Contest : 2 free passes to Predictive Analytics World

I got some good news from the fine people at Predictive Analytics World.

 you qualify for 2 free passes to the PAW NYC event October 16-20, 2011.  I will be sending you a code to use for registration to receive these passes within the next couple of days.

If you cannot attend our PAW NYC event, please feel free to use these two free passes as a promotional tool within your blog.

Now I have been partnering with PAW for a long time, so it is nice to have free passes. I am grateful for their support of this blog. Therein lies my dilemma. I am in India, and a return ticket from NYC to India costs 1100$. Unless something drastic happens , I dont see myself with that kind of travel money.

Ergo.

I am offering two free passes to Predictive Analytics World . http://predictiveanalyticsworld.com/

All you need to do is – ahem- cough-

  1. like the Facebook Page of Decisionstats.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Decisionstats/217450141605435 OR
  2.  Add me to a Google circle https://plus.google.com/116302364907696741272/posts OR
  3. Follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/0_h_r_1

AND


  1. Read one of my poems at my poetry blog at http://poemsforkush.wordpress.com/ and leave a comment with your email id please . It’s a promotion for my next book “Poets and Hackers” due for release in 2 weeks.
The 2 free passes are for any 2 days of the PAW NYC event.  This free pass may not be used for Text Analytics World conference being held the same week.  Please have your Contest winners use the Free Code:  XXXXXXXX.  This code will be good for two uses in registering. 
Thats ‘it. Two free passes , and go for it if you are around NYC in October. NY is a lovely place and I am wearing my red FDNY T shirt as I am typing this.

What do you get?

One of these –http://www.predictiveanalyticsworld.com/newyork/register.php (details awaited!) to

http://www.predictiveanalyticsworld.com/newyork/2011/

Predictive Analytics World Header Image

 

 

Interview Jaime Fitzgerald President Fitzgerald Analytics

Here is an interview with noted analytics expert Jaime Fitzgerald, of Fitzgerald Analytics.

Ajay-Describe your career journey from being a Harvard economist to being a text analytics thought leader.

 Jaime- I was attracted to economics because of the logic, the structured and systematic approach to understanding the world and to solving problems. In retrospect, this is the same passion for logic in problem solving that drives my business today.

About 15 years ago, I began working in consulting and initially took a traditional career path. I worked for well-known strategy consulting firms including First Manhattan Consulting Group, Novantas LLC, Braun Consulting, and for the former Japan-focused division of Deloitte Consulting, which had spun off as an independent entity. I was the only person in their New York City office for whom Japanese was not the first language.

While I enjoyed traditional consulting, I was especially passionate about the role of data, analytics, and process improvement. In traditional strategy consulting, these are important factors, but I had a vision for a “next generation” approach to strategy consulting that would be more transparent, more robust, and more focused on the role that information, analysis, and process plays in improving business results. I often explain that while my firm is “not your father’s consulting model,” we have incorporated key best practices from traditional consulting, and combined them with an approach that is more data-centric, technology-centric, and process-centric.

At the most fundamental level, I was compelled to found Fitzgerald Analytics more than six years ago by my passion for the role information plays in improving results, and ultimately improving lives. In my vision, data is an asset waiting to be transformed into results, including profit as well as other results that matter deeply to people. For example,one of the most fulfilling aspects of our work at Fitzgerald Analytics is our support of non-profits and social entrepreneurs, who we help increase their scale and their success in achieving their goals.

Ajay- How would you describe analytics as a career option to future students. What do you think are the most essential qualities an analytics career requires.

Jaime- My belief is that analytics will be a major driver of job-growth and career growth for decades. We are just beginning to unlock the full potential of analytics, and already the demand for analytic talent far exceeds the supply.

To succeed in analytics, the most important quality is logic. Many people believe that math or statistical skills are the most important quality, but in my experience, the most essential trait is what I call “ThoughtStyle” — critical thinking, logic, an ability to break down a problem into components, into sub-parts.

Ajay -What are your favorite techniques and methodologies in text analytics. How do you see social media and Big Data analytics as components of text analytics

 Jaime-We do a lot of work for our clients measuring Customer Experience, by which I mean the experience customers have when interacting with our clients. For example, we helped a major brokerage firm to measure 12 key “Moments that Matter,” including the operational aspects of customer service, customer satisfaction and sentiment, and ultimately customer behavior. Clients care about this a lot, because customer experience drives customer loyalty, which in turn drives customer behavior, customer loyalty, and customer profitability.

Text analytics plays a key role in these projects because much of our data on customer sentiment comes via unstructured text data. For example, we have access to call center transcripts and notes, to survey responses, and to social media comments.

We use a variety of methods, some of which I’m not in a position to describe in great detail. But at a high level, I would say that our favorite text analytics methodologies are “hybrid solutions” which use a two-step process to answer key questions for clients:

Step 1: convert unstructured data into key categorical variables (for example, using contextual analysis to flag users who are critical vs. neutral vs. advocates)

Step 2: linking sentiment categories to customer behavior and profitability (for example, linking customer advocacy and loyalty with customer profits as well as referral volume, to define the ROI that clients accrue for customer satisfaction improvements)

Ajay- Describe your consulting company- Fitzgerald Analytics and some of the work that you have been engaged in.

 Jaime- Our mission is to “illuminate reality” using data and to convert Data to Dollars for our clients. We have a track record of doing this well, with concrete and measurable results in the millions of dollars. As a result, 100% of our clients have engaged us for more than one project: a 100% client loyalty rate.

Our specialties–and most frequent projects–include customer profitability management projects, customer segmentation, customer experience management, balanced scorecards, and predictive analytics. We are often engaged to address high-stakes analytic questions, including issues that help to set long-term strategy. In other cases, clients hire us to help them build their internal capabilities. We have helped build several brand new analytic teams for clients, which continue to generate millions of dollars of profits with their fact-based recommendations.

Our methodology is based on Steven Covey’s principle: “begin with the end in mind,” the concept of starting with the client’s goal and working backwards from there. I often explain that our methods are what you would have gotten if Steven Covey had been a data analyst…we are applying his principles to the world of data analytics.

Ajay- Analytics requires more and more data while privacy requires the least possible data. What do you think are the guidelines that need to be built in sharing internet browsing and user activity data and do we need regulations just like we do for sharing financial data.

 Jaime- Great question. This is an essential challenge of the big data era. My perspective is that firms who depend on user data for their analysis need to take responsibility for protecting privacy by using data management best practices. Best practices to adequately “mask” or remove private data exist…the problem is that these best practices are often not applied. For example, Facebook’s practice of sharing unique user IDs with third-party application companies has generated a lot of criticism, and could have been avoided by applying data management best practices which are well known among the data management community.

If I were able to influence public policy, my recommendation would be to adopt a core set of simple but powerful data management standards that would protect consumers from perhaps 95% of the privacy risks they face today. The number one standard would be to prohibit sharing of static, personally identifiable user IDs between companies in a manner that creates “privacy risk.” Companies can track unique customers without using a static ID…they need to step up and do that.

Ajay- What are your favorite text analytics software that you like to work with.

 Jaime- Because much of our work in deeply embedded into client operations and systems, we often use the software our clients already prefer. We avoid recommending specific vendors unless our client requests it. In tandem with our clients and alliance partners, we have particular respect for Autonomy, Open Text, Clarabridge, and Attensity.

Biography-

http://www.fitzgerald-analytics.com/jaime_fitzgerald.html

The Founder and President of Fitzgerald Analytics, Jaime has developed a distinctively quantitative, fact-based, and transparent approach to solving high stakes problems and improving results.  His approach enables translation of Data to Dollars™ using methodologies clients can repeat again and again.  He is equally passionate about the “human side of the equation,” and is known for his ability to link the human and the quantitative, both of which are needed to achieve optimal results.

Experience: During more than 15 years serving clients as a management strategy consultant, Jaime has focused on customer experience and loyalty, customer profitability, technology strategy, information management, and business process improvement.  Jaime has advised market-leading banks, retailers, manufacturers, media companies, and non-profit organizations in the United States, Canada, and Singapore, combining strategic analysis with hands-on implementation of technology and operations enhancements.

Career History: Jaime began his career at First Manhattan Consulting Group, specialists in financial services, and was later a Co-Founder at Novantas, the strategy consultancy based in New York City.  Jaime was also a Manager for Braun Consulting, now part of Fair Isaac Corporation, and for Japan-based Abeam Consulting, now part of NEC.

Background: Jaime is a graduate of Harvard University with a B.A. in Economics.  He is passionate and supportive of innovative non-profit organizations, their effectiveness, and the benefits they bring to our society.

Upcoming Speaking Engagements:   Jaime is a frequent speaker on analytics, information management strategy, and data-driven profit improvement.  He recently gave keynote presentations on Analytics in Financial Services for The Data Warehousing Institute, the New York Technology Council, and the Oracle Financial Services Industry User Group. A list of Jaime’s most interesting presentations on analyticscan be found here.

He will be presenting a client case study this fall at Text Analytics World re:   “New Insights from ‘Big Legacy Data’: The Role of Text Analytics” 

Connecting with Jaime:  Jaime can be found at Linkedin,  and Twitter.  He edits the Fitzgerald Analytics Blog.

Analytics 2011 Conference

From http://www.sas.com/events/analytics/us/

The Analytics 2011 Conference Series combines the power of SAS’s M2010 Data Mining Conference and F2010 Business Forecasting Conference into one conference covering the latest trends and techniques in the field of analytics. Analytics 2011 Conference Series brings the brightest minds in the field of analytics together with hundreds of analytics practitioners. Join us as these leading conferences change names and locations. At Analytics 2011, you’ll learn through a series of case studies, technical presentations and hands-on training. If you are in the field of analytics, this is one conference you can’t afford to miss.

Conference Details

October 24-25, 2011
Grande Lakes Resort
Orlando, FL

Analytics 2011 topic areas include:

SAS Sentiment Analysis wins Award

From Business Wire, the new Sentiment Analysis product by SAS Institute (created by acquisition Teragram ) wins an award. As per wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentiment_analysis

Sentiment analysis or opinion mining refers to a broad (definitionally challenged) area of natural language processingcomputational linguistics and text mining. Generally speaking, it aims to determine the attitude of a speaker or a writer with respect to some topic. The attitude may be their judgment or evaluation (see appraisal theory), their affective state (that is to say, the emotional state of the author when writing) or the intended emotional communication (that is to say, the emotional effect the author wishes to have on the reader).

It was developed by Teragram. Here is another Sentiment Analysis tool from Stanford Grad school at http://twittersentiment.appspot.com/search?query=sas

See-

Sentiment analysis for sas

Image Citation-

http://threeminds.organic.com/2009/09/five_reasons_sentiment_analysi.html

Read an article on sentiment analysis here at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/24/technology/internet/24emotion.html

And the complete press release at http://goo.gl/iVzf`

SAS Sentiment Analysis delivers insights on customer, competitor and organizational opinions to a degree never before possible via manual review of electronic text. As a result, SAS, the leader in business analytics software and services, has earned the prestigious Communications Solutions Product of the Year Award fromTechnology Marketing Corporation (TMC).

“SAS has automated the time-consuming process of reading individual documents and manually extracting relevant information”

“SAS Sentiment Analysis has shown benefits for its customers and it provides ROI for the companies that use it,” said Rich Tehrani, CEO, TMC. “Congratulations to the entire team at SAS, a company distinguished by its dedication to software quality and superiority to address marketplace needs.”

Derive positive and negative opinions, evaluations and emotions

SAS Sentiment Analysis’ high-performance crawler locates and extracts sentiment from digital content sources, including mainstream websites, social media outlets, internal servers and incoming news feeds. SAS’ unique hybrid approach combines powerful statistical techniques with linguistics rules to improve accuracy to the detailed feature level. It summarizes the sentiment expressed in all available text collections – identifying trends and creating graphical reports that describe the expressed feelings of consumers, partners, employees and competitors in real time. Output from SAS Sentiment Analysis can be stored in document repositories, surfaced in corporate portals and used as input to additional SAS Text Analytics software or search engines to help decision makers evaluate trends, predict future outcomes, minimize risks and capitalize on opportunities.

“SAS has automated the time-consuming process of reading individual documents and manually extracting relevant information,” said Fiona McNeill, Global Analytics Product Marketing Manager at SAS. “Our integrated analytics framework helps organizations maximize the value of information to improve their effectiveness.”

SAS Sentiment Analysis is included in the SAS Text Analytics suite, which helps organizations discover insights from electronic text materials, associate them for delivery to the right person or place, and provide intelligence to select the best course of action. Whether answering complex search-and-retrieval questions, ensuring appropriate content is presented to internal or external constituencies, or predicting which activity or channel will produce the best effect on existing sentiments, SAS Text Analytics provides exceptional real-time processing speeds for large volumes of text.

SAS Text Analytics solutions are part of the SAS Business Analytics Framework, backed by the industry’s most comprehensive range of consulting, training and support services, ensuring customers maximum return from their IT investments.

Recognizing vision

The Communications Solutions Product of the Year Award recognizes vision, leadership and thoroughness. The most innovative products and services brought to the market from March 2008 through March 2009 were chosen as winners of this Product of the Year Award and are published on the INTERNET TELEPHONY and Customer Interaction Solutions websites.

Interview SPSS Olivier Jouve

SPSS recently launched a major series of products in it’s text mining and data mining product portfolio and rebranded data mining to the PASW series. In an exclusive and extensive interview, Oliver Jouve Vice President,Corporate Development at SPSS Inc talks of science careers, the recent launches, open source support to R by SPSS, Cloud Computing and Business Intelligence.

Ajay: Describe your career in Science. Are careers in science less lucrative than careers in business development? What advice would you give to people re-skilling in the current recession on learning analytical skills?

Olivier: I have a Master of Science in Geophysics and Master of Science in Computer Sciences, both from Paris VI University. I have always tried to combine science and business development in my career as I like to experience all aspects � from idea to concept to business plan to funding to development to marketing to sales.

There was a study published earlier this year that said two of the three best jobs are related to math and statistics. This is reinforced by three societal forces that are converging � better uses of mathematics to drive decision making, the tremendous growth and storage of data, and especially in this economy, the ability to deliver ROI. With more and more commercial and government organizations realizing the value of Predictive Analytics to solve business problems, being equipped with analytical skills can only enhance your career and provide job security.

Ajay: So SPSS has launched new products within its Predictive Analytics Software (PASW) portfolio � Modeler 13 and Text Analytics 13? Is this old wine in a new bottle? What is new in terms of technical terms? What is new in terms of customers looking to mine textual information?

Olivier: Our two new products — PASW Modeler 13 (formerly Clementine) and PASW Text Analytics 13 (formerly Text Mining for Clementine) � extend and automate the power of data mining and text analytics to the business user, while significantly enhancing the productivity, flexibility and performance of the expert analyst.

PASW Modeler 13 data mining workbench has new and enhanced functionality that quickly takes users through the entire data mining process � from data access and preparation to model deployment. Some the newest features include Automated Data Preparation that conditions data in a single step by automatically detecting and correcting quality errors; Auto Cluster that gives users a simple way to determine the best cluster algorithm for a particular data set; and full integration with PASW Statistics (formerly SPSS Statistics).

With PASW Text Analytics 13, SPSS provides the most complete view of the customer through the combined analysis of text, web and survey data.   While other companies only provide the text component, SPSS couples text with existing structured data, permitting more accurate results and better predictive modeling. The new version includes pre-built categories for satisfaction surveys, advanced natural language processing techniques, and it supports more than 30 different languages.

Ajay: SPSS has supported open source platforms – Python and R � before it became fashionable to do so. How has this helped your company?

Olivier: Open source software helps the democratization of the analytics movement and SPSS is keen on supporting that democratization while welcoming open source users (and their creativity) into the analytics framework.

Ajay: What are the differences and similarities between Text Analytics and Search Engines? Can we mix the two as well using APIs?

Olivier: Search Engines are fundamentally top-down in that you know what you are looking for when launching a query. However, Text Analytics is bottom-up, uncovering hidden patterns, relationships and trends locked in unstructured data � including call center notes, open-ended survey responses, blogs and social networks. Now businesses have a way of pulling key concepts and extracting customer sentiments, such as emotional responses, preferences and opinions, and grouping them into categories.

For instance, a call center manager will have a hard time extracting why customers are unhappy and churn by using a search engine for millions of call center notes. What would be the query? But, by using Text Analytics, that same call center agent will discover the main reasons why customers are unhappy, and be able to predict if they are going to churn.

Ajay: Why is Text Analytics so important?  How will companies use it now and into the future?
Olivier –
Actually, the question you should ask is, “Why is unstructured data so important?” Today, more than ever, people love to share their opinions — through the estimated 183 billion emails sent, the 1.6 million blog posts, millions of inquiries captured in call center notes, and thousands of comments on diverse social networking sites and community message boards. And, let�s not forget all data that flows through Twitter. Companies today would be short-sighted to ignore what their customers are saying about their products and services, in their own words. Those opinions � likes and dislikes � are essential nuggets and bear much more insights than demographic or transactional data to reducing customer churn, improving satisfaction, fighting crime, detecting fraud and increasing marketing campaign results.

Ajay: How is SPSS venturing into cloud computing and SaaS?

Olivier: SPSS has been at the origin of the PMML standard to allow organizations to provision their computing power in a very flexible manner � just like provisioning computing power through cloud computing. SPSS strongly believes in the benefits of a cloud computing environment, which is why all of our applications are designed with Service Oriented Architecture components.  This enables SPSS to be flexible enough to meet the demands of the market as they change with respect to delivery mode.  We are currently analyzing business and technical issues related to SPSS technologies in the cloud, such as the scoring and delivery of analytics.  In regards to SaaS, we currently offer hosted services for our PASW Data Collection (formerly Dimensions) survey research suite of products.

Ajay: Do you think business intelligence is an over used term? Why do you think BI and Predictive Analytics failed in mortgage delinquency forecasting and reporting despite the financial sector being a big spender on BI tools?

Oliver: There is a big difference between business intelligence (BI) and Predictive Analytics. Traditional BI technologies focus on what�s happening now or what�s happened in the past by primarily using financial or product data. For organizations to take the most effective action, they need to know and plan for what may happen in the future by using people data � and that�s harnessed through Predictive Analytics.

Another way to look at it � Predictive covers the entire capture, predict and act continuum � from the use of survey research software to capture customer feedback (attitudinal data), to creating models to predict customer behaviors, and then acting on the results to improve business processes. Predictive Analytics, unlike BI, provides the secret ingredient and answers the question, �What will the customer do next?�

That being said, financial institutions didn�t need to use Predictive Analytics to see
that some lenders sold mortgages to unqualified individuals likely to default. Predictive Analytics is an incredible application used to detect fraud, waste and abuse. Companies in the financial services industry can focus on mitigating their overall risk by creating better predictive models that not only encompass richer data sets, but also better rules-based automation.

Ajay: What do people do at SPSS to have fun when they are not making complex mathematical algorithms?
Oliver: SPSS employees love our casual, friendly atmosphere, our professional and talented colleagues, and our cool, cutting-edge technology. The fun part comes from doing meaningful work with great people, across different groups and geographies. Of course being French, I have ensured that my colleagues are fully educated on the best wine and cuisine. And being based in Chicago, there is always a spirited baseball debate between the Cubs and White Sox. However, I am yet to convince anyone that rugby is a better sport.

Biography

Olivier Jouve is Vice President, Corporate Development, at SPSS Inc. He is responsible for defining SPSS strategic directions, growth opportunities through internal development, merger and acquisitions and/or tactical alliances. As a pioneer in the field of data and text mining for the last 20 years, he has created the foundation of Text Analytics technology for analyzing customer interactions at SPSS. Jouve is a successful serial entrepreneur and has had his works published internationally in the area of Analytical CRM, text mining, search engines, competitive intelligence and knowledge management.