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  • We had the chance to participate in a group at IRI analyzing the impact of Big Data on R&D. The group included people from Cargill, Kraft (previously), and SRI International. The group also received support from Phillps66, Ingersoll Rand, JM Smucker, TCS, RTI, and Archer Daniels Midland. In this paper, you’ll get a new look... Read More »
  • There was a fantastic article in the Wall Street Journal recently – Wall Street to CEOs: Disrupt Your Industry, or Else. A key message from the article, when Ford’s CEO got fired for not acting fast enough or bold enough in fighting all the Silicon Valley start-ups. “To make things worse for established players, investors... Read More »
  • The above picture is one I took while on vacation in Costa Rica.  We were going to a remote beach at the end of a 3-mile pothole and rut-stricken dirt road.  We happened to be following a truck making a delivery.  The truck got stuck by an overhanging tree.  The driver immediately got out, with... Read More »
  • Discovery vs Production with Big Data

    Diego Klabjan Mar 18th, 2016
    It has been noted that big data technologies are predominantly used for ETL and data discovery. The former has been around for decades and is well understood with a mature market. Data discovery is much newer and less understood. Wikipedia’s definition reads “Data discovery is a business intelligence architecture aimed at interactive reports and explorable... Read More »
  •   The Wall Street Journal recently published an Op-Ed piece by Andy Kessler (author of Eat People and Running Money, and other books) on what new technologies today will really change the world. Many of the ideas had to do with how sensors would open up new possibilities.  The 5 ideas that had to do... Read More »
  • Bringing Analytics to the CFO

    Michael Watson Ph.D Jan 12th, 2016
    A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlighted the rising need for analytics on the CFO’s team. The article highlighted how CFO created groups for Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) that went beyond normal finance functions and helped the business run better. The article gave the example of the FP&A team at Dunkin Donuts help... Read More »
  •   MH&L recently published an article on the Top 10 advanced technologies that will shape manufacturing’s future.  The research was done by Deloitte and the US Council on Competitiveness. Here is the list: Predictive analytics Smart, connected products (Internet-of-Things) Advanced materials Smart factories (Internet-of-Things) Digital design, simulation and integration High performance computing Advanced robotics 3D... Read More »
  • NPR’s Planet Money recently did a podcast on A/B testing.  It is worth a listen if you are new to the topic.  A/B testing is a key part of the current analytics movement. The podcast did a nice job in highlighting one of the key case studies on how Barack Obama used it in his... Read More »
  • Podcast: Big Data Analytics with Aster R

    Michael Watson Ph.D Nov 23rd, 2015
    The popularity of R continues to grow.  However, it can be difficult to use R with large data sets. Diego recently recorded a 6-minute podcast on the benefits of Aster R.  In this 6-minute podcast, you will learn about the trade-offs when trying to analyze large data sets with R and how Teradata’s Aster R... Read More »
  • Alex Scott recently published an article on real-time index for truckload rates.  (The article is here but you may need to do a free registration to get access.)   Even though the truckload market is a $700B industry, Alex points out that there is no agreed upon index that shippers and carriers can use to... Read More »
  • In a recent engagement, we were tasked with evaluating sets of time series data at many intervals to determine the health of the system (essentially, looking to classify each increment of the time series). Being biased towards Python, we built datasets and began testing with most of the standard machine learning classification algorithms in sci-kit... Read More »
  • NFL Fans on Facebook

    Cario Lullo Oct 8th, 2015
    In 2013, Facebook conducted an exploration of the number of Likes received by each NFL team in every U.S. county for each day of the season. The study conducted by Sean Taylor involved approximately 35 million U.S. account holders who Liked a page for one of the 32 teams in the league can be found... Read More »
  • CSV to Spark SQL tables

    Diego Klabjan Jul 20th, 2015
    Recently we were involved in a project that required reading and importing more than 30 csv files into Spark SQL. We started writing scala code to ‘manually’ import file by file, but we soon realized that there is substantial repetition. As a result we created a nice helper object that takes as input information about... Read More »
  • Yesterday’s Chicago Tribune ran an article on how All State and the City of Chicago are combining existing data sets with predictive analytics to solve long-standing problems.  These problems include how to best conduct restaurant inspections to minimize food-borne illness, how to inspect elevators to prevent problems, and which trees to trim to minimize damage after... Read More »
  • (Note:  This article first appeared in Supply Chain Digest). A few months back, the Wall Street Journal reported that Ceasar’s “big-data customer loyalty program” was valued at $1B.  This highlighted again the idea that data is becoming an ever more valuable asset. A good book, Big Data, discusses how firms are realizing that that the... Read More »
  • One of the biggest hurdles in MapReduce is model calibration for machine learning models such as the logistic regression and SVM (Support Vector Machine). These algorithms are based on gradient optimization and require iterative computations of the gradient and in turn updating the weights. MapReduce is ill suited for this since in each iteration the data... Read More »
  • Airlines have been one of the first industries to use advanced analytics in areas such as revenue management. “Should a request for a seat be granted?” is a fundamental challenge in the industry. If it is granted, the money can be left on the table since the next day a highly valued business passenger might... Read More »
  • We’ve recently published an article in CSCMP’s Supply Chain Quarterly on the three things that a supply chain manager should know about Big Data and Analytics. The three things are: Big Data is not just for the IT Department There is more than one type of analytics Machine Learning has many potential supply chain applications Follow... Read More »
  • Yesterday’s WSJ ran an article on the importance of analytics (“Get Familiar With Big Data Now—or Face ‘Permanent Pink Slip’“- may be behind a paywall). The article is an interview with an executive recruiter, Linda Burtch, who has helped staffed the analytics groups at Darden Restaurants, Jack in the Box, Leo Burnett Worldwide, Foot Locker,... Read More »
  • The use of analytics in sports is quite well known.  The Oakland A’s popularized analytics by using it to build winning teams with a minimal budget— we mentioned and extended this case in our book.  Recently, ESPN Magazine ran a special “Analytics Issue.” Late last year we were approached by Roger Goodell of the NFL to... Read More »
  • Many businesses lease equipment rather than purchase it.  This has tax and finance advantages since the assets are not listed on the books of the lease.  Also, for equipment with a short life cycle- like computer equipment, leases allow you to keep up with changes in technology.   Although IT equipment is probably the most frequently... Read More »
  • What is a Data Scientist?

    Michael Watson Ph.D Aug 2nd, 2013
    With the rise of Big Data and data in general (see here for a definition of Big Data), there is an increased need for people to analyze that data to turn it into information.  Thomas Davenport and D.J. Patil recently wrote an article in Harvard Business Review about how Data Scientists are going to be the hot... Read More »
  • I recently wrote a blog post on SCDigest about the three definitions of Big Data. It is worth a read.  More managers are under pressure to do something with Big Data.  Before you can do anything with it, you should know what it is. The article covers three different definitions of Big Data: IT definition:... Read More »