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A Good Business Objective Beats a Good Algorithm

Predictive Modeling competitions, once the arena for a few data mining conferences, has now become big business. Kaggle (kaggle.com) is perhaps the most well-known forum for modeling competitions, using a crowd-sourcing mentality: if more people try...

Posted November 26, 2013    

The NSA, Link Analysis and Fraud Detection

The recent leaks about the NSA’s use data mining and predictive analytics has certainly raised awareness of our field and has resulted in hours of discussions with family, relatives, friends and reporters about what predictive analytics can (and can...

Posted July 25, 2013    

Big Data Is Not Enough

Big data is the big buzz word in the world of analytics today. According to google trends, shown in the figure, searches for "big data" have been growing exponentially since 2010 though perhaps is beginning to level off. Or take a look on amazon.com...

Posted June 18, 2013    

Do Predictive Modelers Need to Know Math?

Predictive analytics is just a bunch of math, isn’t it? After all, algorithms in the form of matrix algebra, summations, integrals, multiplies and adds are the core of what predictive modeling algorithms do. Even rule-based approaches need math to...

Posted April 2, 2013    

Takeaways From Your Next Predictive Analytics Conference

Why should one go to a predictive analytics conference? What should one take home from a conference like Predictive Analytics World (PAW)? There are many reasons conferences are valuable, including interacting with thought leaders and practitioners...

Posted February 15, 2013    

Using Geographic Data

Most organizations collect and maintain some type of geographic data, yet many ignore this data during analysis. Any business has some record of customer addresses, for instance, but this data is usually formatted in an awkward, non-numeric form....

Posted February 11, 2013    

Data Mining and Analysis Aren't Always the Answer

Data mining is an important tool whose benefits have been demonstrated in diverse fields, among business, government and non-profit organizations. Its application areas continue to grow, especially given the ever-shrinking cost of gathering and...

Posted February 4, 2013    

Three Ways to Get Your Predictive Models Deployed

We all know that given reasonable data, a good predictive modeler can build a model that works well and helps make makes better decisions than what is currently used in your organization (at least in our own minds). Newer data, sophisticated...

Posted January 19, 2013    

Three Ways to Get Your Predictive Models Deployed

    We all know that given reasonable data, a good predictive modeler can build a model that works well and helps make makes better decisions than what is currently used in your organization (at least in our own minds). Newer...

Posted January 15, 2013    

Will Dwinnell: 6 Reasons You Hired the Wrong Data Miner

By Will DwinnellAs is in any discipline, talent within data mining community varies greatly.  Generally, business people and others who hire and manage technical specialists like data miners are not themselves technical experts.  This...

Posted December 19, 2012    

Why Predictive Modelers Should be Suspicious of Statistical Tests

Well, the danger is really not the statistical test per se, it the interpretation of the statistical test. Yesterday I tweeted (@deanabb) this fun factoid: "Redskins predict Romney wins POTUS #overfit. if Redskins lose home game before election =...

Posted November 6, 2012    

Data Preparation: Know Your Records!

Data preparation in data mining and predictive analytics (dare I also say Data Science?) rightfully focuses on how the fields in one's data should be represented so that modeling algorithms either will work properly or at least won't be misled by...

Posted October 23, 2012