July 7: Statistics in Practice

As Independence Day inaugurates the official summer political season in the U.S. (a season that, in reality, no longer ends), we discuss in this week’s brief uplift models; our course spotlight is on Aug 21 - Sep 18: Persuasion Analytics and Targeting See you in…

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Random Chance or Not?

On July 4, 1826, U.S. Independence Day, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the second and third presidents of the U.S., both died within hours of each other.  Adams and Jefferson personified opposing factions in U.S. politics, with Adams favoring a strong central government and…

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Model Interpretability

Model interpretability refers to the ability for a human to understand and articulate the relationship between a model’s predictors and its outcome.  For linear models, including linear and logistic regression, these relationships are seen directly in the model coefficients.  For black-box models like neural nets,…

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Instructor Spotlight: Ken Strasma

Ken Strasma is a pioneer in the field of predictive analytics in high-stakes Presidential campaigns, serving as the National Targeting Director for President Obama’s historic 2008 campaign and for John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. He produced the predictive analytics models used by the campaigns, and helped popularize…

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Predicting “Do Not Disturbs”

In his book Predictive Analytics, Eric Siegel tells the story of marketing efforts at Telenor, a Norwegian telecom, to reduce churn (customers leaving for another carrier). Sophisticated analytics were used to guide the campaigns, but the managers gradually discovered that some campaigns were backfiring:  they…

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