Loading New R Packages into AzureML

Microsoft Azure ML provides over 500 individual R packages for use in R scripts. It is almost certain, however, that at some point you will wish to use an R package not available by default. Several years ago, before Revolution Analytics was acquired by Microsoft, Andrie deVries created a very useful package called miniCRAN. This […]
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How to Interpret a Q-Q Plot

Statisticians have developed a remarkably powerful set of tools for analyzing normally distributed data. Too bad real data is never normally distributed. Fortunately for us, most of the time “close enough” is all we really need. But how are we to know? One quick and effective method is a look at a Q-Q plot. The […]
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Randomly Sampling Rows in R

It’s impossible to imagine a data scientist who does not have to randomly sample datasets on a regular basis. Most employ the useful and easy function sample( ), defined in R’s base namespace. Let’s take a closer look at sample( ) and then take a look at a flexible alternative that is just as easy […]
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Turning Your AzureML Experiment into a Web Service

Great! You’ve created a promising machine learning model using AzureML Studio. How do you make it available to colleagues for practical use? In Microsoft-speak, how do you “operationalize” it? The AzureML Studio makes it very easy to convert an existing experiment into an Azure web service that can be accessed from any application that supports […]
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Defining the Data Puzzle: Data Science vs. Big Data vs. Data Analytics & More

I, like many others, am constantly frustrated by the sensationalist use of terminology in data science. Twitter user @xaprb neatly summed up my own feelings when he tweeted When you’re fundraising, it’s AI [Artificial Intelligence]. When you’re hiring, it’s ML [Machine Learning]. When you’re implementing, it’s linear regression. When you’re debugging, it’s printf(). As someone […]
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