R and SAS- Together again at PAWS

Two of my favorite speakers ( though maybe not favorite to each other) speak at PAWS ,

Anne Milley from SAS and David Smith, REvolution Computing.Also a great author and writer, Stephen Baker from Numerati ( that mathematical equivalent of The Godfather). More events at the link below.

Hmmmm- I hope they attend each other’s sessions just to keep up, but is that asking too much?


useR Meeting
Room: Magnolia
– Sponsored by  Please join the group at www.meetup.com/R-users-DC/

R is an open source programming language for statistical computing, data analysis, and graphical visualization. R has an estimated one million users worldwide, and its user base is growing. While most commonly used within academia, in fields such as computational biology and applied statistics, it is gaining currency in commercial areas such as quantitative finance and business intelligence.

Among R’s strengths as a language are its powerful built-in tools for inferential statistics, its compact modeling syntax, its data visualization capabilities, and its ease of connectivity with persistent data stores (from databases to flatfiles).

In addition, R is open source nature and extensible via add-on “packages” allowing it to keep up with the leading edge in academic research.

For all its strengths, though, R has an admittedly steep learning curve; the first steps towards learning and using R can be challenging.

This DC R Users Group is dedicated to bringing together area practitioners of R to exchange knowledge, inspire new users, and spur the adoption of R for innovative research and commercial applications.

Wednesday October 21, 2009

Registration & Continental Breakfast

Room: Magnolia
Opportunities and Pitfalls:
What the World Does and Doesn’t Want from Predictive Analytics

Mathematicians and statisticians are churning through mountains of data in their efforts to model and predict human behavior. The goal is to optimize every function possible, from sales and marketing to the enterprise itself. These Numerati are guided by the two dominant models of the late 20th century, the modeling of financial markets and of industrial systems. How do humans fit into these systems? And what will their response be when the analytic systems appear to misunderstand them or invade their privacy?

Stephen Baker joins PAW to directly address the Numerati. In his keynote presentation, Mr. Baker will guide us toward the untapped goldmines where predictive analytics will be embraced and thrive, and teach us to anticipate and maneuver around two central pitfalls: Consumer misperception of us, and our inadvertent mistreatment of them.

Moderator: Eric Siegel, Program Chair, Predictive Analytics World

Speaker: Stephen Baker, BusinessWeek – author, The Numerati

Platinum Sponsor Presentation
Room: Magnolia
Strength in Numbers: ACE!

As more organizations are beginning their analytical journey or reinvigorating their existing efforts, Analytic Centers of Excellence (ACEs) are helping them along the way. The interest in ACEs is growing across industries as organizations seek better ways to tap into their analytic infrastructure-most importantly, scarce high-end analytic expertise to improve results. We will highlight valuable best practices for achieving greater analytic bandwidth realizing more and better evidence-based decisions.

Moderator: Eric Siegel, Program Chair, Predictive Analytics World

Speaker: Anne Milley, Senior Director of Tech. Product Marketing, SAS

Losing a Million Bucks: Netflix Prize Interview

I ( and collective pseudo geeks) across the world lost a potential million dollars when the following team won the Netflix prize. In disgust, I just renewed my Netflix subscription and noticed a 10% increase in the way I liked them.

Jokes apart, here is an except ( perhaps one of the few ever) of an interview of the Netflix winners done by the great Eric Siegel, Phd.

Eric is conference chair of the Predictive Analytics Conference ( a King Arthur’s round table conference on all the shining knights of the data analytic’s world)


[ES] With no relevant background in statistics — let alone product recommendations specifically — what capabilities or background did make your success possible? Do you consider yourselves mathematicians, or at least strong with math?

[MC] I am certainly not a mathematician – I have engineering level skill. I consider Martin Piotte to have an exceptional mathematical mind (he participated successfully in international math contests when he was a student) even though he never formally studied in that field. In the end, the mathematics used in this contest seem very complex, but are really rather simple. Compared to what most people think, this was more of an engineering contest than a mathematical contest [See Martin’s response below for elaboration on this central point. -Ed]. Also, I think that having a perhaps less in-depth but wider array of skills and knowledge helped us.

[ES] You’ve said, when first getting started, you learned many core strategies/techniques from the Netflix Prize discussion board. Did you do much reading or research elsewhere to ramp up?

[MC] Having started late in the competition, the forum was a good starting point as many avenues had already been explored and links had been posted to many interesting papers. In the end though, reading and getting a good understanding of the actual research papers was a very important step. The forum was also a place where people proposed new (sometimes far fetched) ideas; these ideas often inspired us to come up with our own creative innovations.

PAWS is a great place to meet, greet and do business and though it is 5 hours away I have too much homework to do and grade while at University of Tennessee ( for now)-

Here is a very interesting poll that they are carrying it is good to see conferences take feedback in such a transparent manner-

paws poll

The Return of PAWS

Bigger Wins, Broader Capabilities at Predictive Analytics World

PAW’s October 20-21 program includes 25 sessions divulging how more than 20 brand name companies across a dozen industry verticals apply predictive analytics to over 10 business uses by employing the hottest advanced analytical methods. See the entire conference agenda at a glance, or check out an agenda overview.

Workshop Benefits

Sign up for one of PAW’s leading-edge Workshops and receive these great benefits:

  • PAW’s hands-on workshop, lead by Dean Abbott, has chosen its tool: SAS Enterprise Miner. So attend Hands-On Predictive Analytics for direct experience applying the industry best practices process, and ramp up on this leading, industry-leading tool to boot.
  • A free copy of Dr. John Elder’s just released Handbook of Statistical Analysis and Data Mining Applications book is yours if you attend John’s Predictive Modeling Methods and Common Data Mining Mistakes workshop.
  • A free copy of James Taylor’s book Smart Enough Systems: How to Deliver Competitive Advantage by Automating Hidden Decisions is yours if you attend James’s Putting Predictive Analytics to Work workshop.

Don’t miss the free BetterManagement webinar Sept 23, featuring conference chair Eric Siegel, on Driving Decisions with Predictive Analytics: The Top Business Applications.

Register Now

For inquiries, call (866) 223-2579 or e-mail registration@predictiveanalyticsworld.com.

Sign up for the PAW group on LinkedIn.

Predictive Analytics World
October 20-21 – Washington DC
Location |   Contact Us

Disclaimer- As a student and also I am a blog partner to PAWS and get access to interviews, books, discounts but not financial renumeration for these.

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