Steve Miller

Steve Miller is co-founder of a Chicago-based analytics and business intelligence services firm Inquidia, formerly OpenBI, that specializes in delivering analytic solutions with both open source and commercial technologies. Miller has more than 30 years of experience in intelligence and analytics, having migrated from health care program evaluation, to database consulting with Oracle Corporation, to running a fast-growing BI services business at Braun Consulting. Advances in technology over that time have fundamentally enabled the use of quantitative methods for business differentiation. OpenBI, LLC, is all about helping customers attain that differentiation. You can reach him at

Recent Stories From this Author

Containing Big Data: What Size is Your Suitcase?
January 12, 2017 I'm convinced that some companies not so secretly wish to be big data, even when they're not.

More on Statistics vs Data Science
December 14, 2016 Statistical models, which emphasize inference driven from underlying or “generative” probability distributions, are concerned...

Reviewing the Book "Tools for Smart Thinking"
July 1, 2016 In the ten years I've been writing for Information Management, the topic of sound and unsound thinking is right at the top of...

Making a Return Visit to Macro-Econometrics
June 3, 2016 It's been quite a while since I studied econometrics, but as I've glanced at leading texts over the years, I've been struck by...

Data, Algorithms – And Designs
April 26, 2016 Explanatory predictive modeling in search of cause and effect is pervasive in academics, but probably less so now in the...

Pounded by Paula at Strata + Hadoop World
April 7, 2016 I sat in the back of the cavernous meeting hall for the second day of Strata + Hadoop World keynotes, unknowingly minimizing...

Lessons From Strata Tuesday
March 31, 2016 On Monday, I made my way to San Jose for Strata-Hadoop World. I've been to all six Stratas in Silicon Valley, the first four...

Developers vs Data Scientists - Different Approaches to a Common Goal
March 9, 2016 Over the last month or so, I've assembled a few scripts to showcase the web-scraping capabilities of R and python.

Books To Love: 'Regression Modeling Strategies, Second Edition'
February 19, 2016 A no-nonsense modeling practitioner, Harrell is less credulous than many machine learning advocates, and is particularly adept...

Interviewing for Data Scientists
January 29, 2016 A few weeks ago, a piece entitled “R Programming: 35 Job Interview Questions and Answers” caught my eye. I wanted to see how...

After 50 Years, What Is Data Science, Really?
January 13, 2016 The point of departure for "50 Years of Data Science" is the current squabble in the data industry as to whether data science...

Getting Surveys to Say Most Anything You Want
December 29, 2015 The problems with online surveys in business are not unlike those with web-based polling in politics. Even as the percentage...

Data, Design or Algorithms?
December 10, 2015 The acquisition, conditioning, and curation of data are the most significant challenges in data science, says blogger Steve...

Categorizing Numeric Variables -- a Cautionary Tale
November 11, 2015 Three takeaways from Frank's Harrell's lectures I've always kept close are to be attentive to both non-linearity and...

College Soccer and Analytics
October 13, 2015 How data and graphs can give you a unique view of the game.

Understanding Analytics Maintenance
September 17, 2015 Take a closer look at your software, and you'll understand the simultaneous needs of both maintenance and new application...

R for Data Science with Hadley Wickham
August 26, 2015 Like many, prolific developer Hadley Wickham acknowledges that R isn't the perfect language, but argues convincingly for its...

Predictive Analytics and Data Science: Same or Different?
August 6, 2015 Customers sometimes don't see the dividing line. But I sure do.

Politics and Analytics, Oh My
July 17, 2015 A warning for 2016: Be wary of policy-based evidence-making from the candidates. Leave the debates to data scientists?

R Cheat Sheets from RStudio
July 1, 2015 Just as RStudio has become the de facto development environment for the R community, so has RMarkdown become the preferred...

R/Finance 2015 Delivers the Goods
June 10, 2015 Highlights from the seventh annual conference of applied finance using R.

Predictive Analytics or Data Science?
June 3, 2015 Blog: What's the difference -- if any? Here's one answer.

Overcoming My Data Science Conflict
May 20, 2015 Do the explanatory and predictive worlds of data science conflict with each other? Here's how I resolved my own internal debate.

Causal Modeling for Data Science
May 7, 2015 Why big data is valueless without theories and the statistical models to test and interpret them.

Open Source Business Intelligence: Then and Now
April 24, 2015 We've come a long way since the early days of open source BI. Here's a look at the evolution and the true value-add.

Business Analytics and Forecasting: Revisited
April 9, 2015 If you're an analytics professional seeking a trusty forecasting toolkit then look no further than right here.

Hypothesis Testing & Experimenting in Business
March 26, 2015 Translating entrepreneurship and strategy to theory, hypotheses and testing resonates well with a data-driven mindset.

My Favorite Models
March 11, 2015 As in: A few favorite supervised learning models -- according to experts attending Strata+Hadoop World.

Big Data Until the Cows Come Home
February 27, 2015 Strata + Hadoop World is in the books. Here's what I saw, heard and learned -- including a most compelling keynote from...

Economics and Data Science
January 23, 2015 Using big data, can a new breed of high-tech economist really emerge?

Data Science And Statistics: Colleges Must Evolve
January 7, 2015 College statistics curricula must expand faster into the data and computation areas.

Cheat Sheets for Data Science
December 23, 2014 Ten years ago, I carried multiple cheat sheets in my backpack. Now, with all the support available in flexibly-queryable...

Ruby and R
December 12, 2014 Ruby's more than just a scripting language, as Rails web developers will assuredly attest

The MIT Analytics Imperative
November 12, 2014 I've finally gotten around to reading The Analysis Mandate.

Defining Data Scientists & Their Tools
November 4, 2014 My thoughts of the day involve reactions to two blog entries. The first is titled, “Data Scientists Must Also Be Research...

Pentaho, Cloudera Executives See Bigger Data Opportunities
October 21, 2014 Pentaho's CEO and Cloudera's Chief Strategy Officer share their vision for where Big Data, Hadoop and more are heading next.

data.table University
October 14, 2014 I look forward to the continued development of data.table as a go-to analytics solution in my data science tool chest

Freaky Data Science
September 25, 2014 Practical freak advice pertinent for data science

What is Data Science – Again?
September 15, 2014 A look at some disparate definitions of data science

Learning About Statistical Learning
September 4, 2014 Blogger Steve Miller encourages statistical newbies looking to discover the correct way to develop/deploy the latest in...

A Spark for Analytics
August 22, 2014 Apache Spark may become the preferred analytics development platform for Hadoop.

Data Science and Computational Public Policy at the UofC
August 12, 2014 The University of Chicago is indeed making moves in data science

Evidence-Based Policy-Making or Policy-Based Evidence-Making?
August 5, 2014 The world may be a better place if there were a little more evidence-based policy-making and a lot less policy-based...

Medicare Data, SAS, WPS and R, Part 1
July 28, 2014 That SAS is so pervasive in commerce, government and health presents an analyics challenge for the data science world.

Everything is Obvious – with Big Data from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
July 14, 2014 Even with the limitations of big data and traditional scientific methods in business, evidence-based skepticism should drive...

Reviewing “Event History and Survival Analysis” in Absentia
July 2, 2014 A recommendation of an excellent survival analysis seminar in Philadelphia the middle of July.

Data Distribution
June 23, 2014 The first priority with a new data set revolves on determining the distribution of values for each of the attributes

Data-Driven Website
June 6, 2014 Will data-obsessed marketing messages resonate today?

A Random Walk in Finance
May 30, 2014 An important lesson for the analytics world: Don't be too credulous with your data. A pattern in randomness is often confused...

R/Finance 2014
May 21, 2014 Authors of more than half of the many R finance packages attended the R/Finance conference 2014 at the University of Illinois,...

Be Wary of Randomness from Sampling
May 13, 2014 The null hypothesis should always be one of randomness until unequivocally demonstrated otherwise by the data

Three Flavors of Data Integration
May 4, 2014 A discussion about Pentaho Data Integration for ETL and big data, Alteryx for data blending and advanced analytics, and...

Alteryx-Tableau-R: An Analytics Workbench?
April 7, 2014 Experimenting with Alteryx to determine what it can do

Book Review: Big Data at Work
March 28, 2014 I just finished Tom Davenport's latest book, “Big Data @ Work” and, not surprisingly, liked it a lot. Indeed I've pretty much...

Scatter Plot Matrix
March 20, 2014 Many people have abandoned traditional pixel-perfect reporting for visual drill/slice-and-dice, dashboards and statistical...

Big Data vs. the Data Warehouse
March 7, 2014 Pointed commentary regarding a venting blog by Bill Inmon and a marketing ad by Cloudera

Partners with R
February 26, 2014 OpenBI'ers are R guys – or at least R (Python-pandas) apprentices

Street Art, Street Skateboarding and Strata 2014
February 18, 2014 Observations and insights from the Strata Conference in Santa Clara

Discovering Julia
February 10, 2014 I've been seeing more and more about the hot programming language Julia on the analytics forums

Dueling R and Python Followup
February 3, 2014 I was unaware of the newest goodies and was excited for a potential better solution for my script

Dueling R and Python, Contest 1A
January 23, 2014 A contest to show the emerging similarity of Python and R platforms for data analysis and statistics

R, the Integration Language?
January 14, 2014 Integration with R now appears to be a sine qua non strategy for analytics tool vendors

Still More R and Python
January 6, 2014 Python may soon supplant R and assume the mantel of lingua franca for data science computing

Evolving with Python
December 23, 2013 Python is rapidly growing, fast-becoming a data science language of choice

College Recruiting 2013 – A Computation/Data Certificate Proposal
December 13, 2013 OpenBI has encapsulated the priorities we see for prospective business intelligence/data science apprentices into a short...

Soccer Dashboard and Data Science Books -- Redux
December 5, 2013 Steve Miller follows up on assertions from previous posts

Data Science – A Tale of Two Books
November 22, 2013 Steve Miller reviews two new books on data science

College Soccer Dashboard
November 15, 2013 Always run the numbers, even when it seems the answer’s clear

Computational Science and Recruiting
November 5, 2013 OpenBI’s 2013 college recruiting provides additional affirmation of the accelerating academic emphasis on big data and...

Bigger Data? Or Better Models? Or…..
October 28, 2013 There’s emerged a debateabout the relative importance of ever bigger data versus ever better predictive models

Working at Home with R
October 22, 2013 Steve Miller talks about what Intridea has set out to do, envisioning what’s been implemented so far as phase one of a...

Health Care: Big Data’s Next Frontier
October 7, 2013 Two exceptional cases illustrating how big data can be used to revolutionize modern health care

Data Science?
September 27, 2013 It’s good to see the discipline of data science receive the attention from academia it deserves, but it must be grounded...

A Data Science/BI Exercise
September 20, 2013 Be it data science or BI, an ETL platform should be front and center in the practitioner’s tool chest

Apologies to R
September 10, 2013 Previous statements about performance were before re-calibrating to the latest version of R

More R and Python
August 30, 2013 A discussion of the most popular programming/statistics languages being used for analytics, data mining and data science work

Theory vs. Learning Models
August 23, 2013 Rather than the analyst, let the data do the theorizing

Applied Predictive Modeling
August 16, 2013 What to expect from “Applied Predictive Modeling” and recommendations to maximize your learning

Small Thoughts on Big Data – Bias come Datos
August 8, 2013 Practice restraint in anointing big data the cure-all for business ills; biases must first be overcome

Trial and Error for Business, Politics and Society
July 30, 2013 Real experiments required

Survival Marketing
July 22, 2013 What marketing needs from data and analytics

A Bottom-up Start on Big Data Analytics
July 11, 2013 Split-apply-combine offers similar pattern to MapReduce

Business Analytics: Why Not Experiment?
July 2, 2013 Take advantage of “cheap” innovation and don’t get lost in Six Sigma

Workforce Science: Where HR Meets Analytics
June 24, 2013 Debunking hiring myths, but wary of career-derailing stats

At a Crossroads with Statistical Graphics
June 17, 2013 Do you use R lattice? ggplot2? Or both?

Skepticism Moves Big Data Toward Causation
June 6, 2013 Correlation isn’t enough for fruitful analytic advancement

Big Data is Much More than Just Data
May 28, 2013 Complexity of data science confirmed in machine learning engagement, IQSS research

Lean Start-Ups, Planning and Searching
May 20, 2013 Plans are useless but planning is indispensable. - Dwight D. Eisenhower

Tableau, Python and R
May 10, 2013 What’s needed is a Hadoop ecosystem that’s less noisy with the multitude of product choices – and more in synch...

The Data and Bias of Macroeconomics
May 3, 2013 Lessons for BI in Northeastern labor research

No Quick Death for Statistical Practices
April 25, 2013 Davenport and Kim take on quants, pump brakes on big data "revolution"

Getting Started with Statistical Learning
April 19, 2013 Salford Systems series is a solid primer, with promising specialized models

The Big Data Revolution: Part 2
April 12, 2013 How do accountability and humility impact the future of advanced analytics?

Big Data Revolution, Part 1
April 4, 2013 Why a new book on big data is destined to be one of the top business/analytics books of 2013

A Healthy Obsession on Business Analytics
March 28, 2013 As innovators in MIT Sloan report suggest, fixation on performance brings adoption, ROI

March Analytics Madness
March 22, 2013 Enough with the bracketologists, and on with the hoops data

Big Data Caveats, Front and Center
March 14, 2013 Take comfort in author Taleb's big data analytics doom and gloom

Big Data and Caution at Strata 2013
March 5, 2013 New analytics tools, uneven keynotes mark biggest event yet

From Strata, the New Big Data on the Block
February 27, 2013 Berkeley analytics platform clarifies Hadoop and processing potential

Are You Looking at Long Data?
February 20, 2013 Harvard thesis asks about time, human behavioral roles in analytics

Cold Enough for You? Visualization and Predictive Modeling of Weather
February 13, 2013 Getting analytical on Chicago’s wind chill data

What’s Working (and Missing) from Analytics Graduate Degrees?
February 5, 2013 Big data, visualization have changed even recent expectations

Google News as an Analytic Database
January 29, 2013 Harvard methodology puts drug war into perspective

Worthwhile “Geeky Week” Analyzing Large N Data Frame
January 22, 2013 Census data management and statistical tests far from Key West

Analytic Imagination and Business Bets
January 14, 2013 In opposing views on data experiments, the importance of a wide analytic portfolio

Big Data Isn’t Like Every Other IT Project
January 4, 2013 A look into the business and IT missteps that stall BI and analytic programs

Maryland, the Big Ten and Performance Data
December 20, 2012 A data science comparison on NCAA sports divisions

Social Science Pushing Data Frontiers
December 13, 2012 More data scientist roles have people and business in mind, indicated by output from Harvard, MIT and Columbia

The Gift of Thinking Statistically
December 6, 2012 A refreshing take on selection bias, endogeneity and Bayes from Uri Bram

Microsoft Experimentation
November 28, 2012 The Experimentation Platform at Microsoft enables product teams to run controlled experiments

Real-World Data Science
November 19, 2012 Chicago Predictive Analytics event spotlights success at Walmart, CBS, Pfizer and others

Making Statistics Simpler
November 8, 2012 To the benefit of business learning, Bayesian methods are well-suited to many analytic problems

Hungry for Big Data Results
November 1, 2012 Strata Hadoop World spanned a range of analytics innovation and hype

U.S. Baby Names: an Analytic Approach
October 25, 2012 The strengths and weaknesses of using R for munging jobs

Up to Date on Open Source Analytics
October 18, 2012 With a bit of effort, there are plenty of database, graphics and coding options out there

Analytics, Empathy and the Washington Nationals
October 11, 2012 Business leaders could learn from baseball skipper's emotional twist on data

Sexy Data Science and Analytic Control
October 5, 2012 A peek at the jobs of the future, in second at Harvard Business Review

Down to Big Data Business
September 27, 2012 Harvard Business Review articles on analytics, data-driven management bring concepts behind big data to the C-suite

Data as a Social Science
September 20, 2012 NYU and Princeton “hackers” on point with new machine learning book

Data Science U
September 13, 2012 Data Science U: Columbia course led by Google’s Schutt adds legitimacy to data academics

Clear Foundation of Business Strategy
September 7, 2012 HBR’s Oil of Olay case study rooted in evidence-based BI

Data Science Spikes Volleyball Bias
August 30, 2012 In the absence of a method such as random sampling to assure representation of the target population, analysts must take...

Developing a Statistical Learning Primer
August 23, 2012 The path behind the R-themed discussion at OpenBI Day in Chicago

New Statistical Horizons for Data Scientists
August 17, 2012 Excitement for missing data and other analytics seminars

Hunting for Business Strategy Searchers
August 10, 2012 Author Rosenzweig prefers “foxes” for performance and competitive edge

Data Bias: Are You a Fox or a Hedgehog?
August 3, 2012 Psychologist Tetlock’s insight into judgement and information accuracy

Analytics for Tennis, Elections and Computer Skills
July 26, 2012 Latest MIT articles hint at variety of data uses and needs

Data Skepticism and Charter School Assessments
July 19, 2012 Data science faces challenges similar to scientists and charter school evaluators in the conduct of its work

Prediction Quality Over Statistical Purity?
July 10, 2012 Illustrating customer data forecasts in R

The Best Majors for BI, Data Science
June 28, 2012 Answers vary in annual college recruiting process

Crash Courses in Data Science
June 21, 2012 useR! 2012 user group conference hits on big data critiques, promise

Random Analytics for Big Data
June 12, 2012 VectorWise and R sampling tests limits of loading and notebook

Putting Information Relationships to the Test
June 5, 2012 MIC and MINE techniques have their hang ups with large data sets, speed

Big Data, Done Fast and Pretty
May 29, 2012 VectorWise and R make fast work of airline data sets

R Gets to Business
May 22, 2012 R/Finance 2012 conference drills deep into growing financial use cases of statistical software

Politics of Data Models and Mining
May 15, 2012 Cultural attitudes emerge over data management techniques

SAS, WPL Code Competition May Heat Up
May 8, 2012 You can certainly bet that the legal battles between SAS and WPL aren’t over. You can also figure that SAS will take WPL...

SAS vs. R: Statistical Modeling Rivalry Renewed
May 1, 2012 Graphics updates show fast changes in standing competition

Machine Learning Hits the Books
April 24, 2012 Coursera, CalTech offer new wave of data scientist studies

Modeling an IT Earnings Disparity
April 17, 2012 Predictive data pitfalls in comparisons of university, state college returns

Up to Speed on R Graphics
April 10, 2012 Graphics in R: There are great resources for programming visuals

Personal and Enterprise IT Gains
April 3, 2012 Sloan, University of Maryland studies show tech value

We’re Not Very Good Statisticians
March 26, 2012 The human failings with data seen in a book by Nobel winner

The Dream of Business Prediction
March 20, 2012 In part two of a look at Duncan Watts' new book, matching uncommon sense and project management

Then BI and Data Science Thinking Are Flawed, Too
March 13, 2012 Part 1 of how a book on common sense reflects in our industry space

Strata 2012 Musings
March 6, 2012 Data strategy and science breakout sessions filled my Strata Conference 2012 docket

Evidence-Based Management With Success
February 28, 2012 HR and CIO survey finds deeper answers on data use

In With the New RAM
February 21, 2012 8GB notebook as a personal data science tool?

Analytics: The Widening Divide
February 14, 2012 A look at the research behind analytic skills and information management trends

Omniscope and R
February 7, 2012 Data science platform from U.K. provider Visokio combines powerful exploration and agile BI

Out With the Old RAM ...
January 31, 2012 I decided to test the limits of R on my machine by creating and working with some pretty large data

Applications of R in Business
January 24, 2012 As a contest judge, I saw the direction of data management

Analytics in the End Zone
January 17, 2012 College and pro football championship games hint at larger data problems

Data Science Maturity
January 10, 2012 This year, BI and DS may start to get on the same page

Data Science Skepticism
January 3, 2012 In the third entry in a series, I find a position at a crossroads

Data Science or BI? – Part 2
December 19, 2011 Regardless of where you sit on the specific roles of BI and data science, there are elements of business, technology and...

Data Science or BI? – Part 1
December 13, 2011 An analytics exercise with U.S. Census data reveals distinctions between BI and data science

An M.S. in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University
December 6, 2011 The degree may challenge the traditional business educational sequence of technical undergrad to MBA. But it makes sense for...

Vectorwise – Worth a Look?
November 28, 2011 I was certain Vectorwise was the latest offering from Ingres, the ageless relational database vendor, so who the heck is...

Counterfactuals, Difference-in-Differences, Propensities and Treatment Evaluation
November 15, 2011 On measuring performance management with a practical microeconometrics approach

Statistical Learning Part III
November 7, 2011 An interview with Stanford's Trevor Hastie, who provides a look back at data mining and statistical modeling, and a look ahead...

Econometrics vs. Statistics
November 1, 2011 Econometrics, with its charter to support mainstream economic research, is adapting with the discipline to a data-driven,...

HBR is Sunny on the Cloud
October 25, 2011 Focus of Harvard article on cloud is three-fold for execs: 1) What does the cloud mean for my IT department?; 2) What are the...

The Secrets to Managing Business Analytics Projects
October 18, 2011 MIT Sloan article suggests all parties must recognize that analytics initiatives are similar to other internal business...

Business Value with Analytics
October 11, 2011 Annual MIT review points to growth and depth in analytics, with notable competitive advantage from mature adoption

Statistical Learning for BI Redux
October 4, 2011 There's little question that predictive analytics' time is now. And as a foundation for PA, statistical learning fits nicely...

Performance Measurement 2011
September 27, 2011 From academia to professional baseball, statistical methods are in vogue. But what is their value?

Stochastic Simulation Part 2 – Resampling
September 20, 2011 In addition to being invaluable as methods for day-to-day statistical practice, resampling SS techniques can also be a boon to...

Stochastic Simulation – Part 1
September 13, 2011 The "approximate analytics" of stochastic simulation has increasingly become a critical tool in the modern statistical toolchest

Programming Collective Intelligence
September 6, 2011 An errant Amazon buy leads to a different take on analytics and machine learning

LinkedIn Advanced Business Analytics – SAS Vs. R
August 30, 2011 In the short run, with its huge lead, SAS will continue to rule the business predictive analytics landscape. But look for that...

Frustrations With R?
August 23, 2011 Do your research on what's already available before you invest a lot of time developing from scratch

Bayes and the Beach
August 16, 2011 Look for increasing use of Bayesian approaches to the science of business in the coming years, its paradigm a better fit than...

Thinking Statistical Bias
August 9, 2011 Confusing real change with an aberration that later returns to the the long-term average is a common cognition mistake that...

Learning from Failure and Success
August 2, 2011 BI can play an important role in supporting the unbiased attribution of success and failure in business that leads to a...

Statistics and Financial Engineering
July 26, 2011 I look at FE statistics in much the same way I look at psychometrics, econometrics, psychometrics, biometrics and mathematical...

Performance Measurement, Alpha, Matching, Propensity and Simulation
July 19, 2011 The use of computer simulation methods to generate a distribution of alpha estimates can add a lot to the understanding of...

Interleague Play and Data Analysis
July 12, 2011 In our rush to find profitable early signals in our data, we must be wary of attributing patterns to sequences that are really...

Predictive Trend? Or Drunkard's Walk?
July 5, 2011 Patterns may manifest in data that on the surface appear very predictable, even when they're not

Enzee Universe 2011 + Revolution Analytics R
June 27, 2011 In today's BI world, though, it's critical for open source to play nice with proprietary. Fortunately, the zealotry seems to...

Enterprise Collective Intelligence with Crowdcast
June 20, 2011 Q&A with new social BI provider’s CEO Mat Fogarty

Big Data from McKinsey
June 14, 2011 Successful organizations will be those that act on the opportunities – and threats – presented by big data

Revolution Analytics One Year Later
June 7, 2011 A follow up interview with CEO Norman Nie

Business Analytics Innovation Summit
May 31, 2011 IE Group conference among a growing slate of predictive analytics meet-ups

Splines, Simulation and Forecasting
May 24, 2011 Many of the insights I'd gleaned on model performance from the previous data were undone with the new

Alpha, Beta, Being There and Performance Measurement
May 17, 2011 Portfolio management indicators before and after recession hold interesting lessons in BI and ROI

The New Intelligent Enterprise
May 10, 2011 MIT goes deep into analytics, BI and data science through its Sloan Management Review

Data Science – Part 2
May 3, 2011 Just as I think BI will benefit from a deeper focus on approximate answers and ubiquitous machine learning, data science...

Data Science – Part 1
April 26, 2011 The ability to improvise data integration solutions using operating systems, databases and programming languages clearly...

Approximate BI
April 19, 2011 Big data and the speed of information have more people looking for answers in fast, fuzzy business intelligence

April 12, 2011 Most new predictive modeling packages in R come equipped with cross-validation, but it's also easy to program cross-validation...

Tables to Graphs
April 5, 2011 Academic political science figures focus on visualizing the results of statistical analysis – a topic more and more...

Designs for Scorecasting
March 29, 2011 The authors of my spring break read go beyond statistical correlations to demonstrate cause and effect on the playing field

Stories vs. Statistics for BI
March 22, 2011 The real science of business often makes for less than riveting stories

A Propensity for Matching
March 15, 2011 A method for dispelling alternative explanations to BI findings that is gaining in popularity is the use of...

Business Experiments in HBR
March 8, 2011 In review of Harvard guide, my take is that though businesses can do either predictive modeling or experiments separately,...

Science of Business vs. Evidence-Based Management
March 1, 2011 A recent MIT article is making me question whether there might be a nuanced difference between the two that’s important...

By-Group Processing, the R data.table and the Power of Open Source
February 22, 2011 One of the major strengths of open source projects like R is the significant contributions of unpaid users and the...

Open Source BI and JasperWorld
February 14, 2011 I generally find vendor conferences a bit too rah-rah for my taste. There was plenty of that at JW, but substance on open...

Strata – Making Data Work, Take 1
February 7, 2011 The conference was all about the emerging discipline of data science, a short description of which is “telling stories...

OpenBI and OSBI – the Pentaho Global Partner Summit
February 1, 2011 In recent years, business is thriving for the main OSBI vendors and the KPIs are revenue and profit rather than software...

Seven Deadly Sins of Contemporary Quantitative Analysis – a Translation
January 25, 2011 Business is, after all, a social science, and BI analysts can learn a lot from the vanguard work of applied academia

The Science of Business Meets the Science of Therapy – in Key West
January 18, 2011 I found a lot of good advice for the science of business in my friend’s wisdom of patient therapy

M.S. in Applied Statistics
January 11, 2011 Let me offer a curriculum for a master’s degree that seems an ideal background for the practice of analytics in business

Validity and Life
January 4, 2011 BI analysts are well advised to challenge their organization's espoused strategic theories

Don't Stop With Your First Draft
December 28, 2010 The mantra serves me well in business intelligence, for both my writing and programming work

R Stocking Stuffers
December 21, 2010 A few BI and analytics reading recommendations, and a holiday wish for a book that demonstrates how to apply statistical...

Bayes and Risk Management – Part 3
December 14, 2010 BI analysts should expect to see increasing utilization of Bayesian methods as models for both individual decision-making and...

Bayes and Risk Management – Part 2
December 7, 2010 For BI, the Bayesian model is best viewed as systematic learning for intelligence and business decision-making

Bayes and Risk Management – Part 1
November 30, 2010 A few years ago, a friend of mine received a diagnosis of a pretty serious medical condition. When we used Bayes theorem to...

MIT and IBM on Analytics
November 23, 2010 A rising tide of analytics in business benefits an entire industry, as shown in a recent survey by IBM and MIT's Sloan School...

The Flaw of Averages – Part 2, Probability Management
November 16, 2010 Today's probability techniques are much more guarded, relying on algorithms that “shrink” significant coefficients...

The Flaw of Averages – Part 1, the Problem
November 9, 2010 New book takes on the flaws of basic statistical thinking in the conduct of business, many of which derive from misuse of...

Levels of Measurement for BI
November 2, 2010 Sometimes the analytics tail wags the dog, so interval variables might be “cut” into ordinal categories to...

The Science of Business Manifesto – Part 2
October 26, 2010 I will delve into a bit more detail than in Part 1, paying special attention to the transition from business to science –...

The Science of Business Manifesto – Part 1
October 19, 2010 The point of departure for the science of business is acknowledgment that perhaps the best approach for developing, testing...

Medical Statistics
October 12, 2010 The noise-to-signal ratio on the pre-med Internet chat threads is high, not surprisingly. It seems there're plenty of strong...

The BI Survey 9 by BARC
October 5, 2010 There's much to digest in this very comprehensive work. In contrast to other BI surveys I've recently read, BI Survey 9 is...

Academics and Analytics
September 28, 2010 I've recently had the good fortune of digesting some hot-off-the-press material on analytics in business from those two august...

Bias in BI
September 21, 2010 With self-selecting, voluntary response surveys now the norm in BI research, certain geographies, products, sectors, company...

Getting to Know MIKE2.0
September 14, 2010 I think there's a lot to like about MIKE2.0, an open source methodology for enterprise information management

Musings on the 2011 U.S. News Best Colleges
September 7, 2010 It's back to school time, so, like every year, I rush out to drop $10 on the latest U.S. News compendium of Best Colleges....

Outer Banks Vacation Reading – 'The Invisible Gorilla'
August 31, 2010 The title derives from experiments the psychology professors have conducted on limitations in visual human attention

Excel for Statistical Analysis?
August 24, 2010 The ABADMPM discussion that I've been following most closely of late is Which data mining/analytic tools have you used in the...

Outer Banks Vacation Intelligence – Part 1
August 17, 2010 Lessons and observations from Steve's summer vacation

2010 College Recruiting – Just What is Educational Psychology?
August 10, 2010 Was this candidate a psych major or a quants head? It turns out, both.

SAS, WPS and R
August 3, 2010 Its hard to imagine a CIO of a SAS-intensive company not at least investigating the cost-savings potential of WPS. What would...

The Vegetarian Enjoys Steak – Open Source R Meets Proprietary Spotfire
July 27, 2010 Twice a year my nephew and niece go off the vegetarian wagon, enjoying grilled pork chops or big hamburgers for special...

The Revolution Analytics Blog
July 20, 2010 What, in sum, must Revolution Analytics do to be successful?

Does the Internet Make You Smarter or Dumber?
July 13, 2010 I see merits to both sides of this debate. What do you think?

SAS, Business Analytics, Research and Fact-Based Decision-Making
July 6, 2010 It's no secret that I'm no longer a big fan of SAS software, but I found my investment in the latest SAS Business Report to be...

Predictive Analytics at DePaul University
June 29, 2010 Kudos to DePaul for again assuming a leadership role combining rigorous academics with a practical business focus

Plan A or Plan B or ...
June 22, 2010 Perhaps President Eisenhower was right when he said: “Plans are useless but planning is indispensable”

June 15, 2010 In the increasingly “flat” statistical world, the ability to speak in several statistical tongues will be an...

Correlation vs Causality in BI
June 8, 2010 Maybe I'm naïve, but I see no reason why clever analysts can't have the best of both correlational and causal worlds

BI Surveys, Research and The Wisdom of Crowds Study
June 2, 2010 I give the "Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Study" a high A- grade and hope it's quality encourages vendors,...

Misconceptions About Statistics – Part 2
May 26, 2010 One of my pet statistical peeves is that slaves to statistical significance confuse their “positive” findings with...

More Time Series Interruptus
May 19, 2010 There is much in common between social science methods and business intelligence supporting the “science of business”

Time Series Interruptus for BI
May 13, 2010 Much of performance-measuring business intelligence has to make do with less than full experimental control

Revolutionary R, An Interview with Revolution Analytics CEO Norman Nie – Part 2
May 6, 2010 I asked Norman Nie what strategies Revolution will introduce to the market to build a profitable commercial open source business

Revolutionary R, An Interview with REvolution Computing CEO Norman Nie – Part 1
April 27, 2010 Rather than taking it easy, Norman Nie is embarking on yet another big-bet business venture

R/Finance 2010: Applied Finance with R
April 22, 2010 An indication of current R-community obsession is no less than six presentations addressing R's ability to size up...

BI, Analytics and Statistical Science
April 19, 2010 This list provides a foundation of what it takes to succeed in BI, and hopefully communicates that effectively to candidates

Business Theory, Strategy and Targets for BI
April 12, 2010 I finally got around to reading Analytics at Work, the new book from Competing on Analytics authors Tom Davenport and Jeanne...

MIT, IT and the Science of Business – Part 2
April 5, 2010 The latest edition of MIT Sloan Management Review contains a special report entitled “IT-Driven Innovation, The New...

MIT, IT and the Science of Business – Part 1
March 29, 2010 Though MIT's MIT Sloan Management Review might not have quite the cachet of the Harvard Business Review . I'd certainly put...

Predictive Models, Mars to Earth – Part 1
March 19, 2010 I'm not sure exactly why, but predictive analytics seems to be front and center for OpenBI as winter turns to spring

The Economic Approach and BI
March 15, 2010 Economy is the art of making the most of life

Data, Data Everywhere
March 8, 2010 Steve Miller touches on a smattering of topics covered in the Economist's "Data, Data Everywhere" - a must read for those...

Misconceptions About Statistics
March 1, 2010 Predictive modelers must now be data jocks and computational experts, touch many quantitative disciplines and be committed to...

Predictive Analytics World – Take 2
February 23, 2010 At Predictive Analytics World I heard about an interesting analytics solution to a knotty business problem and an innovative...

Predictive Analytics World – Take 1
February 19, 2010 Much to my chagrin, I had to return to wintry Chicago late Wednesday night from a delightful visit to sunny and 60ish San...

Performance Measurement – Common Causes, Skill and Luck, Part 2
February 15, 2010 Attribution of luck versus skill is central to portfolio performance measurement

Performance Measurement – Common Causes/Risk, Skill and Luck, Part 1
February 8, 2010 Wouldn't it be nice if business intelligence could generally distinguish common cause/market risk from skill components when...

Performance Measurement
February 1, 2010 Performance measurement is a key driver of business intelligence. I'd guess that most BI deployments today are at least in...

Ruby Monday – Part 3
January 22, 2010 After writing two blogs on the delights of the agile language Ruby, I decided to eat my own dog food and challenge myself to...

Ruby Monday – Part 2
January 19, 2010 Today's blog embellishes on Ruby's suitability for basic data management tasks that precede business intelligence and analytics

Ruby Monday – Part 1
January 11, 2010 Dusting off a favorite open source tool, the programming language Ruby

Searching and Planning for the New Year
January 4, 2010 This searching-planning compromise lens now colors my assessment of business strategy and intelligence

Written Review
December 28, 2009 My writing retreat is completed for 2009. I'm not sure whether I'm comforted or humbled

Monte Carlo, Resampling and BI – Part 2
December 21, 2009 I recently downloaded the latest stock portfolio returns from the website of Dartmouth professor Ken French

Monte Carlo, Resampling and BI – Part 1
December 14, 2009 About five years ago, a Newsweek review of the then new iPod raised a concern that the shuffle feature might not be random

A Volleyball Championship and BI
December 7, 2009 Because a truly randomized tournament is both impractical and unattractive, officials must grapple with quasi-experimental...

Discovery-Driven Planning – A Planning-Searching Compromise?
November 23, 2009 I like the concept of discovery-driven planning a lot. It seems a reasonable compromise between pure planning and searching

More on the Statistical Revolution – a SAS Story (continued)
November 23, 2009 It's probably happenstance that statistical juggernaut SAS has been in the news several times over the last week following my...

Highly Irritating Management Gurus
November 16, 2009 Business intelligence practitioners can analyze, critique and debunk the works of popular management gurus till the cows come...

Statistical Revolution
November 9, 2009 Statistical and predictive analytics software is fast becoming a next big competitive landscape in the business intelligence...

A SAS Story
November 2, 2009 I downloaded a 30 day trial of the World Programming System and started constructing simple scripts. It was like seeing an ex...

OpenCourseWare and BI – An Update
October 26, 2009 I revisited MITOpenCourseWare a few months ago in search of a gentle computer programming course I could recommend to those...

The Demise of the 2009 Boston Red Sox: Super-Crunching Takes a Drunkard's Walk
October 19, 2009 Since 2004, when the Red Sox rallied from three games down to beat the Yankees for the American League championship and swept...

Fall 2009 OpenBI College Recruiting: Where Have All the Programmers Gone?
October 13, 2009 The demand for new college grads is still soft. This cycle reminds me a lot of 2000, when the high-flying technology...

The October 2009 HBR and BI – Risk Management and Performance Measurement
October 5, 2009 The October 2009 Harvard Business Review spotlights Risk Management and Performance Measurement, both significant consumers of...

The Netflix Prize
September 28, 2009 The other day, I came across an article in the Wall Street Journal noting that movie rental company Netflix had announced a...

Smart Analytics – The Rising IBM Tide
September 21, 2009 Having IBM seriously promote an analytics product line will help all statistics/mining vendors and provide a much-desired...

Dear Steve, Dear Eric, Dear Steve – Musings on Predictive Analytics World
September 14, 2009 I received a very nice note from Eric Siegel, PhD., Conference Chair, Predictive Analytics World last week in response to my...

Intelligence Interruptus
September 8, 2009 I've assembled my BI-Searchers toolkit

Random Business Performance
August 31, 2009 There's a randomness to company performance that, as deftly chronicled by Leonard Mlodinow in The Drunkard's Walk, is a much...

Searching and Experimenting for Business Innovation
August 24, 2009 The rapid development of technology and expansion of the Web provide the infrastructure for promoting ever-more-rapid...

The Drunkard's BI – Part II
August 17, 2009 The scary part for decision-making is that the errors are both deductive - from population to sample - and inductive, from...

The Drunkard's BI – Part I
August 11, 2009 I read what is certain to be my favorite BI book of 2009: 'The Drunkard's Walk, How Randomness Rules Our Lives'

Field Experiments and BI – Part I
August 3, 2009 Much as I love the behavioral economics gospel espoused in Dan Ariely, I'm uncomfortable with the driving methodology of...

Potpourri Redux
July 27, 2009 A discussion about the direction of business intelligence in several fields, including economics, statistical learning and the...

Planners, Searchers and BI
July 19, 2009 I think the planner/searcher dichotomy is quite pertinent for business intelligence

Economics and BI, Part 2
July 13, 2009 Just what is behavioral economics?

Economics and BI – Part 1
July 6, 2009 What good are economists anyway?

Bogle for BI
June 26, 2009 I periodically revisit Bogle's wisdom not only to affirm my investment approach but also as a guide for BI

Intelligent Education
June 22, 2009 BI can learn a lot from education and other not-for-profit programs for its mission to assess the performance of business

The Hawthorne Effect – or Not
June 15, 2009 I was pretty distraught over a column I recently read in the Economist. The article, Light Work, challenges the legacy of the...

Analytical Designs for BI – Part 2
June 8, 2009 Quasi-experimental studies attempt to control potential confounding variables by clever design techniques and statistical...

Analytical Designs for BI – Part 1
June 1, 2009 I must admit I'm obsessed with BI designs for business performance measurement

Social Science Statistics Blog and BI – Nonrandomized Experiments
May 26, 2009 I came across an intriguing blog entry that raised issues pertinent to business and business intelligence

Quantitative Social Science and BI
May 18, 2009 I find the intersection of the social and quantitative sciences of particular interest – and pertinence for BI

Bayes and BI
May 11, 2009 The current ascendance of Bayesian analysis in the statistical world is, I believe, a boon for BI

OpenBI Travels II: R/Finance 2009, Chicago
May 4, 2009 I received an email from Mike Driscoll, co-chair of the Bay Area R Users Group, announcing the formation of three new groups...

OpenBI Travels I: MySQL Conference and the Oracle Acquisition of Sun
April 27, 2009 There was no shortage of strong reaction at the MySQL conference to the acquisition of Sun. Open source purists were incensed

More Statistical Learning
April 20, 2009 The Elements of Statistical Learning: Data Mining, Inference and Prediction, Second Edition, by Trevor Hastie, Robert...

The R Statistical Learning Lasso
April 13, 2009 The R user community had just been provided access to a latest learning algorithm hot off the development presses from three...

Data Vu All Over Again
April 6, 2009 No sweat I thought. We’ve honed our expertise on open source BI in the cloud. We’ve performed this drill several...

The Divine R
March 30, 2009 A colleague recently asked me for a good introductory text on the R statistical computing platform. Though there are a...

March 23, 2009 Nudge is a concept derived from behavioral economics. It denotes a gentle “push” or incentive to coax...

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