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Movie Review – Two States (Bollywood 2014)

As a Punjabi engineer turned IIM MBA, who turns into a writer after marrying a woman from a different state (that’s me here!) , I was a bit apprehensive on how good or bad this movie could be. It was a relief and indeed a joy to watch this movie. The comic timing is light and everyone acts well. Watch Two States as the feel good movie of New BollyWood 2014. Alia Bhatt is lovely, Arjun Kapoor decides to move his acting and facial muscles, and the veteran team of actors fits in the roles very very naturally. A good way to spend a few hours, and be amazed at the amazing diversity of India.

2states-700 (1)

Talk on Open Source Analytics at OSSCamp Delhi

I presented on how open source has helped business analytics grow. This  was  at the unconference (my first unconference) at http://osscamp.in/

 

INTERNET: Explicit Chinese Censorship versus Implicit USA Spying

Over the past few years , two models of Internet regulation have emerged and there seem to be parallels in Communist versus Capitalistic Ideologies in these two models. Most countries have adopted various shades and degrees of mixture of these models-

1) USA- Partner commercially with Internet distribution and content companies. Offer legal backing through Patriotic Act. Adopt secret courts for some provisions. Reward commercial partners like Google and Facebook

2) China- Offer explicit censorship through a legal framework on what can be taken down, and what can be tolerated. Firewall off non conforming companies, thus creating an ecosystem for domestic countries.

Had more countries like India, Brazil etc followed the Chinese lead of creating firewalls, we would have a more democratic internet rather than one in which a global Internet audience is monetized primarily for American financial and industrial systems.

Queen the Movie Review (Bollywood 2014)

This is a delicious movie meant to be savored by everyone. It shows how a stood up traditional bride decides to go on her planned honeymoon trip alone. Above all, it shows brown and yellow and white people and black people can have lots of fun together once they shed their stereotypes. Watch it for the lovely colors and nice acting. Great songs and great humor, which you can relate to especially if you are Punjabi /North India.

Go watch and dance with the Queen
)

2013 Thank You Note

I would like to write a thank you note to  some of the people who helped make Decisionstats.com possible . We had a total of 150,644 views this year.For that, I have to thank you dear readers for putting up with me- it is now our seventh year.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total
13,940 12,153 12,948 13,371 12,778  12,085  12,894  11,934  9,914  14,764  12,907  10,956  150,644

I would like to thank Chris  (of Mashape) for helping me with some of the interviews I wrote here .I did 26 interviews this year for Programmable Web and a total of 30+ articles including the interviews in 2013.

Of course- we have now reached 116 excellent interviews on Decisionstats.com alone ( see http://goo.gl/V6UsCG )I would like to thank each one of the interviewees who took precious time to fill out the questions.

Sponsors- I would like to thank Dr Eric Siegel ( individually as an author and as founder chair of www.pawcon.com ) , Nadja and Ingo (for Rapid-Miner) , Dr Jonathan ( for Datamind) , Chris M (for Statace.com ) , Gergely ( Author) and many more during all these six years who have kept us afloat and the servers warm in these days of cold reflection, including Gregory (of KDNuggets.com) and erstwhile AsterData founders.

Training Partners- I would like to thank Lovleen Bhatia ( of Edureka  for giving me the opportunity to make http://www.edureka.in/r-for-analytics which now has 1721 learners as per http://www.edureka.in/)

I would also specially say Thank you to Jigsaw Academy for giving me the opportunity to create
the first affordable and quality R course in Asia http://analyticstraining.com/2013/jigsaw-completes-training-of-300-students-on-r/

These training courses including those by Datamind and Coursera remain a formidable and affordable alternative to many others catching up in the analytics education game in India ( an issue I wrote here)

Each and Everyone of my students (past and present) and Everyone in the #rstats  and SAS-L community, including people who may have been left out.

Thank you sir, for helping me and Decisionstats.com !

Wish each one of you a very happy and Joyous Happy New Year and a great and prosperous 2014!

Misconceptions and Fallacies in Analytics Education in India

  1.  Teaching a software and labeling it as analytics education- Some examples are Teaching Analytics with MS Excel (a spreadsheet software) , or Teaching a Statistics or Optimization syllabus and tagging it as Business Analytics.
  2. Promise to teach language X but use cheaper software Y- Examples can be offering to teach SPSS language but using the open source equivalent PSPP
  3. Overcharge for a day or two’s workshop- Albert Einstein could not learn a computer language in 3 days he could just get the basics. Anything priced above 500 $ and less than 4 days training is a simple effort to fool you you are getting your much more than your money’s worth.
  4. Extend training to more than 2 months and then overcharge- This is a failure unless done by an accredited college
  5. Freebies- There is no free lunch. Overcharging and giving a discount is a standard marketing malpractice.
  6. Brand Associations- Brand X is well known but has no credentials in Analytics. So it ties up with a couple of analytics consultants and launches a certificate or certification or diploma program in analytics. Unfortunately this extends to the very very best of Indian education.
  7. Hidden costs also known as We are cheap because we are in India-  Analytics software costs almost the same through out the world ( I did propose a PPP method for pricing software differently). Anyone offering discount because of geography is selling you a bridge in Nigeria or a million dollars in Iraq.
  8. Self Paced Learning-Learn Online for Fee- or Free- No, learning needs interaction and instructors- otherwise all universities in the worlds would have moved the professors to research (?) and offered videos to the students for self learning
  9. Better Much Better Support- Some analytics providers aim to distinguish themselves by saying we give better support. Yet their support team is hidden and mostly the instructor giving support. The best solution is to publish members of support team names as is done in support services industry.

These are personal observations and may or may not be true to every organization. All opinions are mine only.

Teaching R in India #rstats $323 for 6 week course

I submitted a poster to User2013 that was accepted on Teaching R in India- but I could not attend since I was in Canada visiting family at that time

These were some of the experiences I wanted to talk about- but I think I will elaborate on them later

Anyways- I have been able to design a SECOND R course in Bangalore for Edureka-
What happened to the FIRST course I designed in India. Enough said!

But Edureka were different and they work mostly with open source like teaching Hadoop, Android, Cassandra and R- and they are truly world class in their ways (except video editing and websites and social media blogs )
Edureka has worked much more honestly with both students and instructors. I was also able to convince them of the value of limited open access by giving some slides and videos free .
here is the slides for the first class.

The landing page is at
By pricing a 6 week, 24 hour course using Go2Meeting at just $323 ———-
edr
What we are trying to do is disrupt the market for training in two ways-
1) Give better customization and instructor attention than the MOOCs
2) Avoid  obscenely expensive workshops priced above 900$ per 8 hours etc…. from corporates.
The youtube video has got almost 6338 views and the model works best for developing countries like India for spreading R (though we do have an occasional overseas student ). We are currently updating the quality of the video even more as we collect automated response at end of each 2 hour class.
 All slides  and all videos are made free to download forever to the student.
 Got 323$  to learn R in six weeks? Sign up here  http://www.edureka.in/r-for-analytics
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