Dec 30: Statistics in Practice

In this Brief, we take a look at the use of simulations as a tool to help sales people with a complex sale (high value, multiple aspects to consider).  Our spotlight is on the 3-course Mastery Series in Optimization Research, which starts January 10 with:…

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Historical Spotlight: Statistical Analysis and Human Rights

Artificial intelligence and analytics have gotten some bad press recently, from the role that social media has played in fracturing and heightening divisions in democratic society to the “big brother” role that data mining and image recognition have played in China’s suppression of minorities.  But…

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Simulating the Complex Sale

Every 30 minutes a new business book is published; many of them purport to teach effective selling.  Most of them make sense, but solid quantitative analysis is rarely on the front burner. This is strange, because effective selling requires demonstrating value.  Sales professionals are taught…

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Historical Spotlight: Bell Labs and Statistics

95 years ago, Bell Labs was founded as a joint project of AT&T and Western Electric.  Its primary mission was R&D for its parents’ fast-growing telecommunications businesses.  Since that time, Bell Labs became a fabled American research institution, but also suffered the vicissitudes of trying…

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Analytics Meets the Cardboard Box

“Do you have a bag?“ or “Would you like a bag?” have become common parts of the brick-and-mortar retail transaction.  Reusable bags, or simply doing without, have reduced the flow of plastic and paper into recycling.   E-commerce is a different matter.  I just unpacked a…

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Dec 16: Statistics in Practice

In 2005, the cardboard box was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame (along with Candy Land). In our brief this week we consider whether analytics has anything to say about cardboard boxes. Our course spotlight is on: Jan 3 - 31:  R Programming…

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Detecting a Slots Payout Difference of 2%

Most businesses use statistics and analytics to one degree or another, but there is only one industry that is built solely on this discipline.  This week we look at the casino business - in particular, the odds on slots. Slot machines are a casino’s best…

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Problem of the Week: A betting puzzle

QUESTION: A gambler playing against the “house” in a game like roulette or slots adopts the rule “Play until you win a certain amount, then stop.”  Will this ensure against player losses? What will be its effect on the house’s profit? ANSWER: Some look at this…

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Book Review: Big Data in Practice by Bernard Marr 

This short book is essentially an enriched list of 45 examples of how companies have used big data analytics.  Marr sticks to high level generalities, and the book is in the spirit of light business journalism rather than detailed expositions that walk you through a…

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Dec 6: Statistics in Practice

This week we look at the casino business - in particular, the odds on slots. In our course spotlight, we start looking at some of the great stuff starting in at the beginning of the new year. In January, you can get started with basic statistics or biostatistics,…

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Google Zooms Out on Microtargeting

Google recently announced that it would further limit its election ads to audience targeting based on age, gender, and general location (postal code level) context targeting (i.e. showing ads based on the content being viewed) Up to this point, the application of predictive modeling to…

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