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

Modeling Risk

That last business rule was a toughie, but it illustrates how a modeler can linearize most business problems by adding more constraints and variables. However, no matter how easy or hard the previous problems were, they all had one thing in common—they treat the input data as gospel.

This doesn't always conform to the reality many businesses find themselves in. Parts are not all to spec, shipments don't always arrive on time, demand doesn't match the forecast, and so on. In other words, there's variability and risk in the data.

So how do you take that risk and model it within an optimization model?

Normally Distributed Data

In the orange juice problem, you're trying to blend juices to take out variability, so is it reasonable to expect that the product you're getting from your suppliers won't have variable specs?

Chances are that shipment of Biondo Commune orange juice you're getting from Egypt won't have an exact 13 Brix...