What to do with big data? Evaluators are often required to tell impact stories over time but struggle to find systematic, yet compelling ways to do so.



Khulisa loves how The Pudding used 30 years of letters sent to agony aunt “Dear Abby” and tell the story of American anxiety in a fun and interactive way.


Analysing 20,000 letters sent to the advice column since 1985, the researchers identified sex, religion and LGBTQ issues to be the most debated topics. It also looked at the topics that concerned certain groups more than others. Wives were occupied with cheating, marriage and sex life, while husbands were more anguished about weddings, neigbours and gifts.


The researchers then provide insight on how they collected and analysed the data using the t-distributed Stochastic Neighbor Embedding (t-SNE) technique to cluster the posts visually.



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