Posts Tagged ‘ Business ’

Quote of the month

August 23, 2016
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In a post titled "GIGO" (for those who don't like acronyms, Garbage In, Garbage Out), Andrew Gelman wrote this gem: as long as the “garbage out” gets media attention, there will always be somebody willing to supply the “garbage in.” The general drift of that post, and the previous one that led me to it, is a critique of the management consulting industry. Having worked in that industry earlier in…

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Brexit, Bremain, the world did not end so dataviz people can throw shade and color

August 22, 2016
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Brexit, Bremain, the world did not end so dataviz people can throw shade and color

Catching a dose of Alberto Cairo the other day. He has a good post about various Brexit/Bremain maps. The story started with an editor of The Spectator, who went on twitter to make the claim that the map on the...

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Know your data 19: don’t tell me you are 2 blocks away when you are 20 blocks away

August 11, 2016
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Well, it didn't take long but private investigators have found the next big thing: Big Data. Bloomberg reported on a company called IDI, who sells our data to private investigators. (link) Unfortunately, this article is short on details and long on sensationalized catchphrases ("Every move you make. Every click you take...") The CEO of IDI boasted that "We have data on that 21-year-old who’s living at home with mom and…

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Apple Watch users overwhelmingly satisfied, says a survey of satisfied users

July 27, 2016
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Apple Watch users overwhelmingly satisfied, says a survey of satisfied users

As word of plummeting sales of Apple Watch spread around last week, an entrepreneur went on Medium to sing a different tune: his survey apparently uncovered a "paradox" - Apple Watch users are "overwhelmingly satisfied, yet not recommending" the product. The "overwhelming" bit comes from this chart: This data portray a hugely successful product in which almost nobody expressed any negative feelings. This next chart is even more impressive. Apparently,…

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Ethical dilemmas in data science and analytics

July 5, 2016
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Ethical dilemmas in data science and analytics

About half a year ago, when my article on ethics in data science appeared on Harvard Business Review, the second half of the piece was dropped. In the omitted section, I had designed a poll inviting readers to opine on several ethical dilemmas facing real-world data analysts. In April, Manoj Chari read my HBR article and kindly invited me to speak on the subject at the INFORMS Analytics Conference, and…

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Your emails are being read (though I also think this is a hoax)

June 20, 2016
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CNBC reports that Goldman Sachs flags employee emails based on a long list of "offending" phrases. If an employee types a profanity, apparently a window pops up to confirm that the person really truly wants to say that word. The other objective given is to detect fraudulent behavior. The list they published apparently came from 2008, so very aged, but I think it is a hoax. Many of the terms…

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An example of terrible analytics report design

June 1, 2016
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In the business analytics universe, the discipline of "business intelligence" is often frowned upon. Business intelligence is primarily generating reports on business metrics, tracking them over time, and producing ad-hoc analyses explaining these trends. People often complain that such work is not challenging and not sexy. There is a stigma that BI work is data dumping. In reality, good BI work is rare and extremely valuable. Horrible BI work is…

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Where is NYT’s data science team when you need them?

May 29, 2016
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Where is NYT’s data science team when you need them?

The management at New York Times was smart enough to create a data science team but apparently the newsroom has not yet been exposed to STAT 101. Today, NYT printed this headline: "Top C.E.O. Pay Fell -- Yes, Fell -- in 2015" (link to article). I immediately thought, not so fast, are they talking about average pay or median pay. Anyone who has taken STAT 101 knows that when analyzing…

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Tip of the day: don’t be Theranosed

May 23, 2016
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Theranos (v): to spin stories that appeal to data while not presenting any data To be Theranosed is to fall for scammers who tell stories appealing to data but do not present any actual data. This is worse than story time, in which the storyteller starts out with real data but veers off mid-stream into unsubstantiated froth, hoping you and I got carried away by the narrative flow. Theranos (n):…

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Law versus ethics: how the new overtime pay rule will play out

May 18, 2016
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In any discussion of ethics , someone is bound to bring up the law: it is okay to do something if something is not against the law. The logical conclusion of this belief is that ethics is irrelevant in the presence of the law. The recent stories relating to minimum wage and the overtime pay rule changes (for example, link) argue strongly against such a point of view. The law…

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