Tagged: analysis

How do you become a data scientist?

Modern Day Data Scientist

Modern Day Data Scientist

I have read several articles on the subject, but none of the authors were really “Data Scientist” and they admit that, so I thought it was time that something was written by an actual Data Scientist.

First off, let’s make sure you understand that there’s lots of college involved, no way around that one. If you noticed a lady in the 2nd row, 3rd from the left had a mole on her nose in the last commercial you watched, you might have what it takes, even if you hadn’t thought of Mathematics, Engineering or Econometrics as a field of study. What I am implying is that it’s take someone who is VERY observant to be successful in Data Science. Why, because you deal with such large data sets and large outputs/results, your ability to absorb lots of information quickly and exactly, is your best friend. I can scroll a million records in minutes or run a small SQL script, analyze the results and tell you if that data is bad or corrupt in minutes. Cleansing data is always the 1st step, if this part is left out, I can guarantee you will have lots of N/A’s or characters where number should be, etc… so make QA your friend not your enemy.

What major or course work produces the best Data Scientist? Econometrics and Mathematics as long as they have an additional major in Business, why, because of the logic involved as well as the classic theory of Left Brain people and numbers. Creative is great for making power point presentations but when you have 10 terabytes of raw data, pretty is not the 1st things on your mind. Minor or actively engage in courses that will teach you programming, you don’t need hard core Pearl but you will need SQL skills at the very least. Microsoft Visual Studio, SSAS, SSIS, SSRS package, SAS, SPSS, SQL, Cognos, Macros, Visual Basic are all not only good to know but vital when you have multiple client who use different CRM, BI and ETL tools.

Once the schooling ends, the real world begins. My 1st boss said, “forget everything you learned in College, there is no “bell curve” here; meaning, statistics, programming, mathematics, logics and common sense are only the start. Practice on cleansing data, extracting data, normalizing data, segmenting data, loading data, trending data, modeling…. in other words data data data data data. Never assume your results, never ignore anomalies, do keep a unbiased mind and never scrimp on tools, software or classes. Yes, that’s right I still attend webinars and read like crazy to stay sharp on my tools and technic.

We need more people desperately in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) so please consider Data Science as a career. According to the latest study we’re in high demand and considered rock stars according to some.
What can your data do you for? @Data_Nerd :o)

I am not a Social Media expert but I play one on TV

I love that one liner from movies so I thought it appropriate for what I wanted to write this morning. There are lots of people out there playing Social Media experts, they promise followers, 1,000’s of them but how are they attaining them? Are they mining for followers from your niche or are they just searching for “follow-back” or others on Twitter who automatically accepts followers? What promises “on paper” did they make you? Did they guarantee your results? Did they guarantee to increase your ROI? NO? Well then, you are just wasting your money and you also stand the chance of these “Experts” or “Guru’s” damaging your brand or your name.

When I first branched off on my own, I envisioned I would be using analytics to increase market share, increase ROI, introduce new products to the market just, as I have been doing for the last 15 years for companies like Firestone, Kraft, Hershey…etc. I never dreamed that my best avenue for introducing and spreading the world of analytics would be Social Media. I had been using social media for years as a “tool” to help keep in touch so why not branch out and use it now.

Some Businesses “get analytics”, they see its importance not only in advertising and marketing but in social media as well. They use my service and others like me, to find their “target audience” or their niche. They depend on the research we provide to get the “Big” picture of what is really going on with their business or product. They know that by using statistics and data mining, they can make a change in their social media efforts. Unfortunately, a majority of the social media marketing community has decided to stick their heads in the sand and pretend analytics isn’t important or “can’t” be done (Oh yes, it can). We have made it easy entry into social media, placing in-experienced and un-professional GURU’s in as valid Marketers. We have been invaded with back seat driving experts who, because they have a Twitter account, think they can be “your” social media guru. Thanks to people like them we now have more spam than ever, you see the same “unique” page post from different URLs (hijacking ENTIRE websites) so the true author may see his or her post from multiple sites. The latest is promises of analysis as well, I’ve seen firms profess that they can handle your data and analysis as well but don’t have the first trained expert on site to achieve this. Gurus or experts focus on quantity over quality, and those results don’t get businesses anywhere. Websites offering 1000 Facebook or other social media fans with a low price are spam that are trying to enforce the already present notion that we need to have a significant social media following to get any kind of ROI.

In conclusion, be careful out there, social media is no different than any other aspect of life, there are good and bad people out there. Research the firm you plan on hiring and ask for references, protect your brand, your company and your reputation by only using professionals (ask for a Business License). If you need analytics assistance, make sure they have a scientific or mathematical background. If you need a social media expert get a “real” one and not just someone who plays one on TV. It’s your money, spend it wisely. If you need assistance in identifying best practices on how to use analysis in Social Media give me a call at 630-673-2345

Social Media and Analytics

We all have seen the hundreds of post and blogs dedicated to Social Media and I think it’s wonderful but please keep in mind; it is time consuming to engage your audience and you must be sure you have the right potential “buyers mix” or you’ll never be more than an interesting tweet or post.

Social Media is a wonderful way to introduce potential consumers with your product and or services. But doing a little research 1st, will assist you in improving the future of your sales/engagement. There are many “Self Proclaimed Gurus” out there screaming that they can get you 100,000’s of follower, well that would be great if they were 100,000 followers that were interested in your product or service but that isn’t the case. What I want to convey is that by being behavior-selective, geo-targeting and product-targeting your audience you can increase your sales and ROI. So, what do I mean by that? If I am selling products for older customers then I need to find them, right? How? Data! If you have your own data great, email your Analytical department and have one of your analyst start working with your Social Media department. Your analyst (if experienced) will be able to data mine your internal transactional data and find “your target audience” to engage with through Social Media. What if you don’t have an “Analytical department” or a “Social Media department”? I would recommend you use someone similar to myself, or learn how to do it yourself. I would love to assist anyone out there interested in either hiring Analytical Solution as a Consulting Company and or a Trainer. Regardless if you are a CMO or a C staff member or just a Small to Medium Business Owner, analytics can greatly improve your ability to find and engage with the “right” customers.

An example of Twitters potential for engagement ( “On Twitter, we saw a 500 percent increase in Tweets from Japan as people reached out to friends, family and loved ones in the moments after the earthquake”). Amazing that within hours, millions of tweets and post were sent to a captivated audience begging for more information. Families were reunited, others avoided harm all together thanks to a well timed comment from Social Media.

T.V. and Radio are in AWE of the power of “engagement” and I think most of the world is too. Let’s use this wonderful tool but let’s use it Smartly, Responsibly and with Ethics. Remember that it’s your “Name” or “Company” that is being put out there for millions to see. Have fun, make someone laugh, tell them something interest and you’ll have a person ready to listen to more about what you sell or promote.

A couple of examples of how analytics are used:

‘Grocery Stores’
The stocking layout in a grocery store has been designed to increase the dollar amount you purchase. Cereal is not next to milk, so you have to walk past other tempting items to buy both. This was designed using the analysis of data from shopping receipts.

‘The Love Canal’
In short, a neighborhood was worried about a high number of birth defects among their children. A statistical analysis found that there were no statistical significant difference in the number of birth defects in the neighborhood, compared to similar neighborhoods.

A scientist took up the case and instead looked at the number of birth defects in houses built on top of a filled-in canal, compared to other houses in the neighborhood. The result jumped out at them and revealed that toxic waste had been dumped in the canals. Waste which was now causing birth defects

The morale: When you crunch the numbers and do a thorough data analysis that combine different data (health records and geographic info in this case), you can discover significant things right in your back yard! The data of your business can hide clues that you’d never discover in your day-to-day activities. At the same time, it shows that it’s important to listen and work with the guys on the floor, which sense and see things that others higher up can’t.

@Data_Nerd

© 2011 Analytical Solution

Have your data warehouse dreams died?

Have you attempted a data warehouse and failed, let experience and expertise lead the way to successfully attaining your goals – Analytical Solution.

The talent pool is short for mathematicians and data miners, and people in general who understand what it take to successfully deal with large amounts of data. Analysis and segmenting large data sets is not for the faint of heart, it require skill and experience that is only gained from day to day handling of transactional data.

Small business owners often spend a large chuck of time planning their company’s operations, with thousands of dollars spent on buildings, equipment, employees and advertising but they forget the one asset they get for free, DATA. Without data, an organization loses its record of transactions and or its ability to deliver value to its customers.

Organizations need to focus on strategic matters on a more or less continuous basis in the modern business world. Business analysts, serving this need, are well-versed in analyzing the strategic profile of the organization and its environment. Analysts are “Subject matter experts” who understand the data and are able to translate the results of data mining into actionable business information.

Data mining has found support in many areas. It has been used by companies like Kellogg’s and Kraft to find their target audience for new products; It has been used by Real Estate agents to determine the probability that a new area of town will thrive; even Police departments have used data mining to identify new crime waves by what is filed in reports.

Let data mining and analysis take your company to the “next” level of success. Don’t let this opportunity to use your free resource “data” pass you by because you don’t have “in-house” talent, Analytical Solution is up for the task!
423-552-2062 for a free evaluation.

© 2011 Analytical Solution