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LibreOffice Conference

A bit belatedly I return to my second favorite Office Productivity Software (the first being Cloud- Google Docs).

July 9, 2011

LibreOffice Conference Registration Is Open

Filed under: ConferenceMeetings — Florian Effenberger @ 20:26

The registration for the LibreOffice Conference, taking place in Paris from October 12th to 15th, is now open. Everyone interested in joining the first annual meeting of the LibreOffice community is invited to register online at

http://conference.libreoffice.org/conference-registration/

to help the organizers in planning.

The LibreOffice Conference will be the event for those interested in the development of free office productivity software, open standards, and the OpenDocument format generally, and is an exciting opportunity to meet community members, developers and hackers. It is sponsored by Cap Digital, Région Île de France, IRILL, Canonical, Google, La Mouette, Novell/SUSE, Red Hat, AF 83, Ars Aperta and Lanedo.

The Call for Papers is also open until July 22nd, and paper submissions will be reviewed by a community committee.

We look forward meeting you in the heart of France, celebrating the first year of LibreOffice, and discussing the plans for the next months.

The Steering Committee of The Document Foundation

http://conference.libreoffice.org/conference-registration/

 

Official LibreOffice Conference

Conference Registration

Please enter your personal data to register for Paris, Oct 12 – 15, 2011.

 


List of All Libre Office Announcements-

http://listarchives.documentfoundation.org/www/announce/

 

Amazon Ec2 goes Red Hat

message from Amazing Amazon’s cloud team- this will also help for #rstats users given that revolution Analytics full versions on RHEL.

—————————————————-

on-demand instances of Amazon EC2 running Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) for as little as $0.145 per instance hour. The offering combines the cost-effectiveness, scalability and flexibility of running in Amazon EC2 with the proven reliability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Highlights of the offering include:

  • Support is included through subscription to AWS Premium Support with back-line support by Red Hat
  • Ongoing maintenance, including security patches and bug fixes, via update repositories available in all Amazon EC2 regions
  • Amazon EC2 running RHEL currently supports RHEL 5.5, RHEL 5.6, RHEL 6.0 and RHEL 6.1 in both 32 bit and 64 bit formats, and is available in all Regions.
  • Customers who already own Red Hat licenses will continue to be able to use those licenses at no additional charge.
  • Like all services offered by AWS, Amazon EC2 running Red Hat Enterprise Linux offers a low-cost, pay-as-you-go model with no long-term commitments and no minimum fees.

For more information, please visit the Amazon EC2 Red Hat Enterprise Linux page.

which is

Amazon EC2 Running Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Amazon EC2 running Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides a dependable platform to deploy a broad range of applications. By running RHEL on EC2, you can leverage the cost effectiveness, scalability and flexibility of Amazon EC2, the proven reliability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and AWS premium support with back-line support from Red Hat.. Red Hat Enterprise Linux on EC2 is available in versions 5.5, 5.6, 6.0, and 6.1, both in 32-bit and 64-bit architectures.

Amazon EC2 running Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides seamless integration with existing Amazon EC2 features including Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), Amazon CloudWatch, Elastic-Load Balancing, and Elastic IPs. Red Hat Enterprise Linux instances are available in multiple Availability Zones in all Regions.

Sign Up

Pricing

Pay only for what you use with no long-term commitments and no minimum fee.

On-Demand Instances

On-Demand Instances let you pay for compute capacity by the hour with no long-term commitments.

Region:US – N. VirginiaUS – N. CaliforniaEU – IrelandAPAC – SingaporeAPAC – Tokyo
Standard Instances Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Small (Default) $0.145 per hour
Large $0.40 per hour
Extra Large $0.74 per hour
Micro Instances Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Micro $0.08 per hour
High-Memory Instances Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Extra Large $0.56 per hour
Double Extra Large $1.06 per hour
Quadruple Extra Large $2.10 per hour
High-CPU Instances Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Medium $0.23 per hour
Extra Large $0.78 per hour
Cluster Compute Instances Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Quadruple Extra Large $1.70 per hour
Cluster GPU Instances Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Quadruple Extra Large $2.20 per hour

Pricing is per instance-hour consumed for each instance type. Partial instance-hours consumed are billed as full hours.

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and

Available Instance Types

Standard Instances

Instances of this family are well suited for most applications.

Small Instance – default*

1.7 GB memory
1 EC2 Compute Unit (1 virtual core with 1 EC2 Compute Unit)
160 GB instance storage
32-bit platform
I/O Performance: Moderate
API name: m1.small

Large Instance

7.5 GB memory
4 EC2 Compute Units (2 virtual cores with 2 EC2 Compute Units each)
850 GB instance storage
64-bit platform
I/O Performance: High
API name: m1.large

Extra Large Instance

15 GB memory
8 EC2 Compute Units (4 virtual cores with 2 EC2 Compute Units each)
1,690 GB instance storage
64-bit platform
I/O Performance: High
API name: m1.xlarge

Micro Instances

Instances of this family provide a small amount of consistent CPU resources and allow you to burst CPU capacity when additional cycles are available. They are well suited for lower throughput applications and web sites that consume significant compute cycles periodically.

Micro Instance

613 MB memory
Up to 2 EC2 Compute Units (for short periodic bursts)
EBS storage only
32-bit or 64-bit platform
I/O Performance: Low
API name: t1.micro

High-Memory Instances

Instances of this family offer large memory sizes for high throughput applications, including database and memory caching applications.

High-Memory Extra Large Instance

17.1 GB of memory
6.5 EC2 Compute Units (2 virtual cores with 3.25 EC2 Compute Units each)
420 GB of instance storage
64-bit platform
I/O Performance: Moderate
API name: m2.xlarge

High-Memory Double Extra Large Instance

34.2 GB of memory
13 EC2 Compute Units (4 virtual cores with 3.25 EC2 Compute Units each)
850 GB of instance storage
64-bit platform
I/O Performance: High
API name: m2.2xlarge

High-Memory Quadruple Extra Large Instance

68.4 GB of memory
26 EC2 Compute Units (8 virtual cores with 3.25 EC2 Compute Units each)
1690 GB of instance storage
64-bit platform
I/O Performance: High
API name: m2.4xlarge

High-CPU Instances

Instances of this family have proportionally more CPU resources than memory (RAM) and are well suited for compute-intensive applications.

High-CPU Medium Instance

1.7 GB of memory
5 EC2 Compute Units (2 virtual cores with 2.5 EC2 Compute Units each)
350 GB of instance storage
32-bit platform
I/O Performance: Moderate
API name: c1.medium

High-CPU Extra Large Instance

7 GB of memory
20 EC2 Compute Units (8 virtual cores with 2.5 EC2 Compute Units each)
1690 GB of instance storage
64-bit platform
I/O Performance: High
API name: c1.xlarge

Cluster Compute Instances

Instances of this family provide proportionally high CPU resources with increased network performance and are well suited for High Performance Compute (HPC) applications and other demanding network-bound applications. Learn more about use of this instance type for HPC applications.

Cluster Compute Quadruple Extra Large Instance

23 GB of memory
33.5 EC2 Compute Units (2 x Intel Xeon X5570, quad-core “Nehalem” architecture)
1690 GB of instance storage
64-bit platform
I/O Performance: Very High (10 Gigabit Ethernet)
API name: cc1.4xlarge

Cluster GPU Instances

Instances of this family provide general-purpose graphics processing units (GPUs) with proportionally high CPU and increased network performance for applications benefitting from highly parallelized processing, including HPC, rendering and media processing applications. While Cluster Compute Instances provide the ability to create clusters of instances connected by a low latency, high throughput network, Cluster GPU Instances provide an additional option for applications that can benefit from the efficiency gains of the parallel computing power of GPUs over what can be achieved with traditional processors. Learn more about use of this instance type for HPC applications.

Cluster GPU Quadruple Extra Large Instance

22 GB of memory
33.5 EC2 Compute Units (2 x Intel Xeon X5570, quad-core “Nehalem” architecture)
2 x NVIDIA Tesla “Fermi” M2050 GPUs
1690 GB of instance storage
64-bit platform
I/O Performance: Very High (10 Gigabit Ethernet)
API name: cg1.4xlarge

 


Getting Started

To get started using Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Amazon EC2, perform the following steps:

  • Open and log into the AWS Management Console
  • Click on Launch Instance from the EC2 Dashboard
  • Select the Red Hat Enterprise Linux AMI from the QuickStart tab
  • Specify additional details of your instance and click Launch
  • Additional details can be found on each AMI’s Catalog Entry page

The AWS Management Console is an easy tool to start and manage your instances. If you are looking for more details on launching an instance, a quick video tutorial on how to use Amazon EC2 with the AWS Management Console can be found here .
A full list of Red Hat Enterprise Linux AMIs can be found in the AWS AMI Catalog.

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Support

All customers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux on EC2 will receive access to repository updates from Red Hat. Moreover, AWS Premium support customers can contact AWS to get access to a support structure from both Amazon and Red Hat.

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Resources

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About Red Hat

Red Hat, the world’s leading open source solutions provider, is headquartered in Raleigh, NC with over 50 satellite offices spanning the globe. Red Hat provides high-quality, low-cost technology with its operating system platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, together with applications, management and Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) solutions, including the JBoss Enterprise Middleware Suite. Red Hat also offers support, training and consulting services to its customers worldwide.

 

also from Revolution Analytics- in case you want to #rstats in the cloud and thus kill all that talk of RAM dependency, slow R than other softwares (just increase the RAM above in the instances to keep it simple)

,or Revolution not being open enough

http://www.revolutionanalytics.com/downloads/gpl-sources.php

GPL SOURCES

Revolution Analytics uses an Open-Core Licensing model. We provide open- source R bundled with proprietary modules from Revolution Analytics that provide additional functionality for our users. Open-source R is distributed under the GNU Public License (version 2), and we make our software available under a commercial license.

Revolution Analytics respects the importance of open source licenses and has contributed code to the open source R project and will continue to do so. We have carefully reviewed our compliance with GPLv2 and have worked with Mark Radcliffe of DLA Piper, the outside General Legal Counsel of the Open Source Initiative, to ensure that we fully comply with the obligations of the GPLv2.

For our Revolution R distribution, we may make some minor modifications to the R sources (the ChangeLog file lists all changes made). You can download these modified sources of open-source R under the terms of the GPLv2, using either the links below or those in the email sent to you when you download a specific version of Revolution R.

Download GPL Sources

Product Version Platform Modified R Sources
Revolution R Community 3.2 Windows R 2.10.1
Revolution R Community 3.2 MacOS R 2.10.1
Revolution R Enterprise 3.1.1 RHEL R 2.9.2
Revolution R Enterprise 4.0 Windows R 2.11.1
Revolution R Enterprise 4.0.1 RHEL R 2.11.1
Revolution R Enterprise 4.1.0 Windows R 2.11.1
Revolution R Enterprise 4.2 Windows R 2.11.1
Revolution R Enterprise 4.2 RHEL R 2.11.1
Revolution R Enterprise 4.3 Windows & RHEL R 2.12.2

 

 

 

Revolution releases R Windows for Academics for free

Logo for R

Image via Wikipedia

Based on the official email from them, God bless the merry coders at Revo-

Revolution Analytics has just released Revolution R Enterprise 4.3 for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows, a significant step forward in enterprise data analytics.  It features an updated RevoScaleR package for scalable, fast (multicore), and extensible data analysis with R. Revolution R Enterprise 4.3 for Windows also provides R 2.12.2, and includes an enhanced R Productivity Environment (RPE), a full-featured integrated development environment with visual debugging capabilities. Also available is an updated Windows release of our deployment server solution, RevoDeployR 1.2, designed to help you deliver R analytics via the Web.

As a registered user of the Academic version of Revolution R Enterprise for Windows, you can take advantage of these improvements by downloading and installing Revolution R Enterprise 4.3 today. You can install Revolution R Enterprise 4.3 side-by-side with your existing Revolution R Enterprise installations; there is no need to uninstall previous versions.

 

Augustus- a PMML model producer and consumer. Scoring engine.

A Bold GNU Head

Image via Wikipedia

I just checked out this new software for making PMML models. It is called Augustus and is created by the Open Data Group (http://opendatagroup.com/) , which is headed by Robert Grossman, who was the first proponent of using R on Amazon Ec2.

Probably someone like Zementis ( http://adapasupport.zementis.com/ ) can use this to further test , enhance or benchmark on the Ec2. They did have a joint webinar with Revolution Analytics recently.

https://code.google.com/p/augustus/

Recent News

  • Augustus v 0.4.3.1 has been released
  • Added a guide (pdf) for including Augustus in the Windows System Properties.
  • Updated the install documentation.
  • Augustus 2010.II (Summer) release is available. This is v 0.4.2.0. More information is here.
  • Added performance discussion concerning the optional cyclic garbage collection.

See Recent News for more details and all recent news.

Augustus

Augustus is a PMML 4-compliant scoring engine that works with segmented models. Augustus is designed for use with statistical and data mining models. The new release provides Baseline, Tree and Naive-Bayes producers and consumers.

There is also a version for use with PMML 3 models. It is able to produce and consume models with 10,000s of segments and conforms to a PMML draft RFC for segmented models and ensembles of models. It supports Baseline, Regression, Tree and Naive-Bayes.

Augustus is written in Python and is freely available under the GNU General Public License, version 2.

See the page Which version is right for me for more details regarding the different versions.

PMML

Predictive Model Markup Language (PMML) is an XML mark up language to describe statistical and data mining models. PMML describes the inputs to data mining models, the transformations used to prepare data for data mining, and the parameters which define the models themselves. It is used for a wide variety of applications, including applications in finance, e-business, direct marketing, manufacturing, and defense. PMML is often used so that systems which create statistical and data mining models (“PMML Producers”) can easily inter-operate with systems which deploy PMML models for scoring or other operational purposes (“PMML Consumers”).

Change Detection using Augustus

For information regarding using Augustus with Change Detection and Health and Status Monitoring, please see change-detection.

Open Data

Open Data Group provides management consulting services, outsourced analytical services, analytic staffing, and expert witnesses broadly related to data and analytics. It has experience with customer data, supplier data, financial and trading data, and data from internal business processes.

It has staff in Chicago and San Francisco and clients throughout the U.S. Open Data Group began operations in 2002.


Overview

The above example contains plots generated in R of scoring results from Augustus. Each point on the graph represents a use of the scoring engine and a chart is an aggregation of multiple Augustus runs. A Baseline (Change Detection) model was used to score data with multiple segments.

Typical Use

Augustus is typically used to construct models and score data with models. Augustus includes a dedicated application for creating, or producing, predictive models rendered as PMML-compliant files. Scoring is accomplished by consuming PMML-compliant files describing an appropriate model. Augustus provides a dedicated application for scoring data with four classes of models, Baseline (Change Detection) ModelsTree ModelsRegression Models and Naive Bayes Models. The typical model development and use cycle with Augustus is as follows:

  1. Identify suitable data with which to construct a new model.
  2. Provide a model schema which proscribes the requirements for the model.
  3. Run the Augustus producer to obtain a new model.
  4. Run the Augustus consumer on new data to effect scoring.

Separate consumer and producer applications are supplied for Baseline (Change Detection) models, Tree models, Regression models and for Naive Bayes models. The producer and consumer applications require configuration with XML-formatted files. The specification of the configuration files and model schema are detailed below. The consumers provide for some configurability of the output but users will often provide additional post-processing to render the output according to their needs. A variety of mechanisms exist for transmitting data but user’s may need to provide their own preprocessing to accommodate their particular data source.

In addition to the producer and consumer applications, Augustus is conceptually structured and provided with libraries which are relevant to the development and use of Predictive Models. Broadly speaking, these consist of components that address the use of PMML and components that are specific to Augustus.

Post Processing

Augustus can accommodate a post-processing step. While not necessary, it is often useful to

  • Re-normalize the scoring results or performing an additional transformation.
  • Supplements the results with global meta-data such as timestamps.
  • Formatting of the results.
  • Select certain interesting values from the results.
  • Restructure the data for use with other applications.

What to do if you see a possible GPL violation

GNU Lesser General Public License

Image via Wikipedia

Well I have played with software (mostly but not exclusively) analytical, and I admire the zeal and energy of both open source and closed source practioners- all having relatively decent people executing strategies their investors or owners tell them to do (closed source) or motivated by their own self sense of cool-change the world-openness (open source)

What I dont get is people stealing open source code- repackaging without adding major contributions- claiming patent pending stuff- and basically making money by creating CLOSED source from the open source software-(as open source is yet to break the enterprise glass cieling)

you are either open source or you arent.

bi- sexuality is okay. bi-codability is not.

Next time you see someone stealing some community’s open source code- refer to this excellent link.

 

But, we cannot act on our own if we do not hold copyright. Thus, be sure to find out who the copyright holders of the software are before reporting a violation.

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-violation.html

Violations of the GNU Licenses

If you think you see a violation of the GNU GPLLGPLAGPL, or FDL, the first thing you should do is double-check the facts:

  • Does the distribution contain a copy of the License?
  • Does it clearly state which software is covered by the License? Does it say anything misleading, perhaps giving the impression that something is covered by the License when in fact it is not?
  • Is source code included in the distribution?
  • Is a written offer for source code included with a distribution of just binaries?
  • Is the available source code complete, or is it designed for linking in other non-free modules?

If there seems to be a real violation, the next thing you need to do is record the details carefully:

  • the precise name of the product
  • the name of the person or organization distributing it
  • email addresses, postal addresses and phone numbers for how to contact the distributor(s)
  • the exact name of the package whose license is violated
  • how the license was violated:
    • Is the copyright notice of the copyright holder included?
    • Is the source code completely missing?
    • Is there a written offer for source that’s incomplete in some way? This could happen if it provides a contact address or network URL that’s somehow incorrect.
    • Is there a copy of the license included in the distribution?
    • Is some of the source available, but not all? If so, what parts are missing?

The more of these details that you have, the easier it is for the copyright holder to pursue the matter.

Once you have collected the details, you should send a precise report to the copyright holder of the packages that are being misused. The copyright holder is the one who is legally authorized to take action to enforce the license.

If the copyright holder is the Free Software Foundation, please send the report to <license-violation@gnu.org>. It’s important that we be able to write back to you to get more information about the violation or product. So, if you use an anonymous remailer, please provide a return path of some sort. If you’d like to encrypt your correspondence, just send a brief mail saying so, and we’ll make appropriate arrangements.

Note that the GPL, and other copyleft licenses, are copyright licenses. This means that only the copyright holders are empowered to act against violations. The FSF acts on all GPL violations reported on FSF copyrighted code, and we offer assistance to any other copyright holder who wishes to do the same.

But, we cannot act on our own if we do not hold copyright. Thus, be sure to find out who the copyright holders of the software are before reporting a violation.

 

Open Source Compiler for SAS language/ GNU -DAP

A Bold GNU Head

Image via Wikipedia

I am still testing this out.

But if you know bit more about make and .compile in Ubuntu check out

http://www.gnu.org/software/dap/

I loved the humorous introduction

Dap is a small statistics and graphics package based on C. Version 3.0 and later of Dap can read SBS programs (based on the utterly famous, industry standard statistics system with similar initials – you know the one I mean)! The user wishing to perform basic statistical analyses is now freed from learning and using C syntax for straightforward tasks, while retaining access to the C-style graphics and statistics features provided by the original implementation. Dap provides core methods of data management, analysis, and graphics that are commonly used in statistical consulting practice (univariate statistics, correlations and regression, ANOVA, categorical data analysis, logistic regression, and nonparametric analyses).

Anyone familiar with the basic syntax of C programs can learn to use the C-style features of Dap quickly and easily from the manual and the examples contained in it; advanced features of C are not necessary, although they are available. (The manual contains a brief introduction to the C syntax needed for Dap.) Because Dap processes files one line at a time, rather than reading entire files into memory, it can be, and has been, used on data sets that have very many lines and/or very many variables.

I wrote Dap to use in my statistical consulting practice because the aforementioned utterly famous, industry standard statistics system is (or at least was) not available on GNU/Linux and costs a bundle every year under a lease arrangement. And now you can run programs written for that system directly on Dap! I was generally happy with that system, except for the graphics, which are all but impossible to use,  but there were a number of clumsy constructs left over from its ancient origins.

http://www.gnu.org/software/dap/#Sample output

  • Unbalanced ANOVA
  • Crossed, nested ANOVA
  • Random model, unbalanced
  • Mixed model, balanced
  • Mixed model, unbalanced
  • Split plot
  • Latin square
  • Missing treatment combinations
  • Linear regression
  • Linear regression, model building
  • Ordinal cross-classification
  • Stratified 2×2 tables
  • Loglinear models
  • Logit  model for linear-by-linear association
  • Logistic regression
  • Copyright © 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA

    sounds too good to be true- GNU /DAP joins WPS workbench and Dulles Open’s Carolina as the third SAS language compiler (besides the now defunct BASS software) see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAS_language#Controversy

     

    Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DAP_(software)

    Dap was written to be a free replacement for SAS, but users are assumed to have a basic familiarity with the C programming language in order to permit greater flexibility. Unlike R it has been designed to be used on large data sets.

    It has been designed so as to cope with very large data sets; even when the size of the data exceeds the size of the computer’s memory

    Interview Dean Abbott Abbott Analytics

    Here is an interview with noted Analytics Consultant and trainer Dean Abbott. Dean is scheduled to take a workshop on Predictive Analytics at PAW (Predictive Analytics World Conference)  Oct 18 , 2010 in Washington D.C

    Ajay-  Describe your upcoming hands on workshop at Predictive Analytics World and how it can help people learn more predictive modeling.

    Refer- http://www.predictiveanalyticsworld.com/dc/2010/handson_predictive_analytics.php

    Dean- The hands-on workshop is geared toward individuals who know something about predictive analytics but would like to experience the process. It will help people in two regards. First, by going through the data assessment, preparation, modeling and model assessment stages in one day, the attendees will see how predictive analytics works in reality, including some of the pain associated with false starts and mistakes. At the same time, they will experience success with building reasonable models to solve a problem in a single day. I have found that for many, having to actually build the predictive analytics solution if an eye-opener. Seeing demonstrations show the capabilities of a tool, but greater value for an end-user is the development of intuition of what to do at each each stage of the process that makes the theory of predictive analytics real.

    Second, they will gain experience using a top-tier predictive analytics software tool, Enterprise Miner (EM). This is especially helpful for those who are considering purchasing EM, but also for those who have used open source tools and have never experienced the additional power and efficiencies that come with a tool that is well thought out from a business solutions standpoint (as opposed to an algorithm workbench).

    Ajay-  You are an instructor with software ranging from SPSS, S Plus, SAS Enterprise Miner, Statistica and CART. What features of each software do you like best and are more suited for application in data cases.

    Dean- I’ll add Tibco Spotfire Miner, Polyanalyst and Unica’s Predictive Insight to the list of tools I’ve taught “hands-on” courses around, and there are at least a half dozen more I demonstrate in lecture courses (JMP, Matlab, Wizwhy, R, Ggobi, RapidMiner, Orange, Weka, RandomForests and TreeNet to name a few). The development of software is a fascinating undertaking, and each tools has its own strengths and weaknesses.

    I personally gravitate toward tools with data flow / icon interface because I think more that way, and I’ve tired of learning more programming languages.

    Since the predictive analytics algorithms are roughly the same (backdrop is backdrop no matter which tool you use), the key differentiators are

    (1) how data can be loaded in and how tightly integrated can the tool be with the database,

    (2) how well big data can be handled,

    (3) how extensive are the data manipulation options,

    (4) how flexible are the model reporting options, and

    (5) how can you get the models and/or predictions out.

    There are vast differences in the tools on these matters, so when I recommend tools for customers, I usually interview them quite extensively to understand better how they use data and how the models will be integrated into their business practice.

    A final consideration is related to the efficiency of using the tool: how much automation can one introduce so that user-interaction is minimized once the analytics process has been defined. While I don’t like new programming languages, scripting and programming often helps here, though some tools have a way to run the visual programming data diagram itself without converting it to code.

    Ajay- What are your views on the increasing trend of consolidation and mergers and acquisitions in the predictive analytics space. Does this increase the need for vendor neutral analysts and consultants as well as conferences.

    Dean- When companies buy a predictive analytics software package, it’s a mixed bag. SPSS purchasing of Clementine was ultimately good for the predictive analytics, though it took several years for SPSS to figure out what they wanted to do with it. Darwin ultimately disappeared after being purchased by Oracle, but the newer Oracle data mining tool, ODM, integrates better with the database than Darwin did or even would have been able to.

    The biggest trend and pressure for the commercial vendors is the improvements in the Open Source and GNU tools. These are becoming more viable for enterprise-level customers with big data, though from what I’ve seen, they haven’t caught up with the big commercial players yet. There is great value in bringing both commercial and open source tools to the attention of end-users in the context of solutions (rather than sales) in a conference setting, which is I think an advantage that Predictive Analytics World has.

    As a vendor-neutral consultant, flux is always a good thing because I have to be proficient in a variety of tools, and it is the breadth that brings value for customers entering into the predictive analytics space. But it is very difficult to keep up with the rapidly-changing market and that is something I am weighing myself: how many tools should I keep in my active toolbox.

    Ajay-  Describe your career and how you came into the Predictive Analytics space. What are your views on various MS Analytics offered by Universities.

    Dean- After getting a masters degree in Applied Mathematics, my first job was at a small aerospace engineering company in Charlottesville, VA called Barron Associates, Inc. (BAI); it is still in existence and doing quite well! I was working on optimal guidance algorithms for some developmental missile systems, and statistical learning was a key part of the process, so I but my teeth on pattern recognition techniques there, and frankly, that was the most interesting part of the job. In fact, most of us agreed that this was the most interesting part: John Elder (Elder Research) was the first employee at BAI, and was there at that time. Gerry Montgomery and Paul Hess were there as well and left to form a data mining company called AbTech and are still in analytics space.

    After working at BAI, I had short stints at Martin Marietta Corp. and PAR Government Systems were I worked on analytics solutions in DoD, primarily radar and sonar applications. It was while at Elder Research in the 90s that began working in the commercial space more in financial and risk modeling, and then in 1999 I began working as an independent consultant.

    One thing I love about this field is that the same techniques can be applied broadly, and therefore I can work on CRM, web analytics, tax and financial risk, credit scoring, survey analysis, and many more application, and cross-fertilize ideas from one domain into other domains.

    Regarding MS degrees, let me first write that I am very encouraged that data mining and predictive analytics are being taught in specific class and programs rather than as just an add-on to an advanced statistics or business class. That stated, I have mixed feelings about analytics offerings at Universities.

    I find that most provide a good theoretical foundation in the algorithms, but are weak in describing the entire process in a business context. For those building predictive models, the model-building stage nearly always takes much less time than getting the data ready for modeling and reporting results. These are cross-discipline tasks, requiring some understanding of the database world and the business world for us to define the target variable(s) properly and clean up the data so that the predictive analytics algorithms to work well.

    The programs that have a practicum of some kind are the most useful, in my opinion. There are some certificate programs out there that have more of a business-oriented framework, and the NC State program builds an internship into the degree itself. These are positive steps in the field that I’m sure will continue as predictive analytics graduates become more in demand.

    Biography-

    DEAN ABBOTT is President of Abbott Analytics in San Diego, California. Mr. Abbott has over 21 years of experience applying advanced data mining, data preparation, and data visualization methods in real-world data intensive problems, including fraud detection, response modeling, survey analysis, planned giving, predictive toxicology, signal process, and missile guidance. In addition, he has developed and evaluated algorithms for use in commercial data mining and pattern recognition products, including polynomial networks, neural networks, radial basis functions, and clustering algorithms, and has consulted with data mining software companies to provide critiques and assessments of their current features and future enhancements.

    Mr. Abbott is a seasoned instructor, having taught a wide range of data mining tutorials and seminars for a decade to audiences of up to 400, including DAMA, KDD, AAAI, and IEEE conferences. He is the instructor of well-regarded data mining courses, explaining concepts in language readily understood by a wide range of audiences, including analytics novices, data analysts, statisticians, and business professionals. Mr. Abbott also has taught both applied and hands-on data mining courses for major software vendors, including Clementine (SPSS, an IBM Company), Affinium Model (Unica Corporation), Statistica (StatSoft, Inc.), S-Plus and Insightful Miner (Insightful Corporation), Enterprise Miner (SAS), Tibco Spitfire Miner (Tibco), and CART (Salford Systems).

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