Workforce Management

Anyone who has worked in retail knows the anxiety that attends workforce scheduling for both manager and employee.  The manager wonders “Will my employees show up at the right times?” The employee wonders “Will I be scheduled for inconvenient times?  Enough hours? Too many hours?”  …

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The Curse of Dimensionality

There are more than 3 dozen curses in Harry Potter.  Data scientists have only one - the “curse of dimensionality.”  Dimensionality is the number of predictors or input variables in a model, and the “curse” refers to the problems that result from including too many…

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Industry Spotlight: Baseball (Sports) Statistics

The U.S. baseball season opens Thursday, March 28, and celebrates the 48th season of analytics in baseball, beginning with the founding of the Sabermetric Society in 1971 (the same year that Satchel Paige entered the Hall of Fame).  Analytics has come a long way in…

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Job Spotlight: Risk Analyst

Many jobs are centered around risk management.  If you’re looking through job postings, of course, you’ll see lots of jobs whose purpose is to make sure that nothing bad happens - the equivalent of locking the doors and closing the windows.  More interesting from a…

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Industry Spotlight: Consulting

When a new technology arrives, consulting companies can quickly add staff and expertise to build institutional capacity centered around the technology in ways companies focused on delivering their own products and services cannot.  Large consulting companies like Booz Allen and McKinsey, as well as smaller…

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Industry Spotlight: Precision Agriculture

The application of analytics to agriculture has given rise to what is called “precision agriculture,” a science that seeks to take advantage of and use detailed information that is local in time and place.  Tractors and farm equipment are being equipped with sensors and software…

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Course Spotlight: Survival Analysis

Convinced that he, like his father, would die in his 40’s, Winston Churchill lived his early life in a frenetic hurry.  He had participated in four wars on three continents by his mid-20’s, served in multiple ministerial positions by his 30’s, and published 12 books…

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Certificate Graduate: Cristobal Bazan, United Nations Agency

Certificate Student Profile of Cristobal Bazan My courses help me look at more complex problems using different approaches to show more interesting aspects of conditions, beyond just tables and charts, more than just sampling or descriptive statistics. Cristobal Bazan United Nations Agency How do you…

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Industry Spotlight: Customer Segmentation

Are you "young and rustic?" Or perhaps a "toolbelt traditionalist?" These are nicknames given to customer segments identified by market research firm Claritas, with its statistical clustering tool. Long before the advent of individualized product recommendations, business sought to segment customers into distinct groups on…

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Entity Resolution and Identifying Bad Guys

Earlier, we described how Jen Golbeck (who teaches Network Analysis at Statistics.com) analyzed Facebook connections to identify fake accounts (the account holders friends all had the same number of friends, which is highly improbable statistically). Network analysis and studying connections lie at the heart of…

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Examples of Bad Forecasting

In a couple of days, theWall Street Journalwill come out with its November survey of economists' forecasts. It's a particularly sensitive time, with elections in a few days and President Trump attacking the Federal Reserve for for raising interest rates. It's a good time to…

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Course Spotlight: Deep Learning

Deep learning is essentially "neural networks on steroids" and it lies at the core of the most intriguing and powerful applications of artificial intelligence. Facial recognition (which you encounter daily in Facebook and other social media) harnesses many levels of data science tools, including algorithms…

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“Money and Brains” and “Furs and Station Wagons”

"Money and Brains" and "Furs and Station Wagons" were evocative customer shorthands that the marketing company Claritas came up with over a half century ago. These names, which facilitated the work of marketers and sales people, were shorthand descriptions of segments of customers identified through…

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Be Smarter Than Your Devices: Learn About Big Data

When Apple CEO Tim Cook finally unveiled his company's new Apple Watch in a widely-publicizedrolloutearlier this month, most of the press coverage centered on its cost ($349 to start) and whether it would be as popular among consumers as the iPod or iMac. Nitin Indurkhyasaw…

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Course Spotlight: The Text Analytics Sequence

Text analytics or text mining is the natural extension of predictive analytics, and Statistics.com's text analytics program starts Feb. 6. Text analytics is now ubiquitous and yields insight in: Marketing: Voice of the customer, social media analysis, churn analysis, market research, survey analysis Business: Competitive…

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Course Spotlight: Constrained Optimization

Say you operate a tank farm (to store and sell fuel). How much of each fuel grade should you buy? You have specified flow and storage capacities, constraints on what types of fuels can be stored in which tanks, prior contractual obligations about minimum monthly…

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