The Importance of Data Analytics

The current obsession with predictive analytics and big data has many organizations fixated on “bottom-up” analysis. Hype has resulted in business leaders thinking there are huge nuggets to be mined from their data lakes—if only they can find the right tools. Time and time again, I see this mindset result in disappointment and disillusionment with […]
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Querying SQL Server Data from Spark with Scala

Spark, as with virtually the entire Hadoop ecosystem, is built with Java, and of course Spark’s shell default programming language, Scala targets the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). For better or for worse, today’s systems involve data from heterogeneous sources, even sources that might at first seem an unnatural fit. Such is the case with reading […]
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Introducing Microsoft R Server

Earlier this year Microsoft released Microsoft R Server. This is essentially a rebranding of Revolution R Enterprise—acquired through Microsoft’s acquisition of Revolution Analytics in April 2015. However, the fact that Microsoft is backing the product makes a big difference to many potential corporate users. And with Microsoft embracing R across the company, more investment in […]
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Charts are Bad — Less UI, More UX

In my work as a decision science oriented software developer, I often explain to my clients that what they really want is a big green button that, when pressed, gives them the answer to the question they are currently wrestling with—a Magic 8-Ball that dispenses specific, data-driven advice. The challenge is, how close I can […]
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Conducting sentiment analysis using R

I’ve been asked on numerous occasions how to conduct sentiment analyses in R. There used to be a sentiment package, but it’s now only available via the archive. An alternative approach (and one that works with languages other than R) is to use a sentiment analysis web service. There are numerous services to choose from. […]
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