#20: Here’s a thought…

August 11, 2009
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An occasional series in which a review of recent posts on SmartData Collective reveals the following nuggets:

Prediction + understanding
In my view, predictive models can be powerful business tools, but they have the potential to lead us into a false belief that because we can predict something on the basis of mathematical relationships, we understand what we’re predicting. We might also lapse into an expectation that “prediction” based on past behavior is in fact destiny. We need to remind ourselves that correlation or association is a necessary but not a sufficient condition to show a causal relationship.

It’s not what you do, it’s the way…
I think most folks, especially in these tough economic conditions, actually understand the tough business decisions that need to be made – even with restructuring. Where it gets ugly is how the change is implemented.

Managing the master data
Ensuring that data quality is at a high level is one of the most important functions of any data


An occasional series in which a review of recent posts on SmartData Collective reveals the following nuggets:

Prediction + understanding
In
my view, predictive models can be powerful business tools, but they
have the potential to lead us into a false belief that because we can
predict something on the basis of mathematical relationships, we
understand what we’re predicting. We might also lapse into an
expectation that “prediction” based on past behavior is in fact
destiny. We need to remind ourselves that correlation or association is
a necessary but not a sufficient condition to show a causal
relationship.

It’s not what you do, it’s the way…
I
think most folks, especially in these tough economic conditions,
actually understand the tough business decisions that need to be made –
even with restructuring. Where it gets ugly is how the change is
implemented.

Managing the master data
Ensuring
that data quality is at a high level is one of the most important
functions of any data management unit. It is an interminable process
that sometimes gets underrated. The backbone of broader quality
initiatives is a sound master data management. Master data, as opposed
to transactional data, describe items like product and customer names,
addresses, etc. These data will be stored and reused in the long run
but very often change over time.

—Teradata EMEA: La Trahison des Données

Their time has come
…the
article details how statisticians are in hot demand at companies like
Google, Netflix and IBM, and claims that statisticians can earn
$125,000 at top companies after completing a PhD. … I’ve long lamented
that statisticians lack a hero to make the field seem exciting —
Indiana Jones made archaeologists into action heroes, for Pete’s sake!
— but the role of statistician seems to have progressed beyond
“nerdish wonk” even if it isn’t quite yet to rock-star status.

Not quite full-duplex
We’re
in this time of transition as the social web starts to impact business
in a significant way. We’ve learned a lot from our efforts to use the
web and the new social enablers like Facebook, Twitter, 12Seconds.tv,
Qik, YouTube, etc. I wonder, though, if business is ready for a
full-duplex conversation? Business, for the most part, has been at best
half-duplex for a long time…

—Michael Fauscette: It’s not a full-duplex world

So who’s surprised
It
is easier for people to express themselves publicly, the detached
nature of online communication releases people’s inhibitions, and the
speed and efficiency of distribution (especially through search/alerts)
means that the people most likely to be or feel damaged by an act of
public expression are far more likely to discover that act. So it’s not
surprising that users are being sued for what they say online—it’s an
expected consequence of the democratization of publishing, especially
in the litigious English-speaking countries on both sides of the pond.

If you’re going to rebrand…
Rebranding
is a hollow exercise if it’s not accompanied by changes in the customer
experience. A revamped logo and a signature cocktail in business class
hardly count when the flight attendants continue to patrol the cabin
like martinets. In the world of customer loyalty what counts is the way
your behaviors change. And no, you may not have the entire can.