Chapter 5 Advanced Analytics Theory and Methods: Association Rules

User Generated




Chapter 5 Advanced Analytics Theory and Methods: Association Rules

Please provide an example of how market basket analysis is used by companies. What is the value of it? How does it relate to Big Data?

Requirement: Note that the requirement is to post your initial response no later than 06/07 and you must post two additional post during the week by Sunday. I recommend your initial posting to be between 200-to-300 words. The replies to fellow students and to the professor should range between 100-to-150 words. All initial posts must contain a properly formatted in-text citation and scholarly reference.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Table of Contents 1. Introduction 1. EMC Academic Alliance 2. EMC Proven Professional Certification 2. Chapter 1: Introduction to Big Data Analytics 1. 1.1 Big Data Overview 2. 1.2 State of the Practice in Analytics 3. 1.3 Key Roles for the New Big Data Ecosystem 4. 1.4 Examples of Big Data Analytics 5. Summary 6. Exercises 7. Bibliography 3. Chapter 2: Data Analytics Lifecycle 1. 2.1 Data Analytics Lifecycle Overview 2. 2.2 Phase 1: Discovery 3. 2.3 Phase 2: Data Preparation 4. 2.4 Phase 3: Model Planning 5. 2.5 Phase 4: Model Building 6. 2.6 Phase 5: Communicate Results 7. 2.7 Phase 6: Operationalize 8. 2.8 Case Study: Global Innovation Network and Analysis (GINA) 9. Summary 10. Exercises 11. Bibliography 4. Chapter 3: Review of Basic Data Analytic Methods Using R 1. 3.1 Introduction to R 2. 3.2 Exploratory Data Analysis 3. 3.3 Statistical Methods for Evaluation 4. Summary 5. Exercises 6. Bibliography 5. Chapter 4: Advanced Analytical Theory and Methods: Clustering 1. 4.1 Overview of Clustering 2. 4.2 K-means 3. 4.3 Additional Algorithms 4. Summary 5. Exercises 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 6. Bibliography Chapter 5: Advanced Analytical Theory and Methods: Association Rules 1. 5.1 Overview 2. 5.2 Apriori Algorithm 3. 5.3 Evaluation of Candidate Rules 4. 5.4 Applications of Association Rules 5. 5.5 An Example: Transactions in a Grocery Store 6. 5.6 Validation and Testing 7. 5.7 Diagnostics 8. Summary 9. Exercises 10. Bibliography Chapter 6: Advanced Analytical Theory and Methods: Regression 1. 6.1 Linear Regression 2. 6.2 Logistic Regression 3. 6.3 Reasons to Choose and Cautions 4. 6.4 Additional Regression Models 5. Summary 6. Exercises Chapter 7: Advanced Analytical Theory and Methods: Classification 1. 7.1 Decision Trees 2. 7.2 Naïve Bayes 3. 7.3 Diagnostics of Classifiers 4. 7.4 Additional Classification Methods 5. Summary 6. Exercises 7. Bibliography Chapter 8: Advanced Analytical Theory and Methods: Time Series Analysis 1. 8.1 Overview of Time Series Analysis 2. 8.2 ARIMA Model 3. 8.3 Additional Methods 4. Summary 5. Exercises Chapter 9: Advanced Analytical Theory and Methods: Text Analysis 1. 9.1 Text Analysis Steps 2. 9.2 A Text Analysis Example 3. 9.3 Collecting Raw Text 11. 12. 13. 14. 4. 9.4 Representing Text 5. 9.5 Term Frequency—Inverse Document Frequency (TFIDF) 6. 9.6 Categorizing Documents by Topics 7. 9.7 Determining Sentiments 8. 9.8 Gaining Insights 9. Summary 10. Exercises 11. Bibliography Chapter 10: Advanced Analytics—Technology and Tools: MapReduce and Hadoop 1. 10.1 Analytics for Unstructured Data 2. 10.2 The Hadoop Ecosystem 3. 10.3 NoSQL 4. Summary 5. Exercises 6. Bibliography Chapter 11: Advanced Analytics—Technology and Tools: In-Database Analytics 1. 11.1 SQL Essentials 2. 11.2 In-Database Text Analysis 3. 11.3 Advanced SQL 4. Summary 5. Exercises 6. Bibliography Chapter 12: The Endgame, or Putting It All Together 1. 12.1 Communicating and Operationalizing an Analytics Project 2. 12.2 Creating the Final Deliverables 3. 12.3 Data Visualization Basics 4. Summary 5. Exercises 6. References and Further Reading 7. Bibliography End User License Agreement List of Illustrations 1. Figure 1.1 2. Figure 1.2 3. Figure 1.3 4. Figure 1.4 5. Figure 1.5 6. Figure 1.6 7. Figure 1.7 8. Figure 1.8 9. Figure 1.9 10. Figure 1.10 11. Figure 1.11 12. Figure 1.12 13. Figure 1.13 14. Figure 1.14 15. Figure 2.1 16. Figure 2.2 17. Figure 2.3 18. Figure 2.4 19. Figure 2.5 20. Figure 2.6 21. Figure 2.7 22. Figure 2.8 23. Figure 2.9 24. Figure 2.10 25. Figure 2.11 26. Figure 3.1 27. Figure 3.2 28. Figure 3.3 29. Figure 3.4 30. Figure 3.5 31. Figure 3.6 32. Figure 3.7 33. Figure 3.8 34. Figure 3.9 35. Figure 3.10 36. Figure 3.11 37. Figure 3.12 38. Figure 3.13 39. Figure 3.14 40. Figure 3.15 41. Figure 3.16 42. Figure 3.17 43. Figure 3.18 44. Figure 3.19 45. Figure 3.20 46. Figure 3.21 47. Figure 3.22 48. Figure 3.23 49. Figure 3.24 50. Figure 3.25 51. Figure 3.26 52. Figure 3.27 53. Figure 4.1 54. Figure 4.2 55. Figure 4.3 56. Figure 4.4 57. Figure 4.5 58. Figure 4.6 59. Figure 4.7 60. Figure 4.8 61. Figure 4.9 62. Figure 4.10 63. Figure 4.11 64. Figure 4.12 65. Figure 4.13 66. Figure 5.1 67. Figure 5.2 68. Figure 5.3 69. Figure 5.4 70. Figure 5.5 71. Figure 5.6 72. Figure 6.1 73. Figure 6.2 74. Figure 6.3 75. Figure 6.4 76. Figure 6.5 77. Figure 6.6 78. Figure 6.7 79. Figure 6.10 80. Figure 6.8 81. Figure 6.9 82. Figure 6.11 83. Figure 6.12 84. Figure 6.13 85. Figure 6.14 86. Figure 6.15 87. Figure 6.16 88. Figure 6.17 89. Figure 7.1 90. Figure 7.2 91. Figure 7.3 92. Figure 7.4 93. Figure 7.5 94. Figure 7.6 95. Figure 7.7 96. Figure 7.8 97. Figure 7.9 98. Figure 7.10 99. Figure 8.1 100. Figure 8.2 101. Figure 8.3 102. Figure 8.4 103. Figure 8.5 104. Figure 8.6 105. Figure 8.7 106. Figure 8.8 107. Figure 8.9 108. Figure 8.10 109. Figure 8.11 110. Figure 8.12 111. Figure 8.13 112. Figure 8.14 113. Figure 8.15 114. Figure 8.16 115. Figure 8.17 116. Figure 8.18 117. Figure 8.19 118. Figure 8.20 119. Figure 8.21 120. Figure 8.22 121. Figure 9.1 122. Figure 9.2 123. Figure 9.3 124. Figure 9.4 125. Figure 9.5 126. Figure 9.6 127. Figure 9.7 128. Figure 9.8 129. Figure 9.9 130. Figure 9.10 131. Figure 9.11 132. Figure 9.12 133. Figure 9.13 134. Figure 9.14 135. Figure 9.15 136. Figure 9.16 137. Figure 10.1 138. Figure 10.2 139. Figure 10.3 140. Figure 10.4 141. Figure 10.5 142. Figure 10.6 143. Figure 10.7 144. Figure 11.1 145. Figure 11.2 146. Figure 11.3 147. Figure 11.4 148. Figure 12.1 149. Figure 12.2 150. Figure 12.3 151. Figure 12.4 152. Figure 12.5 153. Figure 12.6 154. Figure 12.7 155. Figure 12.8 156. Figure 12.9 157. Figure 12.10 158. Figure 12.11 159. Figure 12.12 160. Figure 12.13 161. Figure 12.14 162. Figure 12.15 163. Figure 12.16 164. Figure 12.17 165. Figure 12.18 166. Figure 12.19 167. Figure 12.20 168. Figure 12.21 169. Figure 12.22 170. Figure 12.23 171. Figure 12.24 172. Figure 12.25 173. Figure 12.26 174. Figure 12.27 175. Figure 12.28 176. Figure 12.29 177. Figure 12.30 178. Figure 12.31 179. Figure 12.32 180. Figure 12.33 181. Figure 12.34 182. Figure 12.35 List of Tables 1. Table 1.1 2. Table 1.2 3. Table 2.1 4. Table 2.2 5. Table 2.3 6. Table 3.1 7. Table 3.2 8. Table 3.3 9. Table 3.4 10. Table 3.5 11. Table 3.6 12. Table 6.1 13. Table 7.1 14. Table 7.2 15. Table 7.3 16. Table 7.4 17. Table 7.5 18. Table 7.6 19. Table 7.7 20. Table 7.8 21. Table 8.1 22. Table 9.1 23. Table 9.2 24. Table 9.3 25. Table 9.4 26. Table 9.5 27. Table 9.6 28. Table 9.7 29. Table 10.1 30. Table 10.2 31. Table 11.1 32. Table 11.2 33. Table 11.3 34. Table 11.4 35. Table 12.1 36. Table 12.2 37. Table 12.3 Introduction Big Data is creating significant new opportunities for organizations to derive new value and create competitive advantage from their most valuable asset: information. For businesses, Big Data helps drive efficiency, quality, and personalized products and services, producing improved levels of customer satisfaction and profit. For scientific efforts, Big Data analytics enable new avenues of investigation with potentially richer results and deeper insights than previously available. In many cases, Big Data analytics integrate structured and unstructured data with real-time feeds and queries, opening new paths to innovation and insight. This book provides a practitioner’s approach to some of the key techniques and tools used in Big Data analytics. Knowledge of these methods will help people become active contributors to Big Data analytics projects. The book’s content is designed to assist multiple stakeholders: business and data analysts looking to add Big Data analytics skills to their portfolio; database professionals and managers of business intelligence, analytics, or Big Data groups looking to enrich their analytic skills; and college graduates investigating data science as a career field. The content is structured in twelve chapters. The first chapter introduces the reader to the domain of Big Data, the drivers for advanced analytics, and the role of the data scientist. The second chapter presents an analytic project lifecycle designed for the particular characteristics and challenges of hypothesis-driven analysis with Big Data. Chapter 3 examines fundamental statistical techniques in the context of the open source R analytic software environment. This chapter also highlights the importance of exploratory data analysis via visualizations and reviews the key notions of hypothesis development and testing. Chapters 4 through 9 discuss a range of advanced analytical methods, including clustering, classification, regression analysis, time series and text analysis. Chapters 10 and 11 focus on specific technologies and tools that support advanced analytics with Big Data. In particular, the MapReduce paradigm and its instantiation in the Hadoop ecosystem, as well as advanced topics in SQL and in-database text analytics form the focus of these chapters. Chapter 12 provides guidance on operationalizing Big Data analytics projects. This chapter focuses on creating the final deliverables, converting an analytics project to an ongoing asset of an organization’s operation, and creating clear, useful visual outputs based on the data. EMC Academic Alliance University and college faculties are invited to join the Academic Alliance program to access unique “open” curriculum-based education on the following topics: Data Science and Big Data Analytics Information Storage and Management Cloud Infrastructure and Services Backup Recovery Systems and Architecture The program provides faculty with course resources to prepare students for opportunities that exist in today’s evolving IT industry at no cost. For more information, visit EMC Proven Professional Certification EMC Proven Professional is a leading education and certification program in the IT industry, providing comprehensive coverage of information storage technologies, virtualization, cloud computing, data science/Big Data analytics, and more. Being proven means investing in yourself and formally validating your expertise. This book prepares you for Data Science Associate (EMCDSA) certification. Visit for details. Chapter 1 Introduction to Big Data Analytics Key Concepts 1. Big Data overview 2. State of the practice in analytics 3. Business Intelligence versus Data Science 4. Key roles for the new Big Data ecosystem 5. The Data Scientist 6. Examples of Big Data analytics Much has been written about Big Data and the need for advanced analytics within industry, academia, and government. Availability of new data sources and the rise of more complex analytical opportunities have created a need to rethink existing data architectures to enable analytics that take advantage of Big Data. In addition, significant debate exists about what Big Data is and what kinds of skills are required to make best use of it. This chapter explains several key concepts to clarify what is meant by Big Data, why advanced analytics are needed, how Data Science differs from Business Intelligence (BI), and what new roles are needed for the new Big Data ecosystem. 1.1 Big Data Overview Data is created constantly, and at an ever-increasing rate. Mobile phones, social media, imaging technologies to determine a medical diagnosis—all these and more create new data, and that must be stored somewhere for some purpose. Devices and sensors automatically generate diagnostic information that needs to be stored and processed in real time. Merely keeping up with this huge influx of data is difficult, but substantially more challenging is analyzing vast amounts of it, especially when it does not conform to traditional notions of data structure, to identify meaningful patterns and extract useful information. These challenges of the data deluge present the opportunity to transform business, government, science, and everyday life. Several industries have led the way in developing their ability to gather and exploit data: Credit card companies monitor every purchase their customers make and can identify fraudulent purchases with a high degree of accuracy using rules derived by processing billions of transactions. Mobile phone companies analyze subscribers’ calling patterns to determine, for example, whether a caller’s frequent contacts are on a rival network. If that rival network is offering an attractive promotion that might cause the subscriber to defect, the mobile phone company can proactively offer the subscriber an incentive to remain in her contract. For companies such as LinkedIn and Facebook, data itself is their primary product. The valuations of these companies are heavily derived from the data they gather and host, which contains more and more intrinsic value as the data grows. Three attributes stand out as defining Big Data characteristics: Huge volume of data: Rather than thousands or millions of rows, Big Data can be billions of rows and millions of columns. Complexity of data types and structures: Big Data reflects the variety of new data sources, formats, and structures, including digital traces being left on the web and other digital repositories for subsequent analysis. Speed of new data creation and growth: Big Data can describe high velocity data, with rapid data ingestion and near real time analysis. Although the volume of Big Data tends to attract the most attention, generally the variety and velocity of the data provide a more apt definition of Big Data. (Big Data is sometimes described as having 3 Vs: volume, variety, and velocity.) Due to its size or structure, Big Data cannot be efficiently analyzed using only traditional databases or methods. Big Data problems require new tools and technologies to store, manage, and realize the business benefit. These new tools and technologies enable creation, manipulation, and management of large datasets and the storage environments that house them. Another definition of Big Data comes from the McKinsey Global report from 2011:Big Data is data whose scale, distribution, diversity, and/or timeliness require the use of new technical architectures and analytics to enable insights that unlock new sources of business value. McKinsey & Co.; Big Data: The Next Frontier for Innovation, Competition, and Productivity [1] McKinsey’s definition of Big Data implies that organizations will need new data architectures and analytic sandboxes, new tools, new analytical methods, and an integration of multiple skills into the new role of the data scientist, which will be discussed in Section 1.3. Figure 1.1 highlights several sources of the Big Data deluge. Figure 1.1 What’s driving the data deluge The rate of data creation is accelerating, driven by many of the items in Figure 1.1. Social media and genetic sequencing are among the fastest-growing sources of Big Data and examples of untraditional sources of data being used for analysis. For example, in 2012 Facebook users posted 700 status updates per second worldwide, which can be leveraged to deduce latent interests or political views of users and show relevant ads. For instance, an update in which a woman changes her relationship status from “single” to “engaged” would trigger ads on bridal dresses, wedding planning, or name-changing services. Facebook can also construct social graphs to analyze which users are connected to each other as an interconnected network. In March 2013, Facebook released a new feature called “Graph Search,” enabling users and developers to search social graphs for people with similar interests, hobbies, and shared locations. Another example comes from genomics. Genetic sequencing and human genome mapping provide a detailed understanding of genetic makeup and lineage. The health care industry is looking toward these advances to help predict which illnesses a person is likely to get in his lifetime and take steps to avoid these maladies or reduce their impact through the use of personalized medicine and treatment. Such tests also highlight typical responses to different medications and pharmaceutical drugs, heightening risk awareness of specific drug treatments. While data has grown, the cost to perform this work has fallen dramatically. The cost to sequence one human genome has fallen from $100 million in 2001 to $10,000 in 2011, and the cost continues to drop. Now, websites such as 23andme (Figure 1.2) offer genotyping for less than $100. Although genotyping analyzes only a fraction of a genome and does not provide as much granularity as genetic sequencing, it does point to the fact that data and complex analysis is becoming more prevalent and less expensive to deploy. Figure 1.2 Examples of what can be learned through genotyping, from As illustrated by the examples of social media and genetic sequencing, individuals and organizations both derive benefits from analysis of ever-larger and more complex datasets that require increasingly powerful analytical capabilities. 1.1.1 Data Structures Big data can come in multiple forms, including structured and non-structured data such as financial data, text files, multimedia files, and genetic mappings. Contrary to much of the traditional data analysis performed by organizations, most of the Big Data is unstructured or semi-structured in nature, which requires different techniques and tools to process and analyze. [2] Distributed computing environments and massively parallel processing (MPP) architectures that enable parallelized data ingest and analysis are the preferred approach to process such complex data. With this in mind, this section takes a closer look at data structures. Figure 1.3 shows four types of data structures, with 80–90% of future data growth coming from non-structured data types. [2] Though different, the four are commonly mixed. For example, a classic Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) may store call logs for a software support call center. The RDBMS may store characteristics of the support calls as typical structured data, with attributes such as time stamps, machine type, problem type, and operating system. In addition, the system will likely have unstructured, quasi- or semi-structured data, such as free-form call log information taken from an e-mail ticket of the problem, customer chat history, or transcript of a phone call describing the technical problem and the solution or audio file of the phone call conversation. Many insights could be extracted from the unstructured, quasi- or semi-structured data in the call center data. Figure 1.3 Big Data Growth is increasingly unstructured Although analyzing structured data tends to be the most familiar technique, a different technique is required to meet the challenges to analyze semi-structured data (shown as XML), quasi-structured (shown as a clickstream), and unstructured data. Here are examples of how each of the four main types of data structures may look. Structured data: Data containing a defined data type, format, and structure (that is, transaction data, online analytical processing [OLAP] data cubes, traditional RDBMS, CSV files, and even simple spreadsheets). See Figure 1.4. Semi-structured data: Textual data files with a discernible pattern that enables parsing (such as Extensible Markup Language [XML] data files that are selfdescribing and defined by an XML schema). See Figure 1.5. Quasi-structured data: Textual data with erratic data formats that can be formatted with effort, tools, and time (for instance, web clickstream data that may contain inconsistencies in data values and formats). See Figure 1.6. Unstructured data: Data that has no inherent structure, which may include text documents, PDFs, images, and video. See Figure 1.7. Figure 1.4 Example of structured data Figure 1.5 Example of semi-structured data Figure 1.6 Example of EMC Data Science search results Figure 1.7 Example of unstructured data: video about Antarctica expedition [3] Quasi-structured data is a common phenomenon that bears closer scrutiny. Consider the following example. A user attends the EMC World conference and subsequently runs a Google search online to find information related to EMC and Data Science. This would produce a URL such as data+science and a list of results, such as in the first graphic of Figure 1.5. After doing this search, the user may choose the second link, to read more about the headline “Data Scientist—EMC Education, Training, and Certification.” This brings the user to an site focused on this topic and a new URL,, that displays the page shown as (2) in Figure 1.6. Arriving at this site, the user may decide to click to learn more about the process of becoming certified in data science. The user chooses a link toward the top of the page on Certifications, bringing the user to a new URL: which is (3) in Figure 1.6. Visiting these three websites adds three URLs to the log files monitoring the user’s computer or network use. These three URLs are: This set of three URLs reflects the websites and actions taken to find Data Science information related to EMC. Together, this comprises a clickstream that can be parsed and mined by data scientists to discover usage patterns and uncover relationships among clicks and areas of interest on a website or group of sites. The four data types described in this chapter are sometimes generalized into two groups: structured and unstructured data. Big Data describes new kinds of data with which most organizations may not be used to working. With this in mind, the next section discusses common technology architectures from the standpoint of someone wanting to analyze Big Data. 1.1.2 Analyst Perspective on Data Repositories The introduction of spreadsheets enabled business users to create simple logic on data structured in rows and columns and create their own analyses of business problems. Database administrator training is not required to create spreadsheets: They can be set up to do many things quickly and independently of information technology (IT) groups. Spreadsheets are easy to share, and end users have control over the logic involved. However, their proliferation can result in “many versions of the truth.” In other words, it can be challenging to determine if a particular user has the most relevant version of a spreadsheet, with the most current data and logic in it. Moreover, if a laptop is lost or a file becomes corrupted, the data and logic within the spreadsheet could be lost. This is an ongoing challenge because spreadsheet programs such as Microsoft Excel still run on many computers worldwide. With the proliferation of data islands (or spreadmarts), the need to centralize the data is more pressing than ever. As data needs grew, so did more scalable data warehousing solutions. These technologies enabled data to be managed centrally, providing benefits of security, failover, and a single repository where users could rely on getting an “official” source of data for financial reporting or other mission-critical tasks. This structure also enabled the creation of OLAP cubes and BI analytical tools, which provided quick access to a set of dimensions within an RDBMS. More advanced features enabled performance of in-depth analytical techniques such as regressions and neural networks. Enterprise Data Warehouses (EDWs) are critical for reporting and BI tasks and solve many of the problems that proliferating spreadsheets introduce, such as which of multiple versions of a spreadsheet is correct. EDWs—and a good BI strategy—provide direct data feeds from sources that are centrally managed, backed up, and secured. Despite the benefits of EDWs and BI, these systems tend to restrict the flexibility needed to perform robust or exploratory data analysis. With the EDW model, data is managed and controlled by IT groups and database administrators (DBAs), and data analysts must depend on IT for access and changes to the data schemas. This imposes longer lead times for analysts to get data; most of the time is spent waiting for approvals rather than starting meaningful work. Additionally, many times the EDW rules restrict analysts from building datasets. Consequently, it is common for additional systems to emerge containing critical data for constructing analytic datasets, managed locally by power users. IT groups generally dislike existence of data sources outside of their control because, unlike an EDW, these datasets are not managed, secured, or backed up. From an analyst perspective, EDW and BI solve problems related to data accuracy and availability. However, EDW and BI introduce new problems related to flexibility and agility, which were less pronounced when dealing with spreadsheets. A solution to this problem is the analytic sandbox, which attempts to resolve the conflict for analysts and data scientists with EDW and more formally managed corporate data. In this model, the IT group may still manage the analytic sandboxes, but they will be purposefully designed to enable robust analytics, while being centrally managed and secured. These sandboxes, often referred to as workspaces, are designed to enable teams to explore many datasets in a controlled fashion and are not typically used for enterpriselevel financial reporting and sales dashboards. Many times, analytic sandboxes enable high-performance computing using in-database processing—the analytics occur within the database itself. The idea is that performance of the analysis will be better if the analytics are run in the database itself, rather than bringing the data to an analytical tool that resides somewhere else. In-database analytics, discussed further in Chapter 11, “Advanced Analytics—Technology and Tools: In-Database Analytics,” creates relationships to multiple data sources within an organization and saves time spent creating these data feeds on an individual basis. In-database processing for deep analytics enables faster turnaround time for developing and executing new analytic models, while reducing, though not eliminating, the cost associated with data stored in local, “shadow” file systems. In addition, rather than the typical structured data in the EDW, analytic sandboxes can house a greater variety of data, such as raw data, textual data, and other kinds of unstructured data, without interfering with critical production databases. Table 1.1 summarizes the characteristics of the data repositories mentioned in this section. Table 1.1 Types of Data Repositories, from an Analyst Perspective Data Repository Spreadsheets and data marts (“spreadmarts”) Data Warehouses Analytic Sandbox (workspaces) Characteristics Spreadsheets and low-volume databases for recordkeeping Analyst depends on data extracts. Centralized data containers in a purpose-built space Supports BI and reporting, but restricts robust analyses Analyst dependent on IT and DBAs for data access and schema changes Analysts must spend significant time to get aggregated and disaggregated data extracts from multiple sources. Data assets gathered from multiple sources and technologies for analysis Enables flexible, high-performance analysis in a nonproduction environment; can leverage in-database processing Reduces costs and risks associated with data replication into “shadow” file systems “Analyst owned” rather than “DBA owned” There are several things to consider with Big Data Analytics projects to ensure the approach fits with the desired goals. Due to the characteristics of Big Data, these projects lend themselves to decision support for high-value, strategic decision making with high processing complexity. The analytic techniques used in this context need to be iterative and flexible, due to the high volume of data and its complexity. Performing rapid and complex analysis requires high throughput network connections and a consideration for the acceptable amount of latency. For instance, developing a real-time product recommender for a website imposes greater system demands than developing a near-realtime recommender, which may still provide acceptable performance, have slightly greater latency, and may be cheaper to deploy. These considerations require a different approach to thinking about analytics challenges, which will be explored further in the next section. 1.2 State of the Practice in Analytics Current business problems provide many opportunities for organizations to become more analytical and data driven, as shown in Table 1.2. Table 1.2 Business Drivers for Advanced Analytics Business Driver Optimize business operations Identify business risk Predict new business opportunities Comply with laws or regulatory requirements Examples Sales, pricing, profitability, efficiency Customer churn, fraud, default Upsell, cross-sell, best new customer prospects Anti-Money Laundering, Fair Lending, Basel II-III, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Table 1.2 outlines four categories of common business problems that organizations contend with where they have an opportunity to leverage advanced analytics to create competitive advantage. Rather than only performing standard reporting on these areas, organizations can apply advanced analytical techniques to optimize processes and derive more value from these common tasks. The first three examples do not represent new problems. Organizations have been trying to reduce customer churn, increase sales, and cross-sell customers for many years. What is new is the opportunity to fuse advanced analytical techniques with Big Data to produce more impactful analyses for these traditional problems. The last example portrays emerging regulatory requirements. Many compliance and regulatory laws have been in existence for decades, but additional requirements are added every year, which represent additional complexity and data requirements for organizations. Laws related to anti-money laundering (AML) and fraud prevention require advanced analytical techniques to comply with and manage properly. 1.2.1 BI Versus Data Science The four business drivers shown in Table 1.2 require a variety of analytical techniques to address them properly. Although much is written generally about analytics, it is important to distinguish between BI and Data Science. As shown in Figure 1.8, there are several ways to compare these groups of analytical techniques. Figure 1.8 Comparing BI with Data Science One way to evaluate the type of analysis being performed is to examine the time horizon and the kind of analytical approaches being used. BI tends to provide reports, dashboards, and queries on business questions for the current period or in the past. BI systems make it easy to answer questions related to quarter-to-date revenue, progress toward quarterly targets, and understand how much of a given product was sold in a prior quarter or year. These questions tend to be closed-ended and explain current or past behavior, typically by aggregating historical data and grouping it in some way. BI provides hindsight and some insight and generally answers questions related to “when” and “where” events occurred. By comparison, Data Science tends to use disaggregated data in a more forward-looking, exploratory way, focusing on analyzing the present and enabling informed decisions about the future. Rather than aggregating historical data to look at how many of a given product sold in the previous quarter, a team may employ Data Science techniques such as time series analysis, further discussed in Chapter 8, “Advanced Analytical Theory and Methods: Time Series Analysis,” to forecast future product sales and revenue more accurately than extending a simple trend line. In addition, Data Science tends to be more exploratory in nature and may use scenario optimization to deal with more open-ended questions. This approach provides insight into current activity and foresight into future events, while generally focusing on questions related to “how” and “why” events occur. Where BI problems tend to require highly structured data organized in rows and columns for accurate reporting, Data Science projects tend to use many types of data sources, including large or unconventional datasets. Depending on an organization’s goals, it may choose to embark on a BI project if it is doing reporting, creating dashboards, or performing simple visualizations, or it may choose Data Science projects if it needs to do a more sophisticated analysis with disaggregated or varied datasets. 1.2.2 Current Analytical Architecture As described earlier, Data Science projects need workspaces that are purpose-built for experimenting with data, with flexible and agile data architectures. Most organizations still have data warehouses that provide excellent support for traditional reporting and simple data analysis activities but unfortunately have a more difficult time supporting more robust analyses. This section examines a typical analytical data architecture that may exist within an organization. Figure 1.9 shows a typical data architecture and several of the challenges it presents to data scientists and others trying to do advanced analytics. This section examines the data flow to the Data Scientist and how this individual fits into the process of getting data to analyze on projects. 1. For data sources to be loaded into the data warehouse, data needs to be well understood, structured, and normalized with the appropriate data type definitions. Although this kind of centralization enables security, backup, and failover of highly critical data, it also means that data typically must go through significant preprocessing and checkpoints before it can enter this sort of controlled environment, which does not lend itself to data exploration and iterative analytics. 2. As a result of this level of control on the EDW, additional local systems may emerge in the form of departmental warehouses and local data marts that business users create to accommodate their need for flexible analysis. These local data marts may not have the same constraints for security and structure as the main EDW and allow users to do some level of more in-depth analysis. However, these one-off systems reside in isolation, often are not synchronized or integrated with other data stores, and may not be backed up. 3. Once in the data warehouse, data is read by additional applications across the enterprise for BI and reporting purposes. These are high-priority operational processes getting critical data feeds from the data warehouses and repositories. 4. At the end of this workflow, analysts get data provisioned for their downstream analytics. Because users generally are not allowed to run custom or intensive analytics on production databases, analysts create data extracts from the EDW to analyze data offline in R or other local analytical tools. Many times these tools are limited to in-memory analytics on desktops analyzing samples of data, rather than the entire population of a dataset. Because these analyses are based on data extracts, they reside in a separate location, and the results of the analysis—and any insights on the quality of the data or anomalies—rarely are fed back into the main data repository. Figure 1.9 Typical analytic architecture Because new data sources slowly accumulate in the EDW due to the rigorous validation and data structuring process, data is slow to move into the EDW, and the data schema is slow to change. Departmental data warehouses may have been originally designed for a specific purpose and set of business needs, but over time evolved to house more and more data, some of which may be forced into existing schemas to enable BI and the creation of OLAP cubes for analysis and reporting. Although the EDW achieves the objective of reporting and sometimes the creation of dashboards, EDWs generally limit the ability of analysts to iterate on the data in a separate nonproduction environment where they can conduct in-depth analytics or perform analysis on unstructured data. The typical data architectures just described are designed for storing and processing mission-critical data, supporting enterprise applications, and enabling corporate reporting activities. Although reports and dashboards are still important for organizations, most traditional data architectures inhibit data exploration and more sophisticated analysis. Moreover, traditional data architectures have several additional implications for data scientists. High-value data is hard to reach and leverage, and predictive analytics and data mining activities are last in line for data. Because the EDWs are designed for central data management and reporting, those wanting data for analysis are generally prioritized after operational processes. Data moves in batches from EDW to local analytical tools. This workflow means that data scientists are limited to performing in-memory analytics (such as with R, SAS, SPSS, or Excel), which will restrict the size of the datasets they can use. As such, analysis may be subject to constraints of sampling, which can skew model accuracy. Data Science projects will remain isolated and ad hoc, rather than centrally managed. The implication of this isolation is that the organization can never harness the power of advanced analytics in a scalable way, and Data Science projects will exist as nonstandard initiatives, which are frequently not aligned with corporate business goals or strategy. All these symptoms of the traditional data architecture result in a slow “time-to-insight” and lower business impact than could be achieved if the data were more readily accessible and supported by an environment that promoted advanced analytics. As stated earlier, one solution to this problem is to introduce analytic sandboxes to enable data scientists to perform advanced analytics in a controlled and sanctioned way. Meanwhile, the current Data Warehousing solutions continue offering reporting and BI services to support management and mission-critical operations. 1.2.3 Drivers of Big Data To better understand the market drivers related to Big Data, it is helpful to first understand some past history of data stores and the kinds of repositories and tools to manage these data stores. As shown in Figure 1.10, in the 1990s the volume of information was often measured in terabytes. Most organizations analyzed structured data in rows and columns and used relational databases and data warehouses to manage large stores of enterprise information. The following decade saw a proliferation of different kinds of data sources—mainly productivity and publishing tools such as content management repositories and networked attached storage systems—to manage this kind of information, and the data began to increase in size and started to be measured at petabyte scales. In the 2010s, the information that organizations try to manage has broadened to include many other kinds of data. In this era, everyone and everything is leaving a digital footprint. Figure 1.10 shows a summary perspective on sources of Big Data generated by new applications and the scale and growth rate of the data. These applications, which generate data volumes that can be measured in exabyte scale, provide opportunities for new analytics and driving new value for organizations. The data now comes from multiple sources, such as these: Medical information, such as genomic sequencing and diagnostic imaging Photos and video footage uploaded to the World Wide Web Video surveillance, such as the thousands of video cameras spread across a city Mobile devices, which provide geospatial location data of the users, as well as metadata about text messages, phone calls, and application usage on smart phones Smart devices, which provide sensor-based collection of information from smart electric grids, smart buildings, and many other public and industry infrastructures Nontraditional IT devices, including the use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) readers, GPS navigation systems, and seismic processing Figure 1.10 Data evolution and rise of Big Data sources The Big Data trend is generating an enormous amount of information from many new sources. This data deluge requires advanced analytics and new market players to take advantage of these opportunities and new market dynamics, which will be discussed in the following section. 1.2.4 Emerging Big Data Ecosystem and a New Approach to Analytics Organizations and data collectors are realizing that the data they can gather from individuals contains intrinsic value and, as a result, a new economy is emerging. As this new digital economy continues to evolve, the market sees the introduction of data vendors and data cleaners that use crowdsourcing (such as Mechanical Turk and GalaxyZoo) to test the outcomes of machine learning techniques. Other vendors offer added value by repackaging open source tools in a simpler way and bringing the tools to market. Vendors such as Cloudera, Hortonworks, and Pivotal have provided this value-add for the open source framework Hadoop. As the new ecosystem takes shape, there are four main groups of players within this interconnected web. These are shown in Figure 1.11. Data devices [shown in the (1) section of Figure 1.11] and the “Sensornet” gather data from multiple locations and continuously generate new data about this data. For each gigabyte of new data created, an additional petabyte of data is created about that data. [2] For example, consider someone playing an online video game through a PC, game console, or smartphone. In this case, the video game provider captures data about the skill and levels attained by the player. Intelligent systems monitor and log how and when the user plays the game. As a consequence, the game provider can fine-tune the difficulty of the game, suggest other related games that would most likely interest the user, and offer additional equipment and enhancements for the character based on the user’s age, gender, and interests. This information may get stored locally or uploaded to the game provider’s cloud to analyze the gaming habits and opportunities for upsell and cross-sell, and identify archetypical profiles of specific kinds of users. Smartphones provide another rich source of data. In addition to messaging and basic phone usage, they store and transmit data about Internet usage, SMS usage, and real-time location. This metadata can be used for analyzing traffic patterns by scanning the density of smartphones in locations to track the speed of cars or the relative traffic congestion on busy roads. In this way, GPS devices in cars can give drivers real-time updates and offer alternative routes to avoid traffic delays. Retail shopping loyalty cards record not just the amount an individual spends, but the locations of stores that person visits, the kinds of products purchased, the stores where goods are purchased most often, and the combinations of products purchased together. Collecting this data provides insights into shopping and travel habits and the likelihood of successful advertisement targeting for certain types of retail promotions. Data collectors [the blue ovals, identified as (2) within Figure 1.11] include sample entities that collect data from the device and users. Data results from a cable TV provider tracking the shows a person watches, which TV channels someone will and will not pay for to watch on demand, and the prices someone is willing to pay for premium TV content Retail stores tracking the path a customer takes through their store while pushing a shopping cart with an RFID chip so they can gauge which products get the most foot traffic using geospatial data collected from the RFID chips Data aggregators (the dark gray ovals in Figure 1.11, marked as (3)) make sense of the data collected from the various entities from the “SensorNet” or the “Internet of Things.” These organizations compile data from the devices and usage patterns collected by government agencies, retail stores, and websites. In turn, they can choose to transform and package the data as products to sell to list brokers, who may want to generate marketing lists of people who may be good targets for specific ad campaigns. Data users and buyers are denoted by (4) in Figure 1.11. These groups directly benefit from the data collected and aggregated by others within the data value chain. Retail banks, acting as a data buyer, may want to know which customers have the highest likelihood to apply for a second mortgage or a home equity line of credit. To provide input for this analysis, retail banks may purchase data from a data aggregator. This kind of data may include demographic information about people living in specific locations; people who appear to have a specific level of debt, yet still have solid credit scores (or other characteristics such as paying bills on time and having savings accounts) that can be used to infer credit worthiness; and those who are searching the web for information about paying off debts or doing home remodeling projects. Obtaining data from these various sources and aggregators will enable a more targeted marketing campaign, which would have been more challenging before Big Data due to the lack of information or high-performing technologies. Using technologies such as Hadoop to perform natural language processing on unstructured, textual data from social media websites, users can gauge the reaction to events such as presidential campaigns. People may, for example, want to determine public sentiments toward a candidate by analyzing related blogs and online comments. Similarly, data users may want to track and prepare for natural disasters by identifying which areas a hurricane affects first and how it moves, based on which geographic areas are tweeting about it or discussing it via social media. Figure 1.11 Emerging Big Data ecosystems As illustrated by this emerging Big Data ecosystem, the kinds of data and the related market dynamics vary greatly. These datasets can include sensor data, text, structured datasets, and social media. With this in mind, it is worth recalling that these datasets will not work well within traditional EDWs, which were architected to streamline reporting and dashboards and be centrally managed. Instead, Big Data problems and projects require different approaches to succeed. Analysts need to partner with IT and DBAs to get the data they need within an analytic sandbox. A typical analytical sandbox contains raw data, aggregated data, and data with multiple kinds of structure. The sandbox enables robust exploration of data and requires a savvy user to leverage and take advantage of data in the sandbox environment. 1.3 Key Roles for the New Big Data Ecosystem As explained in the context of the Big Data ecosystem in Section 1.2.4, new players have emerged to curate, store, produce, clean, and transact data. In addition, the need for applying more advanced analytical techniques to increasingly complex business problems has driven the emergence of new roles, new technology platforms, and new analytical methods. This section explores the new roles that address these needs, and subsequent chapters explore some of the analytical methods and technology platforms. The Big Data ecosystem demands three categories of roles, as shown in Figure 1.12. These roles were described in the McKinsey Global study on Big Data, from May 2011 [1]. Figure 1.12 Key roles of the new Big Data ecosystem The first group—Deep Analytical Talent— is technically savvy, with strong analytical skills. Members possess a combination of skills to handle raw, unstructured data and to apply complex analytical techniques at massive scales. This group has advanced training in quantitative disciplines, such as mathematics, statistics, and machine learning. To do their jobs, members need access to a robust analytic sandbox or workspace where they can perform large-scale analytical data experiments. Examples of current professions fitting into this group include statisticians, economists, mathematicians, and the new role of the Data Scientist. The McKinsey study forecasts that by the year 2018, the United States will have a talent gap of 140,000–190,000 people with deep analytical talent. This does not represent the number of people needed with deep analytical talent; rather, this range represents the difference between what will be available in the workforce compared with what will be needed. In addition, these estimates only reflect forecasted talent shortages in the United States; the number would be much larger on a global basis. The second group—Data Savvy Professionals—has less technical depth but has a basic knowledge of statistics or machine learning and can define key questions that can be answered using advanced analytics. These people tend to have a base knowledge of working with data, or an appreciation for some of the work being performed by data scientists and others with deep analytical talent. Examples of data savvy professionals include financial analysts, market research analysts, life scientists, operations managers, and business and functional managers. The McKinsey study forecasts the projected U.S. talent gap for this group to be 1.5 million people by the year 2018. At a high level, this means for every Data Scientist profile needed, the gap will be ten times as large for Data Savvy Professionals. Moving toward becoming a data savvy professional is a critical step in broadening the perspective of managers, directors, and leaders, as this provides an idea of the kinds of questions that can be solved with data. The third category of people mentioned in the study is Technology and Data Enablers. This group represents people providing technical expertise to support analytical projects, such as provisioning and administrating analytical sandboxes, and managing large-scale data architectures that enable widespread analytics within companies and other organizations. This role requires skills related to computer engineering, programming, and database administration. These three groups must work together closely to solve complex Big Data challenges. Most organizations are familiar with people in the latter two groups mentioned, but the first group, Deep Analytical Talent, tends to be the newest role for most and the least understood. For simplicity, this discussion focuses on the emerging role of the Data Scientist. It describes the kinds of activities that role performs and provides a more detailed view of the skills needed to fulfill that role. There are three recurring sets of activities that data scientists perform: Reframe business challenges as analytics challenges. Specifically, this is a skill to diagnose business problems, consider the core of a given problem, and determine which kinds of candidate analytical methods can be applied to solve it. This concept is explored further in Chapter 2, “Data Analytics Lifecycle.” Design, implement, and deploy statistical models and data mining techniques on Big Data. This set of activities is mainly what people think about when they consider the role of the Data Scientist: namely, applying complex or advanced analytical methods to a variety of business problems using data. Chapter 3 through Chapter 11 of this book introduces the reader to many of the most popular analytical techniques and tools in this area. Develop insights that lead to actionable recommendations. It is critical to note that applying advanced methods to data problems does not necessarily drive new business value. Instead, it is important to learn how to draw insights out of the data and communicate them effectively. Chapter 12, “The Endgame, or Putting It All Together,” has a brief overview of techniques for doing this. Data scientists are generally thought of as having five main sets of skills and behavioral characteristics, as shown in Figure 1.13: Quantitative skill: such as mathematics or statistics Technical aptitude: namely, software engineering, machine learning, and programming skills Skeptical mind-set and critical thinking: It is important that data scientists can examine their work critically rather than in a one-sided way. Curious and creative: Data scientists are passionate about data and finding creative ways to solve problems and portray information. Communicative and collaborative: Data scientists must be able to articulate the business value in a clear way and collaboratively work with other groups, including project sponsors and key stakeholders. Figure 1.13 Profile of a Data Scientist Data scientists are generally comfortable using this blend of skills to acquire, manage, analyze, and visualize data and tell compelling stories about it. The next section includes examples of what Data Science teams have created to drive new value or innovation with Big Data. 1.4 Examples of Big Data Analytics After describing the emerging Big Data ecosystem and new roles needed to support its growth, this section provides three examples of Big Data Analytics in different areas: retail, IT infrastructure, and social media. As mentioned earlier, Big Data presents many opportunities to improve sales and marketing analytics. An example of this is the U.S. retailer Target. Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit [4] discusses how Target used Big Data and advanced analytical methods to drive new revenue. After analyzing consumer-purchasing behavior, Target’s statisticians determined that the retailer made a great deal of money from three main lifeevent situations. Marriage, when people tend to buy many new products Divorce, when people buy new products and change their spending habits Pregnancy, when people have many new things to buy and have an urgency to buy them Target determined that the most lucrative of these life-events is the third situation: pregnancy. Using data collected from shoppers, Target was able to identify this fact and predict which of its shoppers were pregnant. In one case, Target knew a female shopper was pregnant even before her family knew [5]. This kind of knowledge allowed Target to offer specific coupons and incentives to their pregnant shoppers. In fact, Target could not only determine if a shopper was pregnant, but in which month of pregnancy a shopper may be. This enabled Target to manage its inventory, knowing that there would be demand for specific products and it would likely vary by month over the coming nine- to tenmonth cycles. Hadoop [6] represents another example of Big Data innovation on the IT infrastructure. Apache Hadoop is an open source framework that allows companies to process vast amounts of information in a highly parallelized way. Hadoop represents a specific implementation of the MapReduce paradigm and was designed by Doug Cutting and Mike Cafarella in 2005 to use data with varying structures. It is an ideal technical framework for many Big Data projects, which rely on large or unwieldy datasets with unconventional data structures. One of the main benefits of Hadoop is that it employs a distributed file system, meaning it can use a distributed cluster of servers and commodity hardware to process large amounts of data. Some of the most common examples of Hadoop implementations are in the social media space, where Hadoop can manage transactions, give textual updates, and develop social graphs among millions of users. Twitter and Facebook generate massive amounts of unstructured data and use Hadoop and its ecosystem of tools to manage this high volume. Hadoop and its ecosystem are covered in Chapter 10, “Advanced Analytics—Technology and Tools: MapReduce and Hadoop.” Finally, social media represents a tremendous opportunity to leverage social and professional interactions to derive new insights. LinkedIn exemplifies a company in which data itself is the product. Early on, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman saw the opportunity to create a social network for working professionals. As of 2014, LinkedIn has more than 250 million user accounts and has added many additional features and data-related products, such as recruiting, job seeker tools, advertising, and InMaps, which show a social graph of a user’s professional network. Figure 1.14 is an example of an InMap visualization that enables a LinkedIn user to get a broader view of the interconnectedness of his contacts and understand how he knows most of them. Figure 1.14 Data visualization of a user’s social network using InMaps Summary Big Data comes from myriad sources, including social media, sensors, the Internet of Things, video surveillance, and many sources of data that may not have been considered data even a few years ago. As businesses struggle to keep up with changing market requirements, some companies are finding creative ways to apply Big Data to their growing business needs and increasingly complex problems. As organizations evolve their processes and see the opportunities that Big Data can provide, they try to move beyond traditional BI activities, such as using data to populate reports and dashboards, and move toward Data Science- driven projects that attempt to answer more open-ended and complex questions. However, exploiting the opportunities that Big Data presents requires new data architectures, including analytic sandboxes, new ways of working, and people with new skill sets. These drivers are causing organizations to set up analytic sandboxes and build Data Science teams. Although some organizations are fortunate to have data scientists, most are not, because there is a growing talent gap that makes finding and hiring data scientists in a timely manner difficult. Still, organizations such as those in web retail, health care, genomics, new IT infrastructures, and social media are beginning to take advantage of Big Data and apply it in creative and novel ways. Exercises 1. What are the three characteristics of Big Data, and what are the main considerations in processing Big Data? 2. What is an analytic sandbox, and why is it important? 3. Explain the differences between BI and Data Science. 4. Describe the challenges of the current analytical architecture for data scientists. 5. What are the key skill sets and behavioral characteristics of a data scientist? Bibliography 1. [1] C. B. B. D. Manyika, “Big Data: The Next Frontier for Innovation, Competition, and Productivity,” McKinsey Global Institute, 2011. 2. [2] D. R. John Gantz, “The Digital Universe in 2020: Big Data, Bigger Digital Shadows, and Biggest Growth in the Far East,” IDC, 2013. 3. [3] [Online]. 4. [4] C. Duhigg, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, New York: Random House, 2012. 5. [5] K. Hill, “How Target Figured Out a Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did,” Forbes, February 2012. 6. [6] [Online]. Chapter 2 Data Analytics Lifecycle Key Concepts 1. Discovery 2. Data preparation 3. Model planning 4. Model execution 5. Communicate results 6. Operationalize Data science projects differ from most traditional Business Intelligence projects and many data analysis projects in that data science projects are more exploratory in nature. For this reason, it is critical to have a process to govern them and ensure that the participants are thorough and rigorous in their approach, yet not so rigid that the process impedes exploration. Many problems that appear huge and daunting at first can be broken down into smaller pieces or actionable phases that can be more easily addressed. Having a good process ensures a comprehensive and repeatable method for conducting analysis. In addition, it helps focus time and energy early in the process to get a clear grasp of the business problem to be solved. A common mistake made in data science projects is rushing into data collection and analysis, which precludes spending sufficient time to plan and scope the amount of work involved, understanding requirements, or even framing the business problem properly. Consequently, participants may discover mid-stream that the project sponsors are actually trying to achieve an objective that may not match the available data, or they are attempting to address an interest that differs from what has been explicitly communicated. When this happens, the project may need to revert to the initial phases of the process for a proper discovery phase, or the project may be canceled. Creating and documenting a process helps demonstrate rigor, which provides additional credibility to the project when the data science team shares its findings. A well-defined process also offers a common framework for others to adopt, so the methods and analysis can be repeated in the future or as new members join a team. 2.1 Data Analytics Lifecycle Overview The Data Analytics Lifecycle is designed specifically for Big Data problems and data science projects. The lifecycle has six phases, and project work can occur in several phases at once. For most phases in the lifecycle, the movement can be either forward or backward. This iterative depiction of the lifecycle is intended to more closely portray a real project, in which aspects of the project move forward and may return to earlier stages as new information is uncovered and team members learn more about various stages of the project. This enables participants to move iteratively through the process and drive toward operationalizing the project work. 2.1.1 Key Roles for a Successful Analytics Project In recent years, substantial attention has been placed on the emerging role of the data scientist. In October 2012, Harvard Business Review featured an article titled “Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century” [1], in which experts DJ Patil and Tom Davenport described the new role and how to find and hire data scientists. More and more conferences are held annually focusing on innovation in the areas of Data Science and topics dealing with Big Data. Despite this strong focus on the emerging role of the data scientist specifically, there are actually seven key roles that need to be fulfilled for a highfunctioning data science team to execute analytic projects successfully. Figure 2.1 depicts the various roles and key stakeholders of an analytics project. Each plays a critical part in a successful analytics project. Although seven roles are listed, fewer or more people can accomplish the work depending on the scope of the project, the organizational structure, and the skills of the participants. For example, on a small, versatile team, these seven roles may be fulfilled by only 3 people, but a very large project may require 20 or more people. The seven roles follow. Business User: Someone who understands the domain area and usually benefits from the results. This person can consult and advise the project team on the context of the project, the value of the results, and how the outputs will be operationalized. Usually a business analyst, line manager, or deep subject matter expert in the project domain fulfills this role. Project Sponsor: Responsible for the genesis of the project. Provides the impetus and requirements for the project and defines the core business problem. Generally provides the funding and gauges the degree of value from the final outputs of the working team. This person sets the priorities for the project and clarifies the desired outputs. Project Manager: Ensures that key milestones and objectives are met on time and at the expected quality. Business Intelligence Analyst: Provides business domain expertise based on a deep understanding of the data, key performance indicators (KPIs), key metrics, and business intelligence from a reporting perspective. Business Intelligence Analysts generally create dashboards and reports and have knowledge of the data feeds and sources. Database Administrator (DBA): Provisions and configures the database environment to support the analytics needs of the working team. These responsibilities may include providing access to key databases or tables and ensuring the appropriate security levels are in place related to the data repositories. Data Engineer: Leverages deep technical skills to assist with tuning SQL queries for data management and data extraction, and provides support for data ingestion into the analytic sandbox, which was discussed in Chapter 1, “Introduction to Big Data Analytics.” Whereas the DBA sets up and configures the databases to be used, the data engineer executes the actual data extractions and performs substantial data manipulation to facilitate the analytics. The data engineer works closely with the data scientist to help shape data in the right ways for analyses. Data Scientist: Provides subject matter expertise for analytical techniques, data modeling, and applying valid analytical techniques to given business problems. Ensures overall analytics objectives are met. Designs and executes analytical methods and approaches with the data available to the project. Figure 2.1 Key roles for a successful analytics project Although most of these roles are not new, the last two roles—data engineer and data scientist—have become popular and in high demand [2] as interest in Big Data has grown. 2.1.2 Background and Overview of Data Analytics Lifecycle The Data Analytics Lifecycle defines analytics process best practices spanning discovery to project completion. The lifecycle draws from established methods in the realm of data analytics and decision science. This synthesis was developed after gathering input from data scientists and consulting established approaches that provided input on pieces of the process. Several of the processes that were consulted include these: Scientific method [3], in use for centuries, still provides a solid framework for thinking about and deconstructing problems into their principal parts. One of the most valuable ideas of the scientific method relates to forming hypotheses and finding ways to test ideas. CRISP-DM [4] provides useful input on ways to frame analytics problems and is a popular approach for data mining. Tom Davenport’s DELTA framework [5]: The DELTA framework offers an approach for data analytics projects, including the context of the organization’s skills, datasets, and leadership engagement. Doug Hubbard’s Applied Information Economics (AIE) approach [6]: AIE provides a framework for measuring intangibles and provides guidance on developing decision models, calibrating expert estimates, and deriving the expected value of information. “MAD Skills” by Cohen et al. [7] offers input for several of the techniques mentioned in Phases 2–4 that focus on model planning, execution, and key findings. Figure 2.2 presents an overview of the Data Analytics Lifecycle that includes six phases. Teams commonly learn new things in a phase that cause them to go back and refine the work done in prior phases based on new insights and information that have been uncovered. For this reason, Figure 2.2 is shown as a cycle. The circular arrows convey iterative movement between phases until the team members have sufficient information to move to the next phase. The callouts include sample questions to ask to help guide whether each of the team members has enough information and has made enough progress to move to the next phase of the process. Note that these phases do not represent formal stage gates; rather, they serve as criteria to help test whether it makes sense to stay in the current phase or move to the next. Figure 2.2 Overview of Data Analytics Lifecycle Here is a brief overview of the main phases of the Data Analytics Lifecycle: Phase 1—Discovery: In Phase 1, the team learns the business domain, including relevant history such as whether the organization or business unit has attempted similar projects in the past from which they can learn. The team assesses the resources available to support the project in terms of people, technology, time, and data. Important activities in this phase include framing the business problem as an analytics challenge that can be addressed in subsequent phases and formulating initial hypotheses (IHs) to test and begin learning the data. Phase 2—Data preparation: Phase 2 requires the presence of an analytic sandbox, in which the team can work with data and perform analytics for the duration of the project. The team needs to execute extract, load, and transform (ELT) or extract, transform and load (ETL) to get data into the sandbox. The ELT and ETL are sometimes abbreviated as ETLT. Data should be transformed in the ETLT process so the team can work with it and analyze it. In this phase, the team also needs to familiarize itself with the data thoroughly and take steps to condition the data (Section 2.3.4). Phase 3—Model planning: Phase 3 is model planning, where the team determines the methods, techniques, and workflow it intends to follow for the subsequent model building phase. The team explores the data to learn about the relationships between variables and subsequently selects key variables and the most suitable models. Phase 4—Model building: In Phase 4, the team develops datasets for testing, training, and production purposes. In addition, in this phase the team builds and executes models based on the work done in the model planning phase. The team also considers whether its existing tools will suffice for running the models, or if it will need a more robust environment for executing models and workflows (for example, fast hardware and parallel processing, if applicable). Phase 5—Communicate results: In Phase 5, the team, in collaboration with major stakeholders, determines if the results of the project are a success or a failure based on the criteria developed in Phase 1. The team should identify key findings, quantify the business value, and develop a narrative to summarize and convey findings to stakeholders. Phase 6—Operationalize: In Phase 6, the team delivers final reports, briefings, code, and technical documents. In addition, the team may run a pilot project to implement the models in a production environment. Once team members have run models and produced findings, it is critical to frame these results in a way that is tailored to the audience that engaged the team. Moreover, it is critical to frame the results of the work in a manner that demonstrates clear value. If the team performs a technically accurate analysis but fails to translate the results into a language that resonates with the audience, people will not see the value, and much of the time and effort on the project will have been wasted. The rest of the chapter is organized as follows. Sections 2.2–2.7 discuss in detail how each of the six phases works, and Section 2.8 shows a case study of incorporating the Data Analytics Lifecycle in a real-world data science project. 2.2 Phase 1: Discovery The first phase of the Data Analytics Lifecycle involves discovery (Figure 2.3). In this phase, the data science team must learn and investigate the problem, develop context and understanding, and learn about the data sources needed and available for the project. In addition, the team formulates initial hypotheses that can later be tested with data. Figure 2.3 Discovery phase 2.2.1 Learning the Business Domain Understanding the domain area of the problem is essential. In many cases, data scientists will have deep computational and quantitative knowledge that can be broadly applied across many disciplines. An example of this role would be someone with an advanced degree in applied mathematics or statistics. These data scientists have deep knowledge of the methods, techniques, and ways for applying heuristics to a variety of business and conceptual problems. Others in this area may have deep knowledge of a domain area, coupled with quantitative expertise. An example of this would be someone with a Ph.D. in life sciences. This person would have deep knowledge of a field of study, such as oceanography, biology, or genetics, with some depth of quantitative knowledge. At this early stage in the process, the team needs to determine how much business or domain knowledge the data scientist needs to develop models in Phases 3 and 4. The earlier the team can make this assessment the better, because the decision helps dictate the resources needed for the project team and ensures the team has the right balance of domain knowledge and technical expertise. 2.2.2 Resources As part of the discovery phase, the team needs to assess the resources available to support the project. In this context, resources include technology, tools, systems, data, and people. During this scoping, consider the available tools and technology the team will be using and the types of systems needed for later phases to operationalize the models. In addition, try to evaluate the level of analytical sophistication within the organization and gaps that may exist related to tools, technology, and skills. For instance, for the model being developed to have longevity in an organization, consider what types of skills and roles will be required that may not exist today. For the project to have long-term success, what types of skills and roles will be needed for the recipients of the model being developed? Does the requisite level of expertise exist within the organization today, or will it need to be cultivated? Answering these questions will influence the techniques the team selects and the kind of implementation the team chooses to pursue in subsequent phases of the Data Analytics Lifecycle. In addition to the skills and computing resources, it is advisable to take inventory of the types of data available to the team for the project. Consider if the data available is sufficient to support the project’s goals. The team will need to determine whether it must collect additional data, purchase it from outside sources, or transform existing data. Often, projects are started looking only at the data available. When the data is less than hoped for, the size and scope of the project is reduced to work within the constraints of the existing data. An alternative approach is to consider the long-term goals of this kind of project, without being constrained by the current data. The team can then consider what data is needed to reach the long-term goals and which pieces of this multistep journey can be achieved today with the existing data. Considering longer-term goals along with short-term goals enables teams to pursue more ambitious projects and treat a project as the first step of a more strategic initiative, rather than as a standalone initiative. It is critical to view projects as part of a longer-term journey, especially if executing projects in an organization that is new to Data Science and may not have embarked on the optimum datasets to support robust analyses up to this point. Ensure the project team has the right mix of domain experts, customers, analytic talent, and project management to be effective. In addition, evaluate how much time is needed and if the team has the right breadth and depth of skills. After taking inventory of the tools, technology, data, and people, consider if the team has sufficient resources to succeed on this project, or if additional resources are needed. Negotiating for resources at the outset of the project, while scoping the goals, objectives, and feasibility, is generally more useful than later in the process and ensures sufficient time to execute it properly. Project managers and key stakeholders have better success negotiating for the right resources at this stage rather than later once the project is underway. 2.2.3 Framing the Problem Framing the problem well is critical to the success of the project. Framing is the process of stating the analytics problem to be solved. At this point, it is a best practice to write down the problem statement and share it with the key stakeholders. Each team member may hear slightly different things related to the needs and the problem and have somewhat different ideas of possible solutions. For these reasons, it is crucial to state the analytics problem, as well as why and to whom it is important. Essentially, the team needs to clearly articulate the current situation and its main challenges. As part of this activity, it is important to identify the main objectives of the project, identify what needs to be achieved in business terms, and identify what needs to be done to meet the needs. Additionally, consider the objectives and the success criteria for the project. What is the team attempting to achieve by doing the project, and what will be considered “good enough” as an outcome of the project? This is critical to document and share with the project team and key stakeholders. It is best practice to share the statement of goals and success criteria with the team and confirm alignment with the project sponsor’s expectations. Perhaps equally important is to establish failure criteria. Most people doing projects prefer only to think of the success criteria and what the conditions will look like when the participants are successful. However, this is almost taking a best-case scenario approach, assuming that everything will proceed as planned and the project team will reach its goals. However, no matter how well planned, it is almost impossible to plan for everything that will emerge in a project. The failure criteria will guide the team in understanding when it is best to stop trying or settle for the results that have been gleaned from the data. Many times people will continue to perform analyses past the point when any meaningful insights can be drawn from the data. Establishing criteria for both success and failure helps the participants avoid unproductive effort and remain aligned with the project sponsors 2.2.4 Identifying Key Stakeholders Another important step is to identify the key stakeholders and their interests in the project. During these discussions, the team can identify the success criteria, key risks, and stakeholders, which should include anyone who will benefit from the project or will be significantly impacted by the project. When interviewing stakeholders, learn about the domain area and any relevant history from similar analytics projects. For example, the team may identify the results each stakeholder wants from the project and the criteria it will use to judge the success of the project. Keep in mind that the analytics project is being initiated for a reason. It is critical to articulate the pain points as clearly as possible to address them and be aware of areas to pursue or avoid as the team gets further into the analytical process. Depending on the number of stakeholders and participants, the team may consider outlining the type of activity and participation expected from each stakeholder and participant. This will set clear expectations with the participants and avoid delays later when, for example, the team may feel it needs to wait for approval from someone who views himself as an adviser rather than an approver of the work product. 2.2.5 Interviewing the Analytics Sponsor The team should plan to collaborate with the stakeholders to clarify and frame the analytics problem. At the outset, project sponsors may have a predetermined solution that may not necessarily realize the desired outcome. In these cases, the team must use its knowledge and expertise to identify the true underlying problem and appropriate solution. For instance, suppose in the early phase of a project, the team is told to create a recommender system for the business and that the way to do this is by speaking with three people and integrating the product recommender into a legacy corporate system. Although this may be a valid approach, it is important to test the assumptions and develop a clear understanding of the problem. The data science team typically may have a more objective understanding of the problem set than the stakeholders, who may be suggesting solutions to a given problem. Therefore, the team can probe deeper into the context and domain to clearly define the problem and propose possible paths from the problem to a desired outcome. In essence, the data science team can take a more objective approach, as the stakeholders may have developed biases over time, based on their experience. Also, what may have been true in the past may no longer be a valid working assumption. One possible way to circumvent this issue is for the project sponsor to focus on clearly defining the requirements, while the other members of the data science team focus on the methods needed to achieve the goals. When interviewing the main stakeholders, the team needs to take time to thoroughly interview the project sponsor, who tends to be the one funding the project or providing the high-level requirements. This person understands the problem and usually has an idea of a potential working solution. It is critical to thoroughly understand the sponsor’s perspective to guide the team in getting started on the project. Here are some tips for interviewing project sponsors: Prepare for the interview; draft questions, and review with colleagues. Use open-ended questions; avoid asking leading questions. Probe for details and pose follow-up questions. Avoid filling every silence in the conversation; give the other person time to think. Let the sponsors express their ideas and ask clarifying questions, such as “Why? Is that correct? Is this idea on target? Is there anything else?” Use active listening techniques; repeat back what was heard to make sure the team heard it correctly, or reframe what was said. Try to avoid expressing the team’s opinions, which can introduce bias; instead, focus on listening. Be mindful of the body language of the interviewers and stakeholders; use eye contact where appropriate, and be attentive. Minimize distractions. Document what the team heard, and review it with the sponsors. Following is a brief list of common questions that are helpful to ask during the discovery phase when interviewing the project sponsor. The responses will begin to shape the scope of the project and give the team an idea of the goals and objectives of the project. What business problem is the team trying to solve? What is the desired outcome of the project? What data sources are available? What industry issues may impact the analysis? What timelines need to be considered? Who could provide insight into the project? Who has final decision-making authority on the project? How will the focus and scope of the problem change if the following dimensions change: Time: Analyzing 1 year or 10 years’ worth of data? People: Assess impact of changes in resources on project timeline. Risk: Conservative to aggressive Resources: None to unlimited (tools, technology, systems) Size and attributes of data: Including internal and external data sources 2.2.6 Developing Initial Hypotheses Developing a set of IHs is a key facet of the discovery phase. This step involves forming ideas that the team can test with data. Generally, it is best to come up with a few primary hypotheses to test and then be creative about developing several more. These IHs form the basis of the analytical tests the team will use in later phases and serve as the foundation for the findings in Phase 5. Hypothesis testing from a statistical perspective is covered in greater detail in Chapter 3, “Review of Basic Data Analytic Methods Using R.” In this way, the team can compare its answers with the outcome of an experiment or test to generate additional possible solutions to problems. As a result, the team will have a much richer set of observations to choose from and more choices for agreeing upon the most impactful conclusions from a project. Another part of this process involves gathering and assessing hypotheses from stakeholders and domain experts who may have their own perspective on what the problem is, what the solution should be, and how to arrive at a solution. These stakeholders would know the domain area well and can offer suggestions on ideas to test as the team formulates hypotheses during this phase. The team will likely collect many ideas that may illuminate the operating assumptions of the stakeholders. These ideas will also give the team opportunities to expand the project scope into adjacent spaces where it makes sense or design experiments in a meaningful way to address the most important interests of the stakeholders. As part of this exercise, it can be useful to obtain and explore some initial data to inform discussions with stakeholders during the hypothesis-forming stage. 2.2.7 Identifying Potential Data Sources As part of the discovery phase, identify the kinds of data the team will need to solve the problem. Consider the volume, type, and time span of the data needed to test the hypotheses. Ensure that the team can access more than simply aggregated data. In most cases, the team will need the raw data to avoid introducing bias for the downstream analysis. Recalling the characteristics of Big Data from Chapter 1, assess the main characteristics of the data, with regard to its volume, variety, and velocity of change. A thorough diagnosis of the data situation will influence the kinds of tools and techniques to use in Phases 2-4 of the Data Analytics Lifecycle. In addition, performing data exploration in this phase will help the team determine the amount of data needed, such as the amount of historical data to pull from existing systems and the data structure. Develop an idea of the scope of the data needed, and validate that idea with the domain experts on the project. The team should perform five main activities during this step of the discovery phase: Identify data sources: Make a list of candidate data sources the team may need to test the initial hypotheses outlined in this phase. Make an inventory of the datasets currently available and those that can be purchased or otherwise acquired for the tests the team wants to perform. Capture aggregate data sources: This is for previewing the data and providing high-level understanding. It enables the team to gain a quick overview of the data and perform further exploration on specific areas. It also points the team to possible areas of interest within the data. Review the raw data: Obtain preliminary data from initial data feeds. Begin understanding the interdependencies among the data attributes, and become familiar with the content of the data, its quality, and its limitations. Evaluate the data structures and tools needed: The data type and structure dictate which tools the team can use to analyze the data. This evaluation gets the team thinking about which technologies may be good candidates for the project and how to start getting access to these tools. Scope the sort of data infrastructure needed for this type of problem: In addition to the tools needed, the data influences the kind of infrastructure that’s required, such as disk storage and network capacity. Unlike many traditional stage-gate processes, in which the team can advance only when specific criteria are met, the Data Analytics Lifecycle is intended to accommodate more ambiguity. This more closely reflects how data science projects work in real-life situations. For each phase of the process, it is recommended to pass certain checkpoints as a way of gauging whether the team is ready to move to the next phase of the Data Analytics Lifecycle. The team can move to the next phase when it has enough information to draft an analytics plan and share it for peer review. Although a peer review of the plan may not actually be required by the project, creating the plan is a good test of the team’s grasp of the business problem and the team’s approach to addressing it. Creating the analytic plan also requires a clear understanding of the domain area, the problem to be solved, and scoping of the data sources to be used. Developing success criteria early in the project clarifies the problem definition and helps the team when it comes time to make choices about the analytical methods being used in later phases. 2.3 Phase 2: Data Preparation The second phase of the Data Analytics Lifecycle involves data preparation, which includes the steps to explore, preprocess, and condition data prior to modeling and analysis. In this phase, the team needs to create a robust environment in which it can explore the data that is separate from a production environment. Usually, this is done by preparing an analytics sandbox. To get the data into the sandbox, the team needs to perform ETLT, by a combination of extracting, transforming, and loading data into the sandbox. Once the data is in the sandbox, the team needs to learn about the data and become familiar with it. Understanding the data in detail is critical to the success of the project. The team also must decide how to condition and transform data to get it into a format to facilitate subsequent analysis. The team may perform data visualizations to help team members understand the data, including its trends, outliers, and relationships among data variables. Each of these steps of the data preparation phase is discussed throughout this section. Data preparation tends to be the most labor-intensive step in the analytics lifecycle. In fact, it is common for teams to spend at least 50% of a data science project’s time in this critical phase. If the team cannot obtain enough data of sufficient quality, it may be unable to perform the subsequent steps in the lifecycle process. Figure 2.4 shows an overview of the Data Analytics Lifecycle for Phase 2. The data preparation phase is generally the most iterative and the one that teams tend to underestimate most often. This is because most teams and leaders are anxious to begin analyzing the data, testing hypotheses, and getting answers to some of the questions posed in Phase 1. Many tend to jump into Phase 3 or Phase 4 to begin rapidly developing models and algorithms without spending the time to prepare the data for modeling. Consequently, teams come to realize the data they are working with does not allow them to execute the models they want, and they end up back in Phase 2 anyway. Figure 2.4 Data preparation phase 2.3.1 Preparing the Analytic Sandbox The first subphase of data preparation requires the team to obtain an analytic sandbox (also commonly referred to as a workspace), in which the team can explore the data without interfering with live production databases. Consider an example in which the team needs to work with a company’s financial data. The team should access a copy of the financial data from the analytic sandbox rather than interacting with the production version of the organization’s main database, because that will be tightly controlled and needed for financial reporting. When developing the analytic sandbox, it is a best practice to collect all kinds of data there, as team members need access to high volumes and varieties of data for a Big Data analytics project. This can include everything from summary-level aggregated data, structured data, raw data feeds, and unstructured text data from call logs or web logs, depending on the kind of analysis the team plans to undertake. This expansive approach for attracting data of all kind differs considerably from the approach advocated by many information technology (IT) organizations. Many IT groups provide access to only a particular subsegment of the data for a specific purpose. Often, the mindset of the IT group is to provide the minimum amount of data required to allow the team to achieve its objectives. Conversely, the data science team wants access to everything. From its perspective, more data is better, as oftentimes data science projects are a mixture of purpose-driven analyses and experimental approaches to test a variety of ideas. In this context, it can be challenging for a data science team if it has to request access to each and every dataset and attribute one at a time. Because of these differing views on data access and use, it is critical for the data science team to collaborate with IT, make clear what it is trying to accomplish, and align goals. During these discussions, the data science team needs to give IT a justification to develop an analytics sandbox, which is separate from the traditional IT-governed data warehouses within an organization. Successfully and amicably balancing the needs of both the data science team and IT requires a positive working relationship between multiple groups and data owners. The payoff is great. The analytic sandbox enables organizations to undertake more ambitious data science projects and move beyond doing traditional data analysis and Business Intelligence to perform more robust and advanced predictive analytics. Expect the sandbox to be large. It may contain raw data, aggregated data, and other data types that are less commonly used in organizations. Sandbox size can vary greatly depending on the project. A good rule is to plan for the sandbox to be at least 5–10 times the size of the original datasets, partly because copies of the data may be created that serve as specific tables or data stores for specific kinds of analysis in the project. Although the concept of an analytics sandbox is relatively new, companies are making progress in this area and are finding ways to offer sandboxes and workspaces where teams can access datasets and work in a way that is acceptable to both the data science teams and the IT groups. 2.3.2 Performing ETLT As the team looks to begin data transformations, make sure the analytics sandbox has ample bandwidth and reliable network connections to the underlying data sources to enable uninterrupted read and write. In ETL, users perform extract, transform, load processes to extract data from a datastore, perform data transformations, and load the data back into the datastore. However, the analytic sandbox approach differs slightly; it advocates extract, load, and then transform. In this case, the data is extracted in its raw form and loaded into the datastore, where analysts can choose to transform the data into a new state or leave it in its original, raw condition. The reason for this approach is that there is significant value in preserving the raw data and including it in the sandbox before any transformations take place. For instance, consider an analysis for fraud detection on credit card usage. Many times, outliers in this data population can represent higher-risk transactions that may be indicative of fraudulent credit card activity. Using ETL, these outliers may be inadvertently filtered out or transformed and cleaned before being loaded into the datastore. In this case, the very data that would be needed to evaluate instances of fraudulent activity would be inadvertently cleansed, preventing the kind of analysis that a team would want to do. Following the ELT approach gives the team access to clean data to analyze after the data has been loaded into the database and gives access to the data in its original form for finding hidden nuances in the data. This approach is part of the reason that the analytic sandbox can quickly grow large. The team may want clean data and aggregated data and may need to keep a copy of the original data to compare against or look for hidden patterns that may have existed in the data before the cleaning stage. This process can be summarized as ETLT to reflect the fact that a team may choose to perform ETL in one case and ELT in another. Depending on the size and number of the data sources, the team may need to consider how to parallelize the movement of the datasets into the sandbox. For this purpose, moving large amounts of data is sometimes referred to as Big ETL. The data movement can be parallelized by technologies such as Hadoop or MapReduce, which will be explained in greater detail in Chapter 10, “Advanced Analytics—Technology and Tools: MapReduce and Hadoop.” At this point, keep in mind that these technologies can be used to perform parallel data ingest and introduce a huge number of files or datasets in parallel in a very short period of time. Hadoop can be useful for data loading as well as for data analysis in subsequent phases. Prior to moving the data into the analytic sandbox, determine the transformations that need to be performed on the data. Part of this phase involves assessing data quality and structuring the datasets properly so they can be used for robust analysis in subsequent phases. In addition, it is important to consider which data the team will have access to and which new data attributes will need to be derived in the data to enable analysis. As part of the ETLT step, it is advisable to make an inventory of the data and compare the data currently available with datasets the team needs. Performing this sort of gap analysis provides a framework for understanding which datasets the team can take advantage of today and where the team needs to initiate projects for data collection or access to new datasets currently unavailable. A component of this subphase involves extracting data from the available sources and determining data connections for raw data, online transaction processing (OLTP) databases, online analytical processing (OLAP) cubes, or other data feeds. Application programming interface (API) is an increasingly popular way to access a data source [8]. Many websites and social network applications now provide APIs that offer access to data to support a project or supplement the datasets with which a team is working. For example, connecting to the Twitter API can enable a team to download millions of tweets to perform a project for sentiment analysis on a product, a company, or an idea. Much of the Twitter data is publicly available and can augment other datasets used on the project. 2.3.3 Learning About the Data A critical aspect of a data science project is to become familiar with the data itself. Spending time to learn the nuances of the datasets provides context to understand what constitutes a reasonable value and expected output versus what is a surprising finding. In addition, it is important to catalog the data sources that the team has access to and identify additional data sources that the team can leverage but perhaps does not have access to today. Some of the activities in this step may overlap with the initial investigation of the datasets that occur in the discovery phase. Doing this activity accomplishes several goals. Clarifies the data that the data science team has access to at the start of the project Highlights gaps by identifying datasets within an organization that the team may find useful but may not be accessible to the team today. As a consequence, this activity can trigger a project to begin building relationships with the data owners and finding ways to share data in appropriate ways. In addition, this activity may provide an impetus to begin collecting new data that benefits the organization or a specific longterm project. Identifies datasets outside the organization that may be useful to obtain, through open APIs, data sharing, ...
Purchase answer to see full attachment
User generated content is uploaded by users for the purposes of learning and should be used following Studypool's honor code & terms of service.

Explanation & Answer



Your name
Instructor’s name
Date of submission




Market Basket Analysis is a scientific technique used by the retailers in determining
customer behavior and identifying the relationships between the products which are bought by
the customers. One of the examples of the Market Basket Analysis is where a custom...

Great! 10/10 would recommend using Studypool to help you study.


Similar Content

Related Tags