Artificial vs Surrogate Keys

Shakespeare famously asked “What’s in a name?” A great deal, as it turns out, since the words used to describe things affects how we perceive them and think about them. Perhaps it’s the rapid rate of change that makes technology particularly susceptible to the effects of how we use words to describe things. Terms too […]
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GPU Processing in R: Is it worth it?

It would be difficult for an R user not to have heard of GPU processing. In 2006, about seven years after it invented the GPU, Nvidia released the first incarnation of CUDA, the architecture that allowed scientists, engineers, and statisticians to use high-end graphics processors as pure floating-point number-crunchers. Today, Nvidia’s CUDA platform, specific for […]
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Making Sense of Microsoft’s RevoScaleR Function Parameters

The RevoscaleR functions provided by Microsoft in Machine Learning Server and MS R Client are many and varied, as are the parameters are passed to control their behavior. But while it might seem a bit overwhelming at first, it is really quite simple. Except for the fact that ETL generally reads and writes to multiple […]
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A Quick Binary Refresher for Analytic Query Writers

You probably thought that the chapter on binary number systems in your Intro to Computer Science textbook would never have to be opened again, especially now that you’re a report writer or a data analyst and generally don’t get too close to the silicon. SQL Server DBAs bump into binary numbers from time to time […]
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Choosing a Machine Learning Platform That’s Right for You

Choosing a machine learning (ML) platform can be a cause of considerable stress. It’s a major commitment you will have to live with for years and an unwise decision might even affect your job prospects. Fortunately, asking yourself a few fundamental questions can simply the decision considerably. Are you primarily a Windows Shop? In recent […]
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