Company, A Noise Within, Theatre at Boston Court and many others.

Her paintings, stage designs, and illustrations are in private collections worldwide. She is represented by Left Coast Galleries in Los Angeles, Chancery Art Gallery in Muskoka, Canada and New Hermitage Gallery in Moscow, Russia.

Nayberg is a recipient of the numerous awards, including The National Endowment for the Arts/TCG Fellowship for theatre designers,The Independent Theatre Award, The Arlin Meyer Award and The Ovation Award nomination.

LA Stage Magazine named Yevgenia Nayberg among the top “most influential” stage designers in the United States.

Her previous book is: The Wren and The Sparrow

Now Available


Jim Sterne –

Rising Media
211 E. Victoria, Suite E
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

+1 805-965-3184 x4


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