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March 09, 2010


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I'm excited by this data, IT, and Predictive Analytics. Does anyone want to weigh in on an entry point into the field for flks with an IT/Math background, but no Stat software experience (R, SAS, SPSS..) Is Master level Statistics education a must-have?

@Conquistador Well I am not sure if an MS in statistics is required; like anything else it depends on what you want to do. A math background should give you enough foundation to jump into more formal statistical techniques. Speaking of which, a conference was just held on a hot topic called "predictive analytics" read more here: http://www.predictiveanalyticsworld.com/. In my view this starts getting into "hardcore" analytic techniques which takes time to acquire/learn. There are less formal techniques like EDA (Exploratory Data Analysis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploratory_data_analysis) which requires less stats training and infographics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_graphics) which is even further out on the stats scale, but nevertheless has also been gaining a lot of steam lately (http://www.tableausoftware.com/ being a perfect example).

In short, you really have to define what you want to do (whether it be hardcore modeling and analysis, data mining and exploration, data system integration, etc) and then seek out the appropriate tools and training to build the foundation you need. Hope it helps.

Nice post David. Especially love the quote:
“Revolutions in science have often been preceded by revolutions in measurement,”

I had a question on a comment you made:
"Tie that with the backing of a commercial company to provide the scalability, usability, and integration into Web-based systems that businesses require to deploy predictive analytics, and you've truly got a REvolution in the making."

Do you see a lot of companies who are not deploying predictive analytics because of a lack of analytical open source support system or do you think that tools like R can bring the cost point down enough to where it will viable for a whole host smaller companies?

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