Blog Archives

Employee Retention with R Based Data Science Accelerator

March 9, 2017
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Employee Retention with R Based Data Science Accelerator

by Le Zhang (Data Scientist, Microsoft) and Graham Williams (Director of Data Science, Microsoft) Employee retention has been and will continue to be one of the biggest challenges of a company. While classical tactics such as promotion, competitive perks, etc. are practiced as ways to retain employees, it is now a hot trend to rely on machine learning technology...

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The Flexibility of Remote and Local R Workspaces

January 4, 2017
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The Flexibility of Remote and Local R Workspaces

by Sean Wells, Senior Software Engineer, Microsoft The mrsdeploy R package facilitates Remote Execution and Web Service interactions from your local R IDE command line against a remote Microsoft R Server instance. Both core features can be used independently of one another or combined to support different convenient workflows. These different workflows composed together can produce some creative R...

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Parallelizing Data Analytics on Azure with the R Interface Tool

December 27, 2016
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Parallelizing Data Analytics on Azure with the R Interface Tool

by Le Zhang (Data Scientist, Microsoft) and Graham Williams (Director of Data Science, Microsoft) In data science, to develop a model with optimal performance, exploratory experiments on different sets of hyper-parameters are often performed. Preliminary analyses on smaller data can be performed on a single machine, while the experimental one on large-scale data by sweeping multi-sets of parameters can...

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Using R to Gain Insights into the Emotional Journeys in War and Peace

December 1, 2016
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Using R to Gain Insights into the Emotional Journeys in War and Peace

by Wee Hyong Tok, Senior Data Scientist Manager at Microsoft How do you read a novel in record time, and gain insights into the emotional journey of main characters, as they go through various trials and tribulations, as an exciting story unfolds from chapter to chapter? I remembered my experiences when I start reading a novel, and I get...

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Calculating AUC: the area under a ROC Curve

November 22, 2016
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Calculating AUC: the area under a ROC Curve

by Bob Horton, Microsoft Senior Data Scientist Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves are a popular way to visualize the tradeoffs between sensitivitiy and specificity in a binary classifier. In an earlier post, I described a simple “turtle’s eye view” of these plots: a classifier is used to sort cases in order from most to least likely to be positive,...

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SAS to R Migration for Financial Data: Lessons and Examples

November 14, 2016
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SAS to R Migration for Financial Data: Lessons and Examples

by Lixun Zhang (Data Scientist), Ye Xing (Senior Data Scientist) and Tao Wu (Principal Data Scientist Manager), all at Microsoft Editor's Note: To learn more about migrating from SAS to R, there will be a live webinar presented by Lixun and Ye tomorrow (Tuesday, November 15). Register to attend the webinar here. R has been gaining in popularity among...

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Data Manipulation with sparklyr on Azure HDInsight

November 8, 2016
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Data Manipulation with sparklyr on Azure HDInsight

by Ali Zaidi, Data Scientist at Microsoft # Apache Spark and a Tale of APIs Spark is an exceptionally popular processing engine for distributed data. Dealing with data in distributed storage and programming with concurrent systems often requires learning complicated new paradigms and techniques. Statisticans and data scientists familiar wtih R are unlikely to have much experience with such...

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Sharing our R Programs — With Style

October 25, 2016
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by Graham Williams, Director of Data Science, Microsoft Programming is an art and a way we express ourselves. As we write our programs we should keep in mind that someone else is very likely to be reading it. We can facilitate the accessibility of our programs through a clear presentation of the messages we are sharing. As data scientists...

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Estimating the value of a vehicle with R

October 18, 2016
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Estimating the value of a vehicle with R

by Srini Kumar, Director of Data Science at Microsoft We tend to think of R and other such ML tools only in the context of the workplace, to do “weighty” things aimed at saving millions. A little judicious use of R may help us hugely in our personal lives too. The ideas of regression, classification trees etc. can be...

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Building Scalable Data Pipelines with Microsoft R Server and Azure Data Factory

October 4, 2016
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Building Scalable Data Pipelines with Microsoft R Server and Azure Data Factory

by Udayan Kumar, Data Scientist at Microsoft Beginning in 2016, Microsoft rolled out a preview of Microsoft R Server (MRS) for Azure HDInsight clusters. This service provides a preconfigured instance of R server with Spark/Hadoop that can be provisioned within minutes. Recent blog posts (by Max Kaznady and David Smith) have highlighted how to use and tune this service...

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