Aug 30, 2013

Friday Funny: The End of Annoying Motorists

Motoring is a great human invention with an unprecedented contribution to our civilization. However, some part of the civilization indulging on it is not that civil. Š•xamples are ample and include the motorcycle breaking the silence of the night, waking up the kids and turning on all the car alarms or the car stereo volume turned up so high that makes a party somewhere on the Moon not suitable place for a quite chat or the unpredictable driver disobeying the regulations of law, common sense and clinical sanity. Have you ever wondered how we could solve these problems and make our street safer and quieter as well as daily commute bit more pleasant?Violence is often the answer but I have a better idea - I have designed a simple yet very effective solution.

Aug 27, 2013

Using Big Data in Football (Soccer)

The Lewis's book Moneyball revealed clever application of data-driven analytic in baseball and initiated the so called "Moneyball"-era in this sport. Currently, wide range of teams employ similar methods together with the traditional ones. I have been wondering if similar methods are applied in football and why not much is known about it if they are. I know many performance metrics are tracked by the clubs but I wondered if any data-driven analytics is employed.

Aug 21, 2013

What If Nazi Germany Had Excel?

Map of Operation Bagration
Yesterday I read an article about how data analysis solution would significantly reduce the cost of healthcare in US. After some illustration of the rising healthcare costs, a solution was proposed with introduction of fraud detection methods and tools. Fraud does impact the overall costs but I am sure it is just a part of the problem. It was obviously a paid article to promote a product line as the savior of our world. However, it provoked me thinking once again about the place of analytics in the decision-making and management processes. Well balanced views are rare as everyone promotes their own subject as crucial success factor - analysts are no different and the current hype with analytics and Big Data multiplies (by a factor greater than one) their advertising. To make things more fun, this line of thought could answer the geeky question of would Nazi Germany be more successful if they had a powerful analytic tool at their hands?

Aug 19, 2013

From Data Modeler to Data Scientist

I came across an interesting parallel between the data modeler and the data scientist. I like the comparison of both positions on some key aspects. However, I find such distinction between these two roles not that applicable for an analytical company or department  as most projects involve methods and techniques attributable to both positions. The exception is probably the IT organizations dealing with database design and not so much with data analysis and. It is a good read. Check it out here.

Aug 13, 2013

The Dark Side of Data Abundance

If there is something that defines our digital era it is the abundance of data. It has been created out of the cheap computing power and storage, Internet ubiquity and ease of sharing, open source and open data movements as well as the new requirements from the the governments. It is all great of course but many people and companies join the Dark side of this phenomenon. I hope it does not come as a surprise that "more data" phenomenon has a dark side - almost everything does. I can judge just a narrow aspect of it from the perspective of data analysis and decision making. What I see is sometimes scary and sometimes funny.

Aug 1, 2013

To Macro Or Not To Macro, That Is The Question!

A genius once wrote a famous monologue and 400 years later it still stirs up emotions and thoughts. Not surprisingly, Excel macros do not have such a dramatic appeal but using or not macros in a workbook is a question worth asking. Including one in the workbook is decided on the fly without much of a consideration. Quite often macro is the gin coming out of a programmer's hands that could magically solve any problem. As a favorite TV presenter would exclaim "How hard could it be?". Macros are brilliant helping hand but should be applied with consideration.