I am excited to be giving the Analytics for Marketing online training course on 25-28 September 2012. Sign up before 25 August 2012 for the early bird discount. Our friends at Revolution Analytics who will provide the infrastructure to host the event.
Update: For clarification, this is an online, instructor led training course. We are using the Cisco WebEx Training Center to provide the training room. This allows us to keep the interactivity of classroom training without everybody having to physically travel. There is a limit on the number of participants so book early to ensure your seat (and for the early bird discount).
Big Data is a buzzword, but is it real: does it address real business issues or is it just an excuse to sell more computers, software, and consulting services?
We argue that it is real and it does matter, but only in some well-defined circumstances: it is not a universal solution or requirement to every problem. We provide a framework for determining where the Big Data applications are within your work and where traditional approaches apply.
Get this article as a PDF: When Big Data matters.
We continue working our way through the examples, case studies, and exercises of what is affectionately known here as “the two bears book” (Swedish björn = bear) and more formally as Non-Life Insurance Pricing with Generalized Linear Models by Esbjörn Ohlsson and Börn Johansson (Amazon UK | US).
At this stage, our purpose is to reproduce the analysis from the book using the R statistical computing and analysis platform, and to answer the data analysis elements of the exercises and case studies. Any critique of the approach and of pricing and modeling in the Insurance industry in general will wait for a later article.
Insurance pricing is backwards and primitive, harking back to an era before computers. One standard (and good) textbook on the topic is Non-Life Insurance Pricing with Generalized Linear Models by Esbjorn Ohlsson and Born Johansson. We have been doing some work in this area recently. Needing a robust internal training course and documented methodology, we have been working our way through the book again and converting the examples and exercises to R, the statistical computing and analysis platform. This is part of a series of posts containing elements of the R code.
They have finally pulled that buggy unreliable piece of code that was doSMP from the CRAN mirrors while (I hear) Revolutions are re-writing it. To use all your cores for analysis on the Windows platform, you can try doSNOW instead; my code is something like the fragment below. Neither option is as attractive as doMC on anything-but-Windows platforms, but sometimes you have to work with legacy systems.