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

Chapter 10
Moving From Spreadsheets into R

After spending the previous nine chapters injecting Excel directly into your veins, I'm now going to tell you to drop it. Well, not for everything, but let's be honest, Excel is not ideal for all analytics tasks.

Excel is awesome for learning analytics, because you can touch and see your data in every state as an algorithm changes it from input into output. But you came, you saw, you learned. Do you really need to go through all those steps manually every time? For example, do you really need to bake up your own optimization formulation to fit your own logistic regressions? Do you need to input the definitions of cosine similarity all yourself?

Now that you've learned it, you're allowed to cheat and have someone else do that for you! Think of yourself as Wolfgang Puck. Does he cook everything at all his restaurants? I sure hope not; otherwise, his skills vary wildly from airport to real world. Now that you've learned...