One area of interest is Predictive Modelling. This is the process of using a statistical or model to predict the value of a target variable. What does this actually mean? Predictive modelling is where we work to the predict values in new data, rather than trying to explain an existing data set. To do this, we work with variables. By their nature, these vary; if they didn’t, they would be called a constant.
If we have only one predictor variable and the response and the predictor variable have a linear relationship, the data can be analyzed with a simple linear model. When there is more than one predictor variable, we would use multiple regression. In this case, our question would be: , “How does y change with multiple x?”
Excel is, after all, one of the world’s most successful software applications ever, with reputedly over one billion users. Using them both together means that you get the best of both words: R for analysis and model building: Excel is the ‘default’ for munging data around, and visualising it. I’m sure that one of the most popular buttons on software such as Tableau, QlikView et al is the ‘Export to Excel’ or ‘Export to CSV’ functionality. I’d be interested to know in what people think about that!
Building linear regression models in R is very simple; in our next session, we will look at how to do that, and then how to visualise it in Excel. Doing all this is easier than you think, and I will show you how.
I liked Andy Warren’s suggestion about blogging more often about PASS. At first, I was flattered that he’d actually read my blog at all! Then, I thought about it and, although I don’t officially speak for PASS (I’m not on the Executive Committee), folks might like to know what I’ve been working on for the PASS Board. I should probably do this regularly because I do something “PASS” pretty every evening.
I’ve been up to a lot of other PASS work as well as organising SQLSaturday London Business Analytics edition, as part of my role for the Board. I will blog separately about this work.
Guide, Encourage and Motivate Volunteers has been the theme this week. Well, I’ve been so busy that I had to look in my email to see what I’ve been doing! I’m a believer in individual contact where possible and I spend a lot of time helping folks over email or Skype.
This week, I’ve had a lot of email traffic from community members who are volunteers, interested in volunteering, and some follow up from SQLBits where people are interested in PASS Chapters and want to get involved. A couple of folks are interested in setting up PASS Chapters at various locations around Europe, and a few others would like to volunteer but aren’t really sure how to get started. There’s the usual amount of techie questions that I get directly as well, which usually happens via Facebook or direct to my email account. I’ve been lucky to point one particular person to the High Availability and Disaster Recovery Virtual Chapter, since Ryan Adam’s session was perfect for him. My portfolio is the Virtual Chapters, and there is an ongoing work there; for example, helping to find speakers or Virtual Chapters leader support. We are working on the Virtual Chapter sessions for September, so watch this space for more details.
I was chuffed to be on the PASS website, talking about the benefits of running for PASS Board. I made a little video and posted it on YouTube, and lo and behold, it was on the PASS site! I was pleased to see Adam Jorgensen’s video as well.
Why run for PASS? My video is below:
Here’s a great infographic, which says it without my Scottish accent.
I hope that helps to see what I’ve been doing this week. Any questions, please let me know.
August 8th, 2014