Book Image

Data Smart

By : John W. Foreman
Book Image

Data Smart

By: John W. Foreman

Overview of this book

Data Science gets thrown around in the press like it's magic. Major retailers are predicting everything from when their customers are pregnant to when they want a new pair of Chuck Taylors. It's a brave new world where seemingly meaningless data can be transformed into valuable insight to drive smart business decisions. But how does one exactly do data science? Do you have to hire one of these priests of the dark arts, the "data scientist," to extract this gold from your data? Nope. Data science is little more than using straight-forward steps to process raw data into actionable insight. And in Data Smart, author and data scientist John Foreman will show you how that's done within the familiar environment of a spreadsheet. Why a spreadsheet? It's comfortable! You get to look at the data every step of the way, building confidence as you learn the tricks of the trade. Plus, spreadsheets are a vendor-neutral place to learn data science without the hype. But don't let the Excel sheets fool you. This is a book for those serious about learning the analytic techniques, math and the magic, behind big data.
Table of Contents (18 chapters)
Free Chapter
About the Author
About the Technical Editors
End User License Agreement

Starting with a Simple Trade-Off

This section begins by discussing economists' two favorite resources—guns and butter. The year is 1941, and you've been airdropped behind enemy lines where you've assumed the identity of one Jérémie (or Ameline) Galiendo, a French dairy farmer.

Your day job: milking cows and selling sweet, creamy butter to the local populace.

Your night job: building and selling machine guns to the French resistance.

Your job is complex and fraught with peril. You've been cut off from HQ and are left on your own to run the farm while not getting caught by the Nazis. You only have so much money in the budget to make ends meet while producing guns and butter; you must stay solvent throughout the war. You cannot lose the farm and your cover along with it.

After sitting and thinking about your plight, you've found a way to characterize your situation in terms of three elements:

  • The objective:You get $195 dollars (or, uh, francs, although...