NOV 2, 2010 10:05am ET

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Levels of Measurement for BI


One of the first things you learn in introductory statistics is about levels of measurement. Statisticians identify four such levels, nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio, each of which in turn provides more precise information.

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Comments (1)
This is a very good article Mr. Miller, and I found it very relevant. I am interested in picking up some data mining skills for an upcoming project, and have no intention of taking a class. I have a background in math and have a high level understanding of multi-variate statistics, classification, and other machine learning techniques. My background and experience working with data are sufficient enough though for me to recognize truth of what you are saying, and the pitfalls that lay within as a result for naive users.

I looked at the Witten Data Mining book referenced in your article and the reviews, and based on the reviews, it looks like a book I that I would buy to get up to speed on data mining. A chill ran down my spine when I read the reviews though, when I considered the implications of what you were discussing in your article, and the naivete exhibited by the computer-science-type reviewers.

I then looked at Harrell paper also referenced in your article, and I remembered why I would be more likely to pick up my data mining skills from a book such as Witten's then from more rigorous literature. As true as the Harrell paper is, it isn't very accessible and is rich in domain specific jargon. Granted it is a paper presented at a conference, and his points on ignoring information are relevant across the board - from national security intelligence to business intelligence.

My question is this: What background or reading material would you recommend for semi-literate, but still naive users to avoid this and what I am sure are legion - similar pitfalls?



Posted by Ed F | Friday, November 05 2010 at 7:48AM ET
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