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
1
Cover
2
Credits
3
About the Author
4
About the Technical Editors
5
Acknowledgments
18
End User License Agreement

Getting Acquainted with Time Series Data

The workbook for this chapter includes the last 36 months of sword demand starting from January three years ago. The data is shown in the Timeseries tab in Figure 8.1. As mentioned earlier in this chapter, data like this—observations over regular time intervals—is called time series data. The time interval can be whatever is appropriate for the problem at hand, whether that's yearly population figures or daily gas prices.

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Figure 8.1 Time series data

In this case, you have monthly sword demand data, and the first thing you should do with it is plot it, as shown in Figure 8.2. To insert a...