December 3, 2009

8 rules for Better Predictions: sage advice from Nate Silver

I was not able to attend the recent SPSS directions conference in Las Vegas, but my boss Josh Birkholz was. He returned with some great ideas regarding the new software developments, and also raved about keynote speaker Nate Silver.

Of course to many of us data junkies, Silver is a "household" name for his incredible prediction of 2008 election outcomes (at the presidential, and congressional, and state levels). Modeling something complex as voting choices so accurately has rightfully given Silver great respect within the analytics community. At SPSS Directions, he offered his 8 rules for data mining and modeling, regardless of the field or scope.

I was very happy to read that he stressed "knowing the truth". While many of us often enter projects with specfic goals or outcomes, it is always important to be honest with and true to, the data we have.

I also enjoyed his rule "visualize when in doubt". This is a simple rule I often forget in my own work, and it can provide opportunities for alternative and fresh perspectives on either problems encountered in the modeling process, or the results.

Nate Silver will be someone to keep an eye for years to come in the analytics industry. Be sure to keep an eye out for his book sometime in 2010.

8 Rules for Better Predictions SPSS Directions '09: Statistician Nate Silver shared his tips for successful data analysis predictions.

LAS VEGAS — Nate Silver dove headfirst into the world of data analysis -- and used SPSS, an IBM company's offerings -- at a young age. When he was nine years old, Silver and his father sat down during a rainy day while on vacation in Maine to figure out what attracted people to go to Major League Baseball games.

"Oddly enough, your chances of filling a stadium are greater if you have a good team," he quipped to the crowd on day two of SPSS Directions North American Conference, the predictive analytics company's annual user conference.

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Blogger Unknown said...

So, for those of us who missed it... what is Ockham's Funnel?

December 4, 2009 at 4:41 PM  

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