Banking on the Facts - what is expert advice worth?
When moving on to my next assignment a few years ago I received the visit of three of my new colleagues. I was quite surprised to hear the first confess that “the first thing you have to learn here is that everyone lies about everything”. The second visitor wasn’t any more inspiring in vouching that she alone told the truth. The third visitor — as they say in French “jamais deux sans trois” — tried to “reassure” me that previous two would be struck by lightning if they ever spoke honestly. In a Smullyanian world in which people are either eternally truthful or disingenuous, which of my three visitors was to be believed?[i]Read more
Data VisualizationThis course will introduce the students to broad classes of techniques and tools for analyzing and visualizing data at scale. Students will learn basic visualization design and evaluation principles, and learn how to acquire, parse, and analyze large datasets. The course starts with statistical computing, and you will gain experience with SAS Visual Analytics. You will learn the practice of data cleansing, data aggregation, and basic tabulations in producing high quality visualizations.
The learning goals here are to understand how data visualization techniques can help bring complex data to life, how to design effective visualizations, and how to create intuitive, meaningful, visualizations using enterprise standard applications. Course discussion will explore techniques for visualizing multivariate, temporal, text-based, geospatial, hierarchical, and network data. Using case studies drawn from variety of industries and to explore the logic importance of visualizations in modern data analysis and presentation.Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of the course, the students shall be able to :
Concepts and theories to which students are exposed during the course
Measure the quality of your decisions....
and not just your data
Data will always take a back seat in the drive towards better decision-making. As companies spend increasing amounts of time and effort in capturing organizational and market data, the return on these investments will continue to depend on our ability to transform the data into impactful decisions. Data alone doesn’t produce good decisions for decision-making is constantly handicapped by uncertainty, ambiguity, and complexity. Measuring the quality of our decision-making may well prove more important than improving the quality of our data. Let’s look both at why measuring decision-making is so difficult, and why it is so potentially rewarding.Read more
Data Science’s Dirty Little Secrets
Defining the knowledge and skill set of today’s data scientist is proving to be a quite a problem despite the considerable number of contributions on the subject.[i] This challenge hasn’t kept trade specialists from projecting an monumental gap between the supply and demand for such “specialists” worldwide [ii]; while LinkedIn’s 2017 survey of the ten most marketable skills highlights statistical analysis, data modeling and data presentation[iii]. Ever since William Cleveland proposed the term “data science” in 2001 as a junction between the fields of computer science and statistics — the superlatives of “superstar” “ninja rock star”, and “sexy unicorns” have done little to help business and higher education understand the specifics of the trade. What exactly sets the data scientist apart from the rest of the field?Read more
What is the key to demonstrating managerial brilliance?
To begin with, have your team’s strategy written by an outside consultant. Ask your marketing team to transform the document into a thirty-slide presentation with lots of animated graphics to wow your audience. Present the slides to your team, insist on vague acronyms that no one will understand and cite figures that no one will verify. After you talk, send your stakeholders a self-congratulatory e-mail on such a great presentation, but don’t attach the strategy document in question.
If you agree with any of the above points, reading this post will be a waste of your time.
Analytics is also about solving life's little problems – like finding a parking space at the beach….
After the results of Sunday’s French elections, we decided to head off to the beach at the Old Port of Biarritz for the extended weekend break. A short hour’s drive from our apartment in Pau, the challenge of staying in Biarritz is finding a parking space anywhere close to the seaside hotels. As you drive through the town’s narrow streets, the parking spaces become few and far between. The eternal question for anyone who looks at the data (or at least at the beach) is: should I take the first available parking space and walk a couple of kilometers to the hotel, or wait until maybe a find a closer spot?Read more
"I just don’t have the time to make better decisions…."
Former Watergate chronicler Bob Woodward spoke passionately last weekend about the importance of taking our time in getting the facts right when taking decisions for ourselves and influencing those around us.  The high potential managers in the audience smiled wryly, for they know only too well that the pressures of modern management have made time the rarest commodity of all. They have just too many decisions to take every day – there just isn’t any time to think about the best obtainable version of the truth.Read more
The Decisive Moment
During our trip to Paris last week we took the time to visit the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation near Montparnasse. The exhibit on the second floor is dedicated to one hundred twenty odd photographs published in the 1952 collection “The Decisive Moment”. The beauty and the orginality of this work sparked a generous debate over the existence of “decisive moments”. Are there rare, specific points in time when everything seems to fall in place? Are these the fleeting moments that define important decisions, spawn innovation, and make leaders great?Read more