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If you type the words “business intelligence expert” in Google. you may get the top ranked result as http://goo.gl/pCqUh or Peter James Thomas, a profound name as it can be as it spans three of the most important saints in the church.
The current post for this is very non business -intelligence topic called Wager. http://peterjamesthomas.com/2011/07/20/wager/
It details how Peter, a virtual friend whom I have never met, and who looks suspiciously like Hugh Grant with the hair, and Ajay Ohri (myself) waged a wager on which cricket team would emerge victorious in the ongoing test series . It was a 4 match series, and India needed to win atleast the series or avoid losing it by a difference of 2, to retain their world cricket ranking (in Tests) as number 1.
Sadly at the end of the third test, the Indian cricket team have lost the series, the world number 1 ranking, and some serious respect by 3-0.
What is a Test Match? It is a game of cricket played over 5 days.
Why was Ajay so confident India would win. Because India won the one day world championship this April 2011. The one day series is a one day match of cricket.
There lies the problem. From an analytic point of view, I had been lulled into thinking that past performance was an indicator of future performance, indeed the basis of most analytical assumptions. Quite critically, I managed to overlook the following cricketing points-
1) Cricket performance is different from credit performance. It is the people and their fitness.
India’s strike bowler Zaheer Khan was out due to injury, we did not have any adequate replacement for him. India’s best opener Virender Sehwag was out due to shoulder injury in the first two tests.
Moral – Statistics can be misleading if you do not apply recent knowledge couple with domain expertise (in this case cricket)
2) What goes up must come down. Indeed if a team has performed its best two months back, it is a good sign that cyclicality will ensure performance will go down.
Moral- Do not depend on regression or time series with ignoring cyclical trends.
3) India’s cricket team is aging. England ‘s cricket team is youthful.
I should have gotten this one right. One of the big and understated reasons that the Indian economy is booming -is because we have the youngest population in the world with a median age of 28.
India has more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 and more than 65% hovers below the age of 35. It is expected that, in 2020, the average age of an Indian will be 29 years, compared to 37 for China and 48 for Japan; and, by 2030, India’s dependency ratio should be just over 0.4
India’s population is 1.21 billion people, so potentially a much larger pool of athletes , once we put away our laptops that is.
the total population of the United Kingdom was 58,789,194 (I dont have numbers for average age)
Paradoxically India have the oldest cricket team in the world . This calls for detailed investigation and some old timers should give way to new comers after this drubbing.
Moral- Demographics matters. It is the people who vary more than any variable.
4) The Indian cricket team has played much less Test cricket and much more 20:20 and one day matches. 20:20 is a format in which only twenty overs are bowled per side. In Test Matches 90 overs are bowled every day for 5 days.
Stamina is critical in sports.
Moral- Context is important in extrapolating forecasts.
Everything said and done- the English cricket team played hard and fair and deserve to be number ones. I would love to say more on the Indian cricket team, but I now intend to watch Manchester United play soccer.
Cyber Attacks-Protecting your assets and people from cyber attacks
Everyday we hear of new cyber attacks on organizations and countries. The latest attacks were on IMF and 200,000 accounts of Citibank and now the website of the US Senate. If some of the most powerful and technologically advanced organizations could not survive targeted attacks, how effective is your organization in handling cyber security. Sony Playstation, Google Gmail, PBS website are other famous targets that have been victimized.
Before we play the blame game by pointing to China for sponsoring hacker attacks, or Russian spammers for creating Bot Nets or ex Silicon Valley /American technology experts rendered jobless by off-shoring, we need to both understand which companies are most vulnerable, which processes need to be fine tuned and what is the plan of action in case your cyber security is breached.
Which companies are most vulnerable?
If you have valuable data, confidential in nature , in electronic form AND connectivity to internet, you have an opening. Think of data as water, if you have a small leakage all the water can be leaked away. To add to complexity, the attackers are mostly unknown, and extremely difficult to catch, and can take a big chunk of your credibility and intellectual property in a very short time.
The best people in technology are not the ones attending meetings in nicely pressed suits- and your IT guy is rarely a match for the talent that is now available on freelance hire for cyber corporate espionage.
Any company or organization that has not undergone through one real time simulated cyber attack or IT audit that focuses on data security is very vulnerable.
Which organizational processes need to be fine tuned ?
Clearly employee access even at senior management needs to be ensured for both technological as well as social vulnerability. Does your reception take the name of senior management if cold called. Do your senior managers surf the internet and use a simple password on the same computer and laptop. Do you have disaster management and redundancy plans.
A wall is only as strong as its weakest brick and the same is true of organizational readiness for cyber attacks.
What is the plan of action in case your cyber security is breached?
Lean back, close your eyes and think your website has just been breached, someone has just stolen confidential emails from your corporate email server, and complete client as well as the most confidential data in your organization has been lost.
Do you have a plan for what to do next? Or are you waiting for an actual cyber event to occur to make that plan.
This is a ten step program to fight hacking attacks. You may or may not choose to ignore it, laugh at it, or ponder on it.
1) Internet security is a billion dollar business which will only grow in size as cloud computing approaches. Pioneers in providing security will earn considerable revenue like McAffee , Norton did in the PC era. Incidentally it also means the consulting/partner group that is willing to work with virtual workers and virtual payments to offshore consultants.
2) Industrial espionage has existed from the days the West stole Gunpowder and Silk formula from China (and China is now doing the same to its software). The company and country will the best hackers will win. Keep your team motivated mate, or it is very easy for them to defect to the other side of the (cyber) wall.
3) When 2 billion people have access to internet the number of hackers will grow in number and quality much more rapidly than when only 100 million people across the world had access. Thanks to Google Translate, Paypal, Skype video Call, Tor Project, and Google Voice i can and have collaborative with hackers almost in all geographies. You can only imagine what the black hats are doing.
4) Analyzing hackers is like reading Chinese Tea Leaves. If you have experienced analysts, you will slip up. recruit the hackers in the dormitory before China recruits them using Lulz Security as a bogus cover. or USA recruits them as cover for spreading democracy in the Arab countries.
5) get your website audited for security breaches. sponsor a hack my website contest. before someone else does it for you.
6) Fighting hackers was always tough. But now we have part time hackers , people with perfectly respectable jobs who look like Mr Andersen and hack like Neo from the Matrix. Every kid once wanted to be a firefighter. Every geek dreams of the one ultimate hack.
7) if you cant beat hackers, join them.
8) the more machine data is generated, the more you need external experts and newer software interfaces. Investing in open data, datasets is good. Keeping Bradley manning naked in his cell is bad. ignore the bad PR at your own cost.
9) Stop blaming China for every hack attack. You are a techie not a politician
10) Hack hard. Hack well. If someone hacks you, you will need to hack them off offensively unless you just want to be an easy mark for the rest of your lives. Counter -hacking expertise needs to be strengthened and groomed. hacking is an offense not just a defense game.
I need more data
To take a decision
Keep your panties on
We need more precision
It is the owners money
That pays for your bills
You can go elsewhere
If you want primal egoistic thrills
People are precious
Money comes and goes
The Older you get
The lesser greed shows
Is this too much information
To overload your comprehension
Analysis led to paralysis
But time wont wait for your permission
We need better models
We need them now
The cost of delayed decisions
can hurt us and how
We will pay thousands
of dollars in annual fees
To earn or save millions of dollars
Now, If you please
Still here, but slightly offended
By coming straight to the truth
Every body swings and misses
From Barry Bonds to Babe Ruth
Data is all around you
and so is all the money
You keep ignoring decision management
and you will lose your shirt, honey.
- FX Update: A mixed bag of China data; CPI not as soft as expected (tradingfloor.com)
- Limitation of Using Quantitative Methods in Business Decision Making (thinkup.waldenu.edu)
- The Worst Data Warehouse in the World (robklopp.wordpress.com)
- Driving Decisions With Data (mozilla.com)
I just read an online cause here-
Some of the most important technology programs that keep Washington accountable are in danger of being eliminated. Data.gov, USASpending.gov, the IT Dashboard and other federal data transparency and government accountability programs are facing a massive budget cut, despite only being a tiny fraction of the national budget. Help save the data and make sure that Congress doesn’t leave the American people in the dark.
I wonder why the federal government/ non profit agencies can help create a SPARQL database, and in days of cloud computing, why a tech major cannot donate storage space to it, after all despite US corporate tax rate being high, US technological companies do end up paying a lower rate thanks to tax breaks/routing overseas revenue.
In the new age data is power, and the US has led in its mission to use technology to further its own values even especially in Middle East. The datasets should be made public and transitioned to the private sector/academia for research and re designing for data augmentation with out straining the massive deficit /borrowing/ fighting 3 wars. Of particular interest would be datasets of campaign finances and donors especially given large number of retail/small donors/internet marketing in elections as it will also help serve as an example of democracy and change. Even countries like China can create a corruption/expense efficiency tracking internal dashboard with restricted rights to help with rural and urban governance.
- Data.gov and other transparency sites to be shut down due budget cuts (flowingdata.com)
- Empirical study of real-world SPARQL queries (ivan-herman.name)
- Data.gov & 7 Other Sites to Shut Down After Budgets Cut (readwriteweb.com)
- Watchdogs Criticize Federal Data Dashboard Accuracy (informationweek.com)
- The benefits of remote computing may be winning over skeptics (thegazette.com)
Here is an interview with Anne Milley, a notable thought leader in the world of analytics. Anne is now Senior Director, Analytical Strategy in Product Marketing for JMP , the leading data visualization software from the SAS Institute.
Ajay-What do you think are the top 5 unique selling points of JMP compared to other statistical software in its category?
JMP combines incredible analytic depth and breadth with interactive data visualization, creating a unique environment optimized for discovery and data-driven innovation.
With an extensible framework using JSL (JMP Scripting Language), and integration with SAS, R, and Excel, JMP becomes your analytic hub.
JMP is accessible to all kinds of users. A novice analyst can dig into an interactive report delivered by a custom JMP application. An engineer looking at his own data can use built-in JMP capabilities to discover patterns, and a developer can write code to extend JMP for herself or others.
State-of-the-art DOE capabilities make it easy for anyone to design and analyze efficient experiments to determine which adjustments will yield the greatest gains in quality or process improvement – before costly changes are made.
Not to mention, JMP products are exceptionally well designed and easy to use. See for yourself and check out the free trial at www.jmp.com.
Ajay- What are the challenges and opportunities of expanding JMP’s market share? Do you see JMP expanding its conferences globally to engage global audiences?
We realized solid global growth in 2010. The release of JMP Pro and JMP Clinical last year along with continuing enhancements to the rest of the JMP family of products (JMP and JMP Genomics) should position us well for another good year.
With the growing interest in analytics as a means to sustained value creation, we have the opportunity to help people along their analytic journey – to get started, take the next step, or adopt new paradigms speeding their time to value. The challenge is doing that as fast as we would like.
We are hiring internationally to offer even more events, training and academic programs globally.
Ajay- What are the current and proposed educational and global academic initiatives of JMP? How can we see more JMP in universities across the world (say India- China etc)?
We view colleges and universities both as critical incubators of future JMP users and as places where attitudes about data analysis and statistics are formed. We believe that a positive experience in learning statistics makes a person more likely to eventually want and need a product like JMP.
For most students – and particularly for those in applied disciplines of business, engineering and the sciences – the ability to make a statistics course relevant to their primary area of study fosters a positive experience. Fortunately, there is a trend in statistical education toward a more applied, data-driven approach, and JMP provides a very natural environment for both students and researchers.
Its user-friendly navigation, emphasis on data visualization and easy access to the analytics behind the graphics make JMP a compelling alternative to some of our more traditional competitors.
We’ve seen strong growth in the education markets in the last few years, and JMP is now used in nearly half of the top 200 universities in the US.
Internationally, we are at an earlier stage of market development, but we are currently working with both JMP and SAS country offices and their local academic programs to promote JMP. For example, we are working with members of the JMP China office and faculty at several universities in China to support the use of JMP in the development of a master’s curriculum in Applied Statistics there, touched on in this AMSTAT News article.
Ajay- What future trends do you see for 2011 in this market (say top 5)?
Growing complexity of data (text, image, audio…) drives the need for more and better visualization and analysis capabilities to make sense of it all.
More “chief analytics officers” are making better use of analytic talent – people are the most important ingredient for success!
JMP has been on the vanguard of 64-bit development, and users are now catching up with us as 64-bit machines become more common.
Users should demand easy-to-use, exploratory and predictive modeling tools as well as robust tools to experiment and learn to help them make the best decisions on an ongoing basis.
All these factors and more fuel the need for the integration of flexible, extensible tools with popular analytic platforms.
Ajay-You enjoy organic gardening as a hobby. How do you think hobbies and unwind time help people be better professionals?
I am lucky to work with so many people who view their work as a hobby. They have other interests too, though, some of which are work-related (statistics is relevant everywhere!). Organic gardening helps me put things in perspective and be present in the moment. More than work defines who you are. You can be passionate about your work as well as passionate about other things. I think it’s important to spend some leisure time in ways that bring you joy and contribute to your overall wellbeing and outlook.
Btw, nice interviews over the past several months—I hadn’t kept up, but will check it out more often!
Biography- Source- http://www.sas.com/knowledge-exchange/business-analytics/biographies.html
Anne Milley is Senior Director of Analytics Strategy at JMP Product Marketing at SAS. Her ties to SAS began with bank failure prediction at Federal Home Loan Bank Dallas and continued at 7-Eleven Inc. She has authored papers and served on committees for F2006, KDD, SIAM, A2010 and several years of SAS’ annual data mining conference. Milley is a contributing faculty member for the International Institute of Analytics. email@example.com