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SAS and Hadoop

Awesomely informative post on sascom magazine (whose editor I have I interviewed before here at http://www.decisionstats.com/interview-alison-bolen-sas-com/ – )

Great piece by Michael Ames ,SAS Data Integration Product Manager.

http://www.sas.com/news/sascom/hadoop-tips.html

 

Also see SAS’s big data thingys here at

http://www.sas.com/software/high-performance-analytics/in-memory-analytics/index.html

Solutions and Capabilities Using SAS® In-Memory Analytics

  • High-Performance Analytics – Get near-real-time insights with appliance-ready analytics software designed to tackle big data and complex problems.
  • High-Performance Risk – Faster, better risk management decisions based on the most up-to-date views of your overall risk exposure.
  • High-Performance Liquidity Risk Management – Take quick, decisive actions to secure adequate funding, especially in times of volatility.
  • High-Performance Stress Testing – Make faster, more precise decisions to protect the health of the firm.
  • Visual Analytics – Explore big data using in-memory capabilities to better understand all of your data, discover new patterns and publish reports to the Web and iPad®.

(Ajay- I liked the Visual Analytics piece especially for Big Data )

Note-

 

Interview Prof Benjamin Alamar , Sports Analytics

Here is an interview with Prof Benjamin Alamar, founding editor of the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sport, a professor of sports management at Menlo College and the Director of Basketball Analytics and Research for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA.

Ajay – The movie Moneyball recently sparked out mainstream interest in analytics in sports.Describe the role of analytics in sports management

Benjamin- Analytics is impacting sports organizations on both the sport and business side.
On the Sport side, teams are using analytics, including advanced data management, predictive anlaytics, and information systems to gain a competitive edge. The use of analytics results in more accurate player valuations and projections, as well as determining effective strategies against specific opponents.
On the business side, teams are using the tools of analytics to increase revenue in a variety of ways including dynamic ticket pricing and optimizing of the placement of concession stands.
Ajay-  What are the ways analytics is used in specific sports that you have been part of?

Benjamin- A very typical first step for a team is to utilize the tools of predictive analytics to help inform their draft decisions.

Ajay- What are some of the tools, techniques and software that analytics in sports uses?
Benjamin- The tools of sports analytics do not differ much from the tools of business analytics. Regression analysis is fairly common as are other forms of data mining. In terms of software, R is a popular tool as is Excel and many of the other standard analysis tools.
Ajay- Describe your career journey and how you became involved in sports management. What are some of the tips you want to tell young students who wish to enter this field?

Benjamin- I got involved in sports through a company called Protrade Sports. Protrade initially was a fantasy sports company that was looking to develop a fantasy game based on advanced sports statistics and utilize a stock market concept instead of traditional drafting. I was hired due to my background in economics to develop the market aspect of the game.

There I met Roland Beech (who now works for the Mavericks) and Aaron Schatz (owner of footballoutsiders.com) and learned about the developing field of sports statistics. I then changed my research focus from economics to sports statistics and founded the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports. Through the journal and my published research, I was able to establish a reputation of doing quality, useable work.

For students, I recommend developing very strong data management skills (sql and the like) and thinking carefully about what sort of questions a general manager or coach would care about. Being able to demonstrate analytic skills around actionable research will generally attract the attention of pro teams.

About-

Benjamin Alamar, Professor of Sport Management, Menlo College

Benjamin Alamar

Professor Benjamin Alamar is the founding editor of the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sport, a professor of sports management at Menlo College and the Director of Basketball Analytics and Research for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA. He has published academic research in football, basketball and baseball, has presented at numerous conferences on sports analytics. He is also a co-creator of ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating and a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal. He has consulted for teams in the NBA and NFL, provided statistical analysis for author Michael Lewis for his recent book The Blind Side, and worked with numerous startup companies in the field of sports analytics. Professor Alamar is also an award winning economist who has worked academically and professionally in intellectual property valuation, public finance and public health. He received his PhD in economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2001.

Prof Alamar is a speaker at Predictive Analytics World, San Fransisco and is doing a workshop there

http://www.predictiveanalyticsworld.com/sanfrancisco/2012/agenda.php#day2-17

2:55-3:15pm

All level tracks Track 1: Sports Analytics
Case Study: NFL, MLB, & NBA
Competing & Winning with Sports Analytics

The field of sports analytics ties together the tools of data management, predictive modeling and information systems to provide sports organization a competitive advantage. The field is rapidly developing based on new and expanded data sources, greater recognition of the value, and past success of a variety of sports organizations. Teams in the NFL, MLB, NBA, as well as other organizations have found a competitive edge with the application of sports analytics. The future of sports analytics can be seen through drawing on these past successes and the developments of new tools.

You can know more about Prof Alamar at his blog http://analyticfootball.blogspot.in/ or journal at http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/jqas. His detailed background can be seen at http://menlo.academia.edu/BenjaminAlamar/CurriculumVitae

Interview JJ Allaire Founder, RStudio

Here is an interview with JJ Allaire, founder of RStudio. RStudio is the IDE that has overtaken other IDE within the R Community in terms of ease of usage. On the eve of their latest product launch, JJ talks to DecisionStats on RStudio and more.

Ajay-  So what is new in the latest version of RStudio and how exactly is it useful for people?

JJ- The initial release of RStudio as well as the two follow-up releases we did last year were focused on the core elements of using R: editing and running code, getting help, and managing files, history, workspaces, plots, and packages. In the meantime users have also been asking for some bigger features that would improve the overall work-flow of doing analysis with R. In this release (v0.95) we focused on three of these features:

Projects. R developers tend to have several (and often dozens) of working contexts associated with different clients, analyses, data sets, etc. RStudio projects make it easy to keep these contexts well separated (with distinct R sessions, working directories, environments, command histories, and active source documents), switch quickly between project contexts, and even work with multiple projects at once (using multiple running versions of RStudio).

Version Control. The benefits of using version control for collaboration are well known, but we also believe that solo data analysis can achieve significant productivity gains by using version control (this discussion on Stack Overflow talks about why). In this release we introduced integrated support for the two most popular open-source version control systems: Git and Subversion. This includes changelist management, file diffing, and browsing of project history, all right from within RStudio.

Code Navigation. When you look at how programmers work a surprisingly large amount of time is spent simply navigating from one context to another. Modern programming environments for general purpose languages like C++ and Java solve this problem using various forms of code navigation, and in this release we’ve brought these capabilities to R. The two main features here are the ability to type the name of any file or function in your project and go immediately to it; and the ability to navigate to the definition of any function under your cursor (including the definition of functions within packages) using a keystroke (F2) or mouse gesture (Ctrl+Click).

Ajay- What’s the product road map for RStudio? When can we expect the IDE to turn into a full fledged GUI?

JJ- Linus Torvalds has said that “Linux is evolution, not intelligent design.” RStudio tries to operate on a similar principle—the world of statistical computing is too deep, diverse, and ever-changing for any one person or vendor to map out in advance what is most important. So, our internal process is to ship a new release every few months, listen to what people are doing with the product (and hope to do with it), and then start from scratch again making the improvements that are considered most important.

Right now some of the things which seem to be top of mind for users are improved support for authoring and reproducible research, various editor enhancements including code folding, and debugging tools.

What you’ll see is us do in a given release is to work on a combination of frequently requested features, smaller improvements to usability and work-flow, bug fixes, and finally architectural changes required to support current or future feature requirements.

While we do try to base what we work on as closely as possible on direct user-feedback, we also adhere to some core principles concerning the overall philosophy and direction of the product. So for example the answer to the question about the IDE turning into a full-fledged GUI is: never. We believe that textual representations of computations provide fundamental advantages in transparency, reproducibility, collaboration, and re-usability. We believe that writing code is simply the right way to do complex technical work, so we’ll always look for ways to make coding better, faster, and easier rather than try to eliminate coding altogether.

Ajay -Describe your journey in science from a high school student to your present work in R. I noticed you have been very successful in making software products that have been mostly proprietary products or sold to companies.

Why did you get into open source products with RStudio? What are your plans for monetizing RStudio further down the line?

JJ- In high school and college my principal areas of study were Political Science and Economics. I also had a very strong parallel interest in both computing and quantitative analysis. My first job out of college was as a financial analyst at a government agency. The tools I used in that job were SAS and Excel. I had a dim notion that there must be a better way to marry computation and data analysis than those tools, but of course no concept of what this would look like.

From there I went more in the direction of general purpose computing, starting a couple of companies where I worked principally on programming languages and authoring tools for the Web. These companies produced proprietary software, which at the time (between 1995 and 2005) was a workable model because it allowed us to build the revenue required to fund development and to promote and distribute the software to a wider audience.

By 2005 it was however becoming clear that proprietary software would ultimately be overtaken by open source software in nearly all domains. The cost of development had shrunken dramatically thanks to both the availability of high-quality open source languages and tools as well as the scale of global collaboration possible on open source projects. The cost of promoting and distributing software had also collapsed thanks to efficiency of both distribution and information diffusion on the Web.

When I heard about R and learned more about it, I become very excited and inspired by what the project had accomplished. A group of extremely talented and dedicated users had created the software they needed for their work and then shared the fruits of that work with everyone. R was a platform that everyone could rally around because it worked so well, was extensible in all the right ways, and most importantly was free (as in speech) so users could depend upon it as a long-term foundation for their work.

So I started RStudio with the aim of making useful contributions to the R community. We started with building an IDE because it seemed like a first-rate development environment for R that was both powerful and easy to use was an unmet need. Being aware that many other companies had built successful businesses around open-source software, we were also convinced that we could make RStudio available under a free and open-source license (the AGPLv3) while still creating a viable business. At this point RStudio is exclusively focused on creating the best IDE for R that we can. As the core product gets where it needs to be over the next couple of years we’ll then also begin to sell other products and services related to R and RStudio.

About-

http://rstudio.org/docs/about

Jjallaire

JJ Allaire

JJ Allaire is a software engineer and entrepreneur who has created a wide variety of products including ColdFusion,Windows Live WriterLose It!, and RStudio.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_J._Allaire
In 1995 Joseph J. (JJ) Allaire co-founded Allaire Corporation with his brother Jeremy Allaire, creating the web development tool ColdFusion.[1] In March 2001, Allaire was sold to Macromedia where ColdFusion was integrated into the Macromedia MX product line. Macromedia was subsequently acquired by Adobe Systems, which continues to develop and market ColdFusion.
After the sale of his company, Allaire became frustrated at the difficulty of keeping track of research he was doing using Google. To address this problem, he co-founded Onfolio in 2004 with Adam Berrey, former Allaire co-founder and VP of Marketing at Macromedia.
On March 8, 2006, Onfolio was acquired by Microsoft where many of the features of the original product are being incorporated into the Windows Live Toolbar. On August 13, 2006, Microsoft released the public beta of a new desktop blogging client called Windows Live Writer that was created by Allaire’s team at Microsoft.
Starting in 2009, Allaire has been developing a web-based interface to the widely used R technical computing environment. A beta version of RStudio was publicly released on February 28, 2011.
JJ Allaire received his B.A. from Macalester College (St. Paul, MN) in 1991.
RStudio-

RStudio is an integrated development environment (IDE) for R which works with the standard version of R available from CRAN. Like R, RStudio is available under a free software license. RStudio is designed to be as straightforward and intuitive as possible to provide a friendly environment for new and experienced R users alike. RStudio is also a company, and they plan to sell services (support, training, consulting, hosting) related to the open-source software they distribute.

The Amazing Microsoft Robotics

Amazing stuff from the makers of Kinetic-

Operating systems of Robots may be the future cash cow of Microsoft , while the pirates of Silicon Valley fight fascinating cloudy wars! :)

http://www.microsoft.com/robotics/#Product

 

Product Information

Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 4 beta (RDS4 beta) provides a wide range of support to help make it easy to develop robot applications. RDS4 beta includes a programming model that helps make it easy to develop asynchronous, state-driven applications. RDS4 beta provides a common programming framework that can be applied to support a wide variety of robots, enabling code and skill transfer.

RDS4 beta includes a lightweight asynchronous services-oriented runtime, a set of visual authoring and simulation tools, as well as templates, tutorials, and sample code to help you get started.

Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 4 beta Datasheet – English (PDF Format)

Product VideoView the product video on Channel 9!

This release has extensive support for the Kinect sensor hardware throug the Kinect for Windows SDK allowing developers to create Kinect-enabled robots in the Visual Simulation Environment and in real life. Along with this release comes a standardized reference spec for building a Kinect-based robot.

See how Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 4 beta is being used to bring ideas to life in the Microsoft Robotics@Home competition.

Lightweight Asynchronous ServicesOriented Runtime

Lightweight Asynchronous ServicesOriented Runtime

Concurrency and Coordination Runtime (CCR) helps make it easier to handle asynchronous input and output by eliminating the conventional complexities of manual threading, locks, and semaphores. Lightweight state-oriented Decentralized Software Services (DSS) framework enables you to create program modules that can interoperate on a robot and connected PCs by using a relatively simple, open protocol.

Visual Programming Language (VPL)

Visual Programming Language

Visual Programming Language (VPL) provides a relatively simple drag-and-drop visual programming language tool that helps make it easy to create robotics applications. VPL also provides the ability to take a collection of connected blocks and reuse them as a single block elsewhere in your program. VPL is also capable of generating human-readable C#.

DSS Manifest Editor

DSS Manifest Editor

DSS Manifest Editor (DSSME) provides a relatively simple creation of application configuration and distribution scenarios.

DSS Log Analyzer

DSS Log Analyzer

The DSS Log Analyzer tool allows you to view message flows across multiple DSS services. DSS Log Analyzer also allows you to inspect message details.

Visual Simulation Environment (VSE)

Visual Simulation Environment

Visual Simulation Environment (VSE) provides the ability to simulate and test robotic applications using a 3D physics-based simulation tool. This allows developers to create robotics applications without the hardware. Sample simulation models and environments enable you to test your application in a variety of 3D virtual environments.

Interview Beth Schultz Editor AllAnalytics.com

Here is an interview with Beth Scultz Editor in Chief, AllAnalytics.com .

Allanalytics.com http://www.allanalytics.com/ is the new online community on Predictive Analytics, and its a bit different in emphasizing quality more than just quantity. Beth is veteran in tech journalism and communities.

Ajay-Describe your journey in technology journalism and communication. What are the other online communities that you have been involved with?

Beth- I’m a longtime IT journalist, having begun my career covering the telecommunications industry at the brink of AT&T’s divestiture — many eons ago. Over the years, I’ve covered the rise of internal corporate networking; the advent of the Internet and creation of the Web for business purposes; the evolution of Web technology for use in building intranets, extranets, and e-commerce sites; the move toward a highly dynamic next-generation IT infrastructure that we now call cloud computing; and development of myriad enterprise applications, including business intelligence and the analytics surrounding them. I have been involved in developing online B2B communities primarily around next-generation enterprise IT infrastructure and applications. In addition, Shawn Hessinger, our community editor, has been involved in myriad Web sites aimed at creating community for small business owners.

 Ajay- Technology geeks get all the money while journalists get a story. Comments please

Beth- Great technology geeks — those being the ones with technology smarts as well as business savvy — do stand to make a lot of money. And some pursue that to all ends (with many entrepreneurs gunning for the acquisition) while others more or less fall into it. Few journalists, at least few tech journalists, have big dollars in mind. The gratification for journalists comes in being able to meet these folks, hear and deliver their stories — as appropriate — and help explain what makes this particular technology geek developing this certain type of product or service worth paying attention to.

 Ajay- Describe what you are trying to achieve with the All Analytics community and how it seeks to differentiate itself with other players in this space.

 Beth- With AllAnaltyics.com, we’re concentrating on creating the go-to site for CXOs, IT professionals, line-of-business managers, and other professionals to share best practices, concrete experiences, and research about data analytics, business intelligence, information optimization, and risk management, among many other topics. We differentiate ourself by featuring excellent editorial content from a top-notch group of bloggers, access to industry experts through weekly chats, ongoing lively and engaging message board discussions, and biweekly debates.

We’re a new property, and clearly in rapid building mode. However, we’ve already secured some of the industry’s most respected BI/analytics experts to participate as bloggers. For example, a small sampling of our current lineup includes the always-intrigueing John Barnes, a science fiction novelist and statistics guru; Sandra Gittlen, a longtime IT journalist with an affinity for BI coverage; Olivia Parr-Rud, an internationally recognized expert in BI and organizational alignment; Tom Redman, a well-known data-quality expert; and Steve Williams, a leading BI strategy consultant. I blog daily as well, and in particular love to share firsthand experiences of how organizations are benefiting from the use of BI, analytics, data warehousing, etc. We’ve featured inside looks at analytics initiatives at companies such as 1-800-Flowers.com, Oberweis Dairy, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, and Thomson Reuters, for example.

In addition, we’ve hosted instant e-chats with Web and social media experts Joe Stanganelli and Pierre DeBois, and this Friday, Aug. 26, at 3 p.m. ET we’ll be hosting an e-chat with Marshall Sponder, Web metrics guru and author of the newly published book, Social Media Analytics: Effective Tools for Building, Interpreting, and Using Metrics. (Readers interested in participating in the chat do need to fill out a quick registration form, available here http://www.allanalytics.com/register.asp . The chat is available here http://www.allanalytics.com/messages.asp?piddl_msgthreadid=241039&piddl_msgid=439898#msg_439898 .

Experts participating in our biweekly debate series, called Point/Counterpoint, have broached topics such as BI in the cloud, mobile BI and whether an analytics culture is truly possible to build.

Ajay-  What are some tips you would like to share about writing tech stories to aspiring bloggers.

Beth- I suppose my best advice is this: Don’t write about technology for technology’s sake. Always strive to tell the audience why they should care about a particular technology, product, or service. How might a reader use it to his or her company’s advantage, and what are the potential benefits? Improved productivity, increased revenue, better customer service? Providing anecdotal evidence goes a long way toward delivering that message, as well.

Ajay- What are the other IT world websites that have made a mark on the internet.

Beth- I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to UBM TechWeb sites, including InformationWeek, which has long charted the use of IT within the enterprise; Dark Reading, a great source for folks interested in securing an enterprise’s information assets; and Light Reading, which takes the pulse of the telecom industry.

 Biography- 

Beth Schultz has more than two decades of experience as an IT writer and editor. Most recently, she brought her expertise to bear writing thought-provoking editorial and marketing materials on a variety of technology topics for leading IT publications and industry players. Previously, she oversaw multimedia content development, writing and editing for special feature packages at Network World. Beth has a keen ability to identify business and technology trends, developing expertise through in-depth analysis and early-adopter case studies. Over the years, she has earned more than a dozen national and regional editorial excellence awards for special issues from American Business Media, American Society of Business Press Editors, Folio.net, and others.

 

Some future additions to Google Docs

1) More Presentation Templates

2) More HTML 5 clipart

3) Online Latex (lyx) GUI  (or a Chrome Extension)

4) Online Speech to Text dictation  (or a Chrome Extension)

5) Online Screen Capture software for audio and video editing  (or a Chrome Extension)

6) Some sharing of usage and statistics with world tech community

7) An on -site in house version for enterprise software customers (|?)

8) An easy to make HTML5 editor using just the browser

Seriously http://googledocs.blogspot.com/ needs to be challenged more.

RStudio 3- Making R as simple as possible but no simpler

From the nice shiny blog at http://blog.rstudio.org/, a shiny new upgraded software (and I used the Cobalt theme)–this is nice!

awesome coding!!!

 

http://www.rstudio.org/download/

Download RStudio v0.94

Diagram desktop

If you run R on your desktop:

Download RStudio Desktop

OR

Diagram server

If you run R on a Linux server and want to enable users to remotely access RStudio using a web browser:

Download RStudio Server

 

RStudio v0.94 — Release Notes

June 15th, 2011

 

New Features and Enhancements

Source Editor and Console

  • Run code:
    • Run all lines in source file
    • Run to current line
    • Run from current line
    • Redefine current function
    • Re-run previous region
    • Code is now run line-by-line in the console
  • Brace, paren, and quote matching
  • Improved cursor placement after newlines
  • Support for regex find and replace
  • Optional syntax highlighting for console input
  • Press F1 for help on current selection
  • Function navigation / jump to function
  • Column and line number display
  • Manually set/switch document type
  • New themes: Solarized and Solarized Dark

Plots

  • Improved image export:
    • Formats: PNG, JPEG, TIFF, SVG, BMP, Metafile, and Postscript
    • Dynamic resize with preview
    • Option to maintain aspect ratio when resizing
    • Copy to clipboard as bitmap or metafile
  • Improved PDF export:
    • Specify custom sizes
    • Preview before exporting
  • Remove individual plots from history
  • Resizable plot zoom window

History

  • History tab synced to loaded .Rhistory file
  • New commands:
    • Load and save history
    • Remove individual items from history
    • Clear all history
  • New options:
    • Load history from working directory or global history file
    • Save history always or only when saving .RData
    • Remove duplicate entries in history
  • Shortcut keys for inserting into console or source

Packages

  • Check for package updates
  • Filter displayed packages
  • Install multiple packages
  • Remove packages
  • New options:
    • Install from repository or local archive file
    • Target library
    • Install dependencies

Miscellaneous

  • Find text within help topic
  • Sort file listing by name, type, size, or modified
  • Set working directory based on source file, files pane, or browsed for directory.
  • Console titlebar button to view current working directory in files pane
  • Source file menu command
  • Replace space and dash with dot (.) in import dataset generated variable names
  • Add decimal separator preference for import dataset
  • Added .tar.gz (Linux) and .zip (Windows) distributions for non-admin installs
  • Read /etc/paths.d on OS X to ensure RStudio has the same path as terminal sessions do
  • Added manifest to rsession.exe to prevent unwanted program files and registry virtualization

Server

  • Break PAM auth into its own binary for improved compatibility with 3rd party PAM authorization modules.
  • Ensure that AppArmor profile is enforced even after reboot
  • Ability to add custom LD library path for all sessions
  • Improved R discovery:
    • Use which R then fallback to scanning for R script
    • Run R discovery unconfined then switch into restricted profile
  • Default to uncompressed save.image output if the administrator or user hasn’t specified their own options (improved suspend/resume performance)
  • Ensure all running sessions are automatically updated during server version upgrade
  • Added verify-installation command to rstudio-server utility for easily capturing configuration and startup related errors

 

Bug Fixes

Source Editor

  • Undo to unedited state clears now dirty bit
  • Extract function now captures free variables used on lhs
  • Selected variable highlight now visible in all themes
  • Syncing to source file updates made outside of RStudio now happens immediately at startup and does not cause a scroll to the bottom of the document.
  • Fixed various issues related to copying and pasting into word processors
  • Fixed incorrect syntax highlighting issues in .Rd files
  • Make sure font size for printed source files matches current editor setting
  • Eliminate conflict with Ctrl+F shortcut key on OS X
  • Zoomed Google Chrome browser no longer causes cursor position to be off
  • Don’t prevent opening of unknown file types in the editor

Console

  • Fixed sporadic missing underscores (and other bottom clipping of text) in console
  • Make sure console history is never displayed offscreen
  • Page Up and Page Down now work properly in the console
  • Substantially improved console performance for both rapid output and large quantities of output

Miscellaneous

  • Install successfully on Windows with special characters in home directory name
  • make install more tolerant of configurations where it can’t write into /usr/share
  • Eliminate spurious stderr output in forked children of multicore package
  • Ensure that file modified times always update in the files pane after a save
  • Always default to installing packages into first writeable path of .libPaths()
  • Ensure that LaTeX log files are always preserved after compilePdf
  • Fix conflicts with zap function from epicalc package
  • Eliminate shortcut key conflicts with Ubuntu desktop workspace switching shortcuts
  • Always prompt when attempting to save files of the same name
  • Maximized main window now properly restored when reopening RStudio
  • PAM authorization works correctly even if account has password expiration warning
  • Correct display of manipulate panel when Plots pane is on the left

 

Previous Release Notes

 

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