Articles by Allan Engelhardt

Training dates for Marketing Analytics course announced

May 30, 2017 | 0 Comments

Classes 3-7 July 2017: We have updated our very popular training course to take advantage of the latest Microsoft Advanced Analytics technology and re-launched it as Marketing Analytics using Microsoft R and Azure. We have just announced public training dates and are looking forward to giving the course in the week 3... [Read more...]

What is wrong with lift curves

October 30, 2016 | 0 Comments

The first part of our Marketing Analytics Using R course covers campaign analysis with test- and control groups and campaign optimisation using lift curves and predicted responses. Among the many topics covered, we discuss what is wrong with lift curves. They are a standard tool in marketing to select a ... [Read more...]

How do we know that marketing works?

October 16, 2016 | 0 Comments

How do we know that marketing works? It was National Poetry Day in Britain recently, and I do believe that poetry and imagination, and the wisdom and insights it can bring, has a place in business and corporate world. But wisdom isn’t knowledge; it d... [Read more...]

Microsoft Analytics in 2016

June 23, 2016 | 0 Comments

If you had asked me two years ago if Microsoft was a serious vendor for data science and analytics infrastructure and tools, I would have laughed. At the time their offering seemed to me to consist of Excel against SQL Server. There is nothing really wrong (or exciting) about SQL ...
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Analytics for Marketing online training 25 – 28 September 2012

August 1, 2012 | 0 Comments

I am excited to be giving the Analytics for Marketing online training course on 25-28 September 2012. Sign up before 25 August 2012 for the early bird discount. Our friends at Revolution Analytics who will provide the infrastructure to host the event. Update: For clarification, this is an online, instructor led training course. ...
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When Big Data matters

March 21, 2012 | 0 Comments

Big can be a qualitative as well as a quantitative difference. The gas in the ill-fated Hindenburg airship, the gas that formed our Sun, and the gas that formed the Milky Way galaxy were just lumps of hydrogen atoms (with varying impurities). The difference was in the number of atoms. ... [Read more...]

R code for Chapter 2 of Non-Life Insurance Pricing with GLM

March 13, 2012 | 0 Comments

We continue working our way through the examples, case studies, and exercises of what is affectionately known here as “the two bears book” (Swedish björn = bear) and more formally as Non-Life Insurance Pricing with Generalized Linear Models by Esbjörn Ohlsson and Börn Johansson (Amazon UK | US). At ... [Read more...]

R code for Chapter 1 of Non-Life Insurance Pricing with GLM

March 1, 2012 | 0 Comments

Insurance pricing is backwards and primitive, harking back to an era before computers. One standard (and good) textbook on the topic is Non-Life Insurance Pricing with Generalized Linear Models by Esbjorn Ohlsson and Born Johansson. We have been doing some work in this area recently. Needing a robust internal training ... [Read more...]

doSMP pulled

March 1, 2012 | 0 Comments

They have finally pulled that buggy unreliable piece of code that was doSMP from the CRAN mirrors while (I hear) Revolutions are re-writing it. To use all your cores for analysis on the Windows platform, you can try doSNOW instead; my code is something like the fragment below. Neither option ...
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R versus SAS/SPSS in corporations

October 28, 2011 | 0 Comments

A recent question on one of the LinkedIn groups about the advantages of using R over commercial tools like SAS or IBM SPSS Modeller drew lots of comments for R. We like R a lot and we use it extensively, but I also wanted to balance the discussion. R is ...
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Commercial Analytics: The Capabilities

October 5, 2011 | 0 Comments

Commercial Analytics is the kind that makes money. From data to dollars, insights to income, this is all about how to run the business better. To do it and to do it well you need certain capabilities in place. This article builds a map of those business capabilities to help ... [Read more...]

5 common pitfalls of commercial analytics projects

September 5, 2011 | 0 Comments

We have 20 years of experience of big data environments within a variety of industries including Research, Banking, Insurance, and Telecommunications. We have especially worked with customer data: Marketing, Risk Management, customer segmentation and -profitability, and customer-driven product development.
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Friday quote: what is the question to which this number is the answer?

August 26, 2011 | 0 Comments

John Kay muses on interpreting statistical data: Always ask of such data “what is the question to which this number is the answer?”. “Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation on a like-for-like basis before allowance for exceptional restructuring costs” is the answer to the question “what is the highest ...
[Read more...]

A warning on the R save format

August 23, 2011 | 0 Comments

The save() function in the R platform for statistical computing is very convenient and I suspect many of us use it a lot. But I was recently bitten by a “feature” of the format which meant I could not recover my data. I recommend that you save data in a ...
[Read more...]

Friday quote: the handmaiden and the whore

August 19, 2011 | 0 Comments

Because it is Friday and because we collect quotes: If mathematics is the handmaiden of science, statistics is the whore: all that scientists are looking for is a quick fix without the encumbrance of a meaningful relationship. Statisticians are second-class mathematicians, third-rate scientists and fourth-rate thinkers. They are the hyenas, ... [Read more...]

Spreadsheet errors

April 20, 2011 | 0 Comments

For my sins, I have done more than my fair share of analysis in Excel. I am quite capable of building and maintaining 130Mb spreadsheets (I had a dozen of them for one client). Excel is pretty much installed everywhere, so it is sometimes the only way to get started ... [Read more...]

Benchmarking feature selection with Boruta and caret

November 25, 2010 | 0 Comments

Feature selection is the data mining process of selecting the variables from our data set that may have an impact on the outcome we are considering. For commercial data mining, which is often characterised by having too many variables for model building, this is an important step in the analysis ... [Read more...]
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