Mab Alam's Blog (9)

Not tools, focusing on problems: a project cycle in data science

As a data scientist in an organization you frequently find yourself in a couple of situations:

  • you have a business…

Added by Mab Alam on December 27, 2019 at 8:00pm — No Comments

Making maps to visualize census data

Visualizing census data could not be easier thanks to few great packages in R. 

Not that in Python you could not do spatial analysis/visualization of census data, but certainly not as easily as in R because of some tailored rstats packages for this purpose.

Kyle Walker developed a package called tidycensus. This package allows for…


Added by Mab Alam on May 7, 2019 at 6:04pm — No Comments

Optimizing price, maximizing revenue

Problem statement

Price and quantity sold are the two determinants of business revenue/profit. At higher price the revenue is expected to be high. But this is not the case all the time. We know from our everyday experience, as price of something goes up, people have less tendency to buy it.

The reverse is also true, that is, as price is down, sales goes up (think what happens in a block buster sales event in a nearby shopping…


Added by Mab Alam on April 27, 2019 at 6:47am — No Comments

New Home Sales Projection: A Time Series Forecasting

1. Background

New home construction plays a significant role in housing economy, while simultaneously impacting other sectors such as timber, furniture and home appliances. New house sales is also an important indicator of country’s overall economic health and direction. In the last 50 years there has been few significant bumps and turning points in this sector that shaped the trajectory of the overall economy.  Here I review the…


Added by Mab Alam on January 25, 2019 at 8:15pm — No Comments

Predicting the demise of retail bookstores: a time series forecasting

“The internet is killing retail. Bookstores are just the first to go.” -- quoted in this NYT article. Retail bookstores are in a death row; looks like it's just a matter of time for those to be in the museum. eBooks are partly to blame, but with eBook sales leveling off recently, the remaining affect seems to be online book sales, dominated by, with no surpirse!, Amazon. So, exactly how long retail bookstores are going to…


Added by Mab Alam on December 27, 2018 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

Finance basics for data scientists

I picked up a little book called “Finance Basics” published by Harvard Business Review Press, for a short in-flight reading. This tiny book isn't going to make someone a finance expert but I did find a few things useful for data scientists and business analysts whose background is not finance or economics. Data science is truly a multi-disciplinary area with people coming from many different background and areas of expertise, often with little to no exposure…


Added by Mab Alam on July 28, 2018 at 10:07am — No Comments

Outlier detection with time-series data mining

In a previous blog I wrote about 6 potential applications of time series data. To recap, they are the following:

  1. Trend analysis
  2. Outlier/anomaly detection
  3. Examining shocks/unexpected variation
  4. Association analysis
  5. Forecasting
  6. Predictive analytics

Here I am focusing on outlier…


Added by Mab Alam on June 1, 2018 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Time-series data mining & applications

A time series is a sequence of data points recorded at specific time points - most often in regular time intervals (seconds, hours, days, months etc.). Every organization generates a high volume of data every single day – be it sales figure, revenue, traffic, or operating cost. Time series data mining can generate valuable information for long-term business decisions, yet they are underutilized in most organizations. Below is a list of few possible ways to…


Added by Mab Alam on May 27, 2018 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Data Science meets System Dynamics

Developed at MIT’s Sloan School of Management in 1950s system dynamics is a methodological approach to model the behavior of complex systems, where change in one component leads to change in others (like the dominos effect with feedback loops added). This approach is widely applied in industries such as healthcare, disease research, public transportation, business management and revenue forecasting. The most famous application of system dynamics probably is in…


Added by Mab Alam on April 23, 2018 at 5:30pm — No Comments

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