Analyst First – SURF

This presentation is aimed at all those working in commercial and government analytics, irrespective of what tools they use, and also to those students intending on such a career. R and other open source tools play a powerful, unique and disruptive role in business analytics, and are even now changing the landscape. The use of such tools leads to new business models and strategies that challenge the conventional approach.

The key element of the presentation is “Analyst First”, a new approach to analytics, where tools take a far less important place than the people who perform, manage, request or envision analytics, while analytics is a non-repetitive, exploratory and creative process where the outcome is not known at the start, and only a fraction of efforts are expected to result in success. This is in contrast with a common perception of analytics as IT and process.

Analyst First

How to build a world-beating predictive model using R

Many modern data analysis problems in both industry and academia involve building a model that can predict the future based on historical variables. The 2009 KDD Cup was an international data mining competition devoted to this type of problem, where contestants attempted to predict the behaviour of mobile phone customers using an extensive database of historical information. The University of Melbourne team managed to win one part of this challenge, using R almost exclusively. In this talk I’ll give some background to the area and the specific problem, and discuss how we went about building our models. The talk will be fairly accessible, and deal with many of the practical issues encountered in this type of work.


SURF Meet Up Group