Kill R? Wait a sec

1) Is R efficient? (scripting wise, and performance wise) _ Depends on how you code it- some Packages like foreach can help but basic efficiency come from programmer. XDF formats from Revoscalar -the non open R package further improve programming efficiency

2) Should R be written from scratch?

You got to be kidding- It depends on how you define scratch after 2 million users

This has been done with S, then S Plus and now R.

3) What should be the license of R (if it was made a new)?

GPL license is fine. You need to do a better job of executing the license. Currently interfaces to R exist from SPSS, SAS, KXEN , other companies as well. To my knowledge royalty payments as well as formal code sharing does not agree.

R core needs to do a better job of protecting the work of 2500 package-creators rather than settling for a few snacks at events, sponsorships, Corporate Board Membership for Prof Gentleman, and 4-5 packages donated to it. The only way R developers can currently support their research is write a book (ny Springer mostly)

Eg GGplot and Hmisc are likely to be used more by average corporate user. Do their creators deserve royalty if creators of RevoScalar are getting it?

If some of 2 million users gave 1 $ to R core (compared to 9 million in last round of funding in Revolution Analytics)- you would have enough money to create a 64 bit optimized R for Linux (missing in Enterprise R), Amazon R APIs (like Karim Chine’s efforts), R GUIs (like Rattle’s commercial version) etc etc

The developments are not surprising given that Microsoft and Intel are funding Revolution Analytics

R controversies come and go (this has happened before including the NYT article and shakeup at Revo)

An interesting debate on whether R should be killed to make an upgrade to a more efficient language.

From Tal (creator R Bloggers) and on R help list-

There is currently a (very !) lively discussions happening around the web, surrounding the following topics:
1) Is R efficient? (scripting wise, and performance wise)
2) Should R be written from scratch?
3) What should be the license of R (if it was made a new)?

Very serious people have taken part in the debates so far.  I hope to let you know of the places I came by, so you might be able to follow/participate
in these (IMHO) important discussions.

The discussions started in the response for the following blog post on
Xi’An’s blog:

Followed by the (short) response post by Ross Ihaka:

Other discussions started to appear on Andrew Gelman’s blog:

And (many) more responses started to appear in the hackers news website:

I hope these discussions will have fruitful results for our community,

Contact me: |  972-52-7275845
Read me: (Hebrew) | (Hebrew) | (English)

My 0 cents ( see it would 2 cents but it;s free)

My latest creation

I have just teamed up to create my latest venture called Kush Cognitives (Kush is my son). The firm is gonna make websites, build statistical analysis and offer social media offerings. It’s my latest venture and it merges all my previous ones and skills. After almost 3 years of working on and off with multiple people, this one is with a friend in the US.

Over the years (since 2007) I have made (defunct), Swarajya Analytics Private Limited ( – now sold) and now Kush Cognitives. I have gone through the models of proprietorship and corporation and now partnership.

Kush Cognitives is hosted at (as our flagship website) and we have shifted the blog to

We are aiming at the startups and small and medium segments first, but we retain capabilities for bigger clients as well. Lesser Bullshit and More Bang for your Buck.

So wish us luck- and if you need any social media advice, statistical analysis to be done, or technical matters of creating websites-This also includes training customization in R , SAS  , and statistical software but from a more practical point of view from a user angle. We are able to cater to both US and Indian clients.

give us a buzz at


Ajay Ohri

Image Courtesy-michelangelo

KXEN Conference :How to get the Best ROI..

Citation :


How to get the Best ROI from your Advanced Analytics Investment?
MonDAY, NovemBER 2, 2009
09:30-10:30 AM Registration & Breakfast
10:30-10:45 AM Welcome & Opening Remarks,
by Roger Haddad, CEO KXEN
10:45-11:30 AM Keynote Session:
Customer Focus and Momentum Strategy,
by Marc Beauvois-Coladon, on the original work of
Professor Jean-Claude Larréché, INSEAD Alfred
H. Heineken Chair of Marketing
11:30-12:30 AM Technology Directions,
by Erik Marcade, CTO KXEN
12:30-01:45 PM Lunch
01:45-02:30 PM Customer Case Study: Groupama – Insurance
02:30-03:15 PM Boosting Lift by integrating Web Browsing Behavior in Affinity Modeling, by Edouard Servan-Schreiber, Assistant Director Advanced Analytics Teradata EMEA
03:15-04:00 PM Customer Case Study: Leveraging Social Network Analysis in Customer Retention with KXEN
by Jaroslaw Kosinski, Project Manager Planning and Strategic Analysis TPSA (Telco)
04:00-04:15 PM

04:15-05:00 PM Business Track 1: Towards Predictive BI: Manage your strategic KPI’s (workshop part 1)

Technical Track 1: How to build a Data Factory

05:00-05:45 PM Business Track 2: Towards Predictive BI: Manage your Strategic KPI’s (workshop – part 2)

Technical Track 2: How to build a Modeling Factory

05:45-06:30 PM Customer Case Study: Industry
08:00-00:00 PM Gala Dinner @ the Eiffel Tower
TuesDAY, NovemBER 3, 2009
09:00-09:30 AM Welcome Coffee
09:30-10:15 AM How to optimise Performance and Effectiveness of Relationship Management Programs, while Taking Advantage of just-in-time Marketing,
by Alexandre Losson, Head of CRM, Business & Decision
10:15-11:00 AM Customer Case Study: Wolters Kluwer – Publishing & Media
11:00-11:15 AM Break
11:15-12:00 AM Business Track 3: Automate the Production of Hyper Targeted Campaigns, by Emmanuel Duhesme, CEO Probance

Technical Track 3: How to implement Social Networks Analysis

12:00-12:45 AM Business Track 4: How to present your Data Mining Results to get Visibility, by Frederic Binon,
Marketing Expert Manager at Belgacom

Technical Track 4: KXEN New Versions Tips & Tricks

12:45-01:45 PM Lunch
01:45-02:15 PM Partner Presentation: Geoconcept
02:15-03:00 PM Customer Case Study: The Co-operative Financial Services – Bank
03:00-03:15 PM
03:15-04:15 PM Ask your Questions to KXEN Executives!
04:15-05:00PM Closing Remarks by Roger Haddad, CEO KXEN
Option: NOVEMBER 4, 2009
Complimentary Post-Conference Technical Workshop

Registrations on a First Come / First Served Basis – Places are limited

09:00-11:30 AM ADM: KXEN Data Manipulation Training & Exercices
11:30-01:00 PM KMF: Tour of KXEN Modeling Factory
01:00-02:00 PM Lunch
02:00-05:00 PM KSN: KXEN Social Network Analysis Training & Exercices
Registration requests for this workshop should be sent by e-mail to once your Conference Registration has been proceeded.

NovembER 2 & 3, 2009 – Paris

Best of Decision Stats- Modeling and Text Mining Part3

Here are some of the top articles by way of views, in an  area I love– of modeling and text mining.

1) Karl Rexer – Rexer Analytics

Karl produces one of the most respected surveys that captures emerging trends in data mining and technology. Karl was also one of the most enthusiastic people I have interviewed- and I am thankful for his help in getting me some more interviews.

2) Gregory Piatesky Shapiro

One of the earliest and easily the best Knowledge Discoverer of all times, Gregory produces and the newsletter is easily the must newsletter to be on. Gregory was doing data mining , while the Google boys were still debating whether to drop out of Stanford or not.
Continue reading “Best of Decision Stats- Modeling and Text Mining Part3”

Reactions to IBM -SPSS takeover.

The business intelligence -business analytics- data mining industry ( or as James Taylor would say Decision Management Industry) have some reactions on IBM – SPSS ( which was NOT a surprise to many including me). Really.

From SAS Institute, Anne Milley

Besides SAS, SPSS was one of the last independent analytic software companies. A colleague says, “It’s the end of the analytics cold war.”

I’ve been saying all along that analytics is required for success. Yes, data integration, data quality, and query & reporting are important too but, as W. Edwards Deming says, “The object of taking data is to provide a basis for action.”

The end of the analytics cold war- hmm. We all know what the end of real cold war brought us- Google, Cloud Computing, and other non technical issues.

From KXEN, Roger Hadaad

“The price paid for SPSS of four times revenues and 25 times earnings shows just how valuable this sector really is,” says Haddad. “But the deal has also created a tremendous opportunity for the sector’s remaining independent vendors that

KXEN is well placed to capitalize on. “There is no For Sale sign hanging in our window,” continues Haddad. “We launched KXEN in 1998 to democratize the benefits of data mining and predictive analytics, making them practical and affordable across the whole enterprise and not just the exclusive preserve of a few specialists. It’s going to take up to two years for the dust to settle following the IBM

“Former SPSS partners, systems integrators and distributors will face uncertainty.”

I think the PE multiple was still low- SPSS was worth more if you count the client base, active community, brand itself in the valuation. Tremendous cross sell opportunities and IBM with it’s nice research and development is a good supporter of pure science.  Yes, next two years would be facing increasing consolidation and more “surprising” news. At 4 times earnings, anyone can be bought in the present market if it is a public listed company. 😉

From the rather subdued voices on SPSS list, some subjective and non quantitative ‘strategic” forecasts.

I think the Ancient Chinese said it best “May you live in interesting times”.

Having worked with some flavors of Cognos and SPSS, I think there could be areas for technical integration for querying and GUI based forecasting as well, apart from financial mergers and administrative re adjustments. I mean people pull data not just to report it, but to estimate what comes next as well.

This could also spell the end of uni platform skilled analysts. You now need to learn atleast two different platforms like SAS,SPSS or KXEN, R or Cognos, Business Objects to hedge your chances of getting offshored (Note- I worked in offshoring for almost 4 years in India in data analytics).

Answering what IBM will do with SPSS and it’s open source commitment to R and consequences for employees, customers, vendors,partners who have more choices now than ever.

…. well it depends. Who is John Galt?

KDD 2009 is now open !!!!!

KXEN remains a GOLDEN sponser

Knowledge Extraction Engines

General Chair John Elder (Elder Research, Inc.)
Francoise Soulie Fogelman (KXEN)
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I asked Francoise in her interview this March on  ( ) oh her views on data mining and how KXEN fits in and here is an extract –

Ajay –What kind of hardware solutions go best with KXEN’s software. What are the other BI vendors that your offerings best complement with.

Françoise – KXEN software in general and KSN in particular, run on any platform. When using KSN to build decent size graphs (with tens of millions of nodes and hundreds of millions of links for example), 64 bits architecture is required. A recent survey of KXEN customers show that the BI suites used by our customers are mostly MicroStrategy and Business Objects (SAP). We also like very much to mention Advizor Solutions which offers data visualization software already embedding KXEN technology.

Francoise of course is well versed to be talking on Knowledge Discovery and Data mining. – her credentials are kind of awe inspiring

Ms Soulie Fogelman has over 30 years of experience in data mining and CRM both from an academic and a business perspective. Prior to KXEN, she directed the first French research team on Neural Networks at Paris 11 University where she was a CS Professor. She then co-founded Mimetics, a start-up that processes and sells development environment, optical character recognition (OCR) products and services using neural network technology, and became its Chief Scientific Officer. After that she started the Data Mining and CRM group at Atos Origin and, most recently, she created and managed the CRM Agency for Business & Decision, a French IS company specialized in Business Intelligence and CRM.

Ms Soulie Fogelman holds a master’s degree in mathematics from Ecole Normale Superieure and a PhD in Computer Science from University of Grenoble. She was advisor to over 20 PhD on data mining, has authored more than 100 scientific papers and books and has been an invited speaker to many academic and b
business events.

Disclaimer- I have been both a KXEn client, user, as well as vendor.