Blog Archives

A Data Science Solution to the Question "What is Data Science?"

January 8, 2016
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A Data Science Solution to the Question "What is Data Science?"

As this flowchart from Wikipedia illustrates, data science is about collecting, cleaning, analyzing and reporting data. But is it data science or just or a "sexed up term" for Statistics (see embedded quote by Nate Silver)? It's difficult to separ...

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Modeling How Consumers Simplify the Purchase Process by Copying Others

December 23, 2015
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Modeling How Consumers Simplify the Purchase Process by Copying Others

A Flower That Fits the BillMarketing borrows the biological notion of coevolution to explain the progressive "fit" between products and consumers. While evolutionary time may seem a bit slow for product innovation and adoption, the same metaphor can be...

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BayesiaLab-Like Network Graphs for Free with R

December 18, 2015
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BayesiaLab-Like Network Graphs for Free with R

My screen has been filled with ads from BayesiaLab since I downloaded their free book. Just as I began to have regrets, I received an email invitation to try out their demo datasets. I was especially interested in their perfume ratings data. In this mo...

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Attitudes Modeled as Networks

December 10, 2015
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Attitudes Modeled as Networks

In case you missed it, Jonas Dalege and his colleagues at the PsychoSystems research group have recently published an article in Psychological Review detailing how attitudes can be represented as network graphs. It is all done using R and a dataset tha...

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The Topology Underlying the Brand Logo Naming Game: Unidimensional or Local Neighborhoods?

December 4, 2015
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The Topology Underlying the Brand Logo Naming Game: Unidimensional or Local Neighborhoods?

You can find the app on iTunes and Google Play. It's a game of trivial pursuits - here's the logo, now tell me the brand. Each item is scored as right or wrong, and the players must take it all very seriously for there is a Facebook page with cheat she...

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The Statistician as Data Action Hero

December 2, 2015
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"If our goal as a field is to use data to solve problems, then we need to move away from exclusive dependence on data models and adopt a more diverse set of tools."Leo BreimanStatistical Modeling: The Two CulturesBreiman ends the opening abstract of his "manifesto" to the statistical community with the above call to action. As a statistics...

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Statistical Models That Support Design Thinking: Driver Analysis vs. Partial Correlation Networks

November 24, 2015
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Statistical Models That Support Design Thinking: Driver Analysis vs. Partial Correlation Networks

We have been talking about design thinking in marketing since Tim Brown's Harvard Business Review article in 2008. It might be easy for the data scientist to dismiss the approach as merely a type of brainstorming for new products or services. Yet, desi...

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Mutually Exclusive Clusters Are Boxes within Which Consumers No Longer Fit

November 8, 2015
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Mutually Exclusive Clusters Are Boxes within Which Consumers No Longer Fit

Sometimes we force our categories to be mutually exclusive and exhaustive even as the boundaries are blurring rapidly.Of course, I am speaking of cluster analysis and whether it makes sense to force everyone into one and only one of a set of discrete b...

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Clustering Customer Satisfaction Ratings

November 1, 2015
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Clustering Customer Satisfaction Ratings

We run our cluster analysis with great expectations, hoping to uncover diverse segments with contrasting likes and dislikes of the brands they use. Instead, too often, our K-means analysis returns the above graph of parallel lines indicating that the p...

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Graphical Modeling Mimics Selective Attention: Customer Satisfaction Ratings

October 28, 2015
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Graphical Modeling Mimics Selective Attention: Customer Satisfaction Ratings

As shown by the eye tracking lines and circles, there is more on the above screenshot than we can process simultaneously. Visual perception takes time, and we must track where the eye focuses by recording sequence and duration. The "50% off" ...

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