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

When You Name a Product Mandrill, You're Going to Get Some Signal and Some Noise

Recently the company I work for, MailChimp, started a new product called Mandrill.com. It has the most frightening logo I've seen in a while (see Figure 3.1).

image

Figure 3.1 The trance-inducing Mandrill logo

Mandrill is a transactional e-mail product for software developers who want their apps to send one-off e-mails, receipts, password resets, and anything else that's one-to-one. Because it allows you to track opens and clicks of individual transactional e-mails, you can even wire it into your personal e-mail account and track whether your relatives are actually viewing those pictures of your cat you keep sending them. (Take it from a data scientist—they're not.)

But ever since Mandrill was released, one thing has perpetually annoyed me. Whereas a “MailChimp” is a something we invented, a mandrill, also a primate, has been kicking it here on earth for a while. And...