Approximately 90 percent of all the real-time information being created today is unstructured data — IBM - 11 Oct 2011
MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson shares insightful implication of big data in this 9 min interview. My notes:
KDnuggets Poll Results: Top Algorithms for Analytics/Data Mining -
Puzzled decision trees and others top visualization and descriptive statistics: Noone I know would do predicition without those two basic exploration steps.
McKinsey recently published on the “Second Economy”. Below two quotes on how it is defined and it what sense it acts intelligently. (This pragmatic definition of intelligence is extremly helpful, because it acknowlege that a service like Google Search is intelligent even though it will - hopefully - never posses consciousness.)
Interestingly business analytics is a much bigger player in this second economy as in the visible one. Think credit scoring, price optimiation or campaign optimization.
Quotes from the article:
If I were to look for adjectives to describe this second economy, I’d say it is vast, silent, connected, unseen, and autonomous (meaning that human beings may design it but are not directly involved in running it). It is remotely executing and global, always on, and endlessly configurable. It is concurrent—a great computer expression—which means that everything happens in parallel. It is self-configuring, meaning it constantly reconfigures itself on the fly, and increasingly it is also self-organizing, self-architecting, and self-healing.
There’s a parallel in this with how biologists think of intelligence. I’m not talking about human intelligence or anything that would qualify as conscious intelligence. Biologists tell us that an organism is intelligent if it senses something, changes its internal state, and reacts appropriately. If you put an E. coli bacterium into an uneven concentration of glucose, it does the appropriate thing by swimming toward where the glucose is more concentrated. Biologists would call this intelligent behavior. The bacterium senses something, “computes” something (although we may not know exactly how), and returns an appropriate response.
7bn humans. Great infomap about population growth at theguardian.
Factor Analysis by Richard B. Darlington -
Neat introduction on factor analysis. Little math and lots of concepts and motivation of this classic tool.
A decision is reduced to a simple, pre-determined rule. Once the rule is established, the decision is out of the executive’s hands – so the executive no longer feels important. If the campaign fails, the failure will be clearly documented, chipping away at the executive’s reputation and sense of confidence. Moving from gut-feel decision making to data-driven making doesn’t play into the average executive’s sense of power. — Interesting observation why business analytics may impose a psychological challenge for executives.
Great opportunity for Social Network Analysis: According to Forrester only 4% of European online users are responsible for 80% of all so-called influence impressions.
Predictive analytics is one of the most valuable elements of analytics. Yet, not every vendor claiming to offer analytics is strong in predictive analytics.
One example is Business Objects (BO) which was aquired by SAP to complement it’s analytics portfolio. Despite its claim to be a leading analytics vendor BO a closer look reveals it has little to offer in advanced analytics. Its “Business Objects Predictive Workbench” brochure (see cover below or full document here) demonstrates that what you really get is IBM’s SPSS Modeller. This is consistent with BO’s 2007 reseller agreement which SAP just renewed.
There is nothing wrong with bundled third party software and SPSS isn’t a bad choice. But I don’t think communication is appropiate. It should be more transparent that advanced analytics with BO requires a totally different piece of software (which typically disturbs user experience, adds integration challenges and complicates maintanance) and that “analytics” is for BO what others just call, well, reporting.