Friday, 8 July 2011

The Power of Twitter and Analyst First

I don't use twitter, but it must be important as I have just bought a new Panasonic DVD player that can connect to the internet - but the only things you can seem to do are look at Twitter, YouTube, Picasso and the Weather. I also watched a presentation from a colleague recently and every 10 seconds these little messages kept popping up on his screen saying who had tweeted what. Not being  Twitter user I had not seen this before, but it makes you realise that information exchange is instantaneous these days.

I am saying this as I had another big spike in views of this blog, in a specific half hour. Being a data miner and generally curious chap I obviously wanted to know what was the cause of this, or more precisely, if I had the skills to find out what the cause was.

The plot below shows the spike...

and it occurred in a specific half hour exactly 19 hours ago...

and a look at the web stats for the day pointed me to the source...

and then a search of Twitter pointed me to the guilty party...

Note this was tweeted exactly 19 hours ago, the exact time the spike occurred.

Now this is all very interesting you may say, but so what?

My point is that you need a curious mind to be a good data scientist - not expensive software.

In business today, those who make the decisions think that buying the most expensive analytic software is going to solve all the problems know to man, and you can pluck any monkey out to use it. To me this is putting the cart before the horse. If you want the best results, this could not be further from the truth. You need to spend money on the best analysts first and then think about the software.

I am currently 2nd in the HHP leaderboard, and have not used  any software that was not freely available or written by myself to generate my predictions (except for some commercial compilers bought years ago and maybe Windows if you count that).

There is a new movement called Analyast First that has started up here in Australia. If you are an analytic manager I recommend watching the video below.

Analyst First 101

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