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Statistics, Data Science, and Data Mining Discussion Thread (Business Intelligence, Analytics, etc)

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by amathew, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. amathew

    amathew Distinguished Member

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    When I specified "type" of question, I was merely referencing that FA and PCA were options for a given type of question. For example, to find the indicators of job satisfaction from survey responses. I always considered FA to be an extension of PCA, but that the two were separate techniques. Both FA and PCA use different estimation procedures to identify the structure underlying a dataset. Given that I never use FA or PCA and have a limited working knowledge of both, I'm going to take the easy route and suggest that you have a look at the following link.
    http://stats.stackexchange.com/ques...ctor-analysis-and-principal-component-analysi

    In regards to your comparison to MR...MR is the analytical technique and least squares, partial least squares, maximum likelihood estimation, etc are the estimation techniques. I don't think of stepwise regression as an estimation technique but a variable reduction technique. Stepwise can be implemented using backwards or forwards selection, but it's not directly related to the MR estimation process...once again, stepwise is something that I don't use, so don't hold me to it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014

  2. amathew

    amathew Distinguished Member

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    How do you handle communicating complex statistical ideas to people? And how does one get better at it?

    I was recently criticized for this after a presentation where I talked about testing for causality and counterfactual analysis without properly describing what that was in very plain terms. Basically, I was told I should try to explain this in such a way that a 5 yr old would understand.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2015

  3. clee1982

    clee1982 Stylish Dinosaur

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    I remember my old adviser use to tell me a joke

    In academia if you present something and people can't understand then people assume they're stupid
    In industry if you present something and people fail to understand they assume you're stupid

    I think everyone who is technical have the same problem (myself included).
     

  4. kindalonely

    kindalonely Member

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    This happens a lot, and I am reluctant to change how I present my findings. Some mathematical maturity is certainly required to correctly interpret my work, and when my audience doesn't have that, I wonder why I am presenting in front of them at all. Obviously in a business setting they don't need to know how the key theorems I use can be proven, but I expect them to be able to understand the statements of the theorems. Theorem A says B, and because of B we have C. It's OK that they've not heard of A (I am sure a lot of practitioners don't know ergodic theory or Wold decomposition), but they should be able to understand B (after I have stated B!) for the meeting to be worthwhile.

    When the audience lacks the prerequisites to understand the topic or and methods (e.g. they don't know what t-stats are!), then perhaps all they are looking for is just a plot in Tableau.

    But then I just do what my boss asks me to, and I end up in a meeting full of non-sequiturs and inaccurate/wrong claims. It is not that I cannot communicate complex ideas in simple terms, but to replace that one mathematical term I may have to introduce paragraphs and paragraphs of simple ideas to make the statement correct.

    When I do coding work the problem is less irritating. I have used this and that for my applications to be able to communicate with each other, and you think applications are somehow born with the ability to 'talk'. People may wonder why it is taking you so long to accomplish a goal that can be stated in one sentence. At least the results are the same, even though your bonus is not.
     

  5. clee1982

    clee1982 Stylish Dinosaur

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    Don't want to sound too harsh but I think that's "your" problem. When I was younger I used to be somewhat cynical, i.e. I think the only way to correctly present mathematical idea is to give the full pictures, everything else is a "compromise" or half baked truth, but in reality is at the end of the day people wants conclusion and base on evidence they can understand.
     

  6. kindalonely

    kindalonely Member

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    Oh you misunderstood me. My point was that the techniques you use should be accessible. If it's a non-technical audience, just use visualization (e.g. plotting it in Tableau). If it's an OK audience (e.g. math/physics majors), go ahead and present your findings. If it's a bunch of technical PhD's, write it up and send the paper to them. You should only need to dumb things down when you re-present your work to a different audience.
     

  7. amathew

    amathew Distinguished Member

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    So I quit my job about 2.5 months ago and have since had eight job offers for everything from data scientist to business analyst roles. Job market
    is insane right now. Of course, I turned down all eight of them and am holding out for something at a tech start-up or ad-tech company in the midwest. Being
    picky, but after my last employer, I almost have to be.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2015

  8. brokencycle

    brokencycle Stylish Dinosaur Moderator

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    I see you're in Minneapolis too. The unemployment rate around here is near zero. Every retailer I go into is hiring, and I even saw a billboard truck driving around advertising $11/hr to work at Home Depot.
     

  9. Reggs

    Reggs Distinguished Member

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    EDIT: nevermind
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015

  10. horndog

    horndog Distinguished Member

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    My company is hiring a Data Scientist, someone with a strong stats background, if anyone is interested. DC area, Federal Healthcare IT (Centers for Medicare Medicaid services) contractor mainly.
     

  11. amathew

    amathew Distinguished Member

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    Reviving this, though there doesn't seem to be much interest around stats or similar positions here on SF.

    I've since left my old job to be a statistician (data scientist) at a tech company in the Bay Area. Have moved back
    to a lot of stuff that interests me like time series analysis, market response models, splines, and causal inference. Fun
    times...
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017

  12. otc

    otc Stylish Dinosaur

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    Hadooping that big data through the cloud with your synthetic control methods?
     

  13. amathew

    amathew Distinguished Member

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    Ha...I'm in the medium sized data world thankfully, Makes life a lot easier
     

  14. clee1982

    clee1982 Stylish Dinosaur

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    I work on small data in the world, just millions... Though the dimension we end up chopping them into make it hard...
     

  15. Sir Humphrey Appleby

    Sir Humphrey Appleby Distinguished Member

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    Is the job market there still that hot?
     

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