Rahim Mahmoudvand, Bu-Ali Sina University. Two years ago, the regional organization for civil registration in Hamedan invited me to present a lecture about vital statistics (birth, death, marriage and divorce). I knew the audience did not consist of statisticians. For about a week, I pored over their yearbooks. Then, instead of showing them detailed statistical … Continue reading Teaching Data Science in Developing Countries

Rob Hyndman, Monash University. Prediction competitions are now so widespread that it is often forgotten how controversial they were when first held, and how influential they have been over the years. To keep this exercise manageable, I will restrict attention to time series forecasting competitions --- where only the history of the data is available … Continue reading A brief history of time series forecasting competitions

Vijay Nair. I’ve been working as a “quant” in a large bank over the last two years. Before that, I spent 15 years in a research lab and another 25 years as an academic. Much to my surprise, I didn’t find the transition to banking industry to be especially difficult: data and statistics are ubiquitous … Continue reading Statistical Models for Credit Risk in Banking

Balaji Raman, Associate Vice President, Cogitaas AVA. The term marketing analytics is quite broad, it covers a gamut of problems concerning consumer segmentation, e-mail marketing, pricing, brand positioning, brand equity, fighting competition, spends optimization and allocation. In all cases, business decisions are taken based on rigorous data analytics done through statistical modelling. Here, I will focus … Continue reading Marketing Analytics in Practice

Bonnie Ray. VP Data Science, Talkspace. While applications of machine learning and data science are becoming commonplace in health research using information derived from Electronic Health Records (EHRs), large biological sample collections (i.e., -omics data), medical imaging data, and sensor data collected using medical devices, applications of large-scale machine learning in the behavioral health care … Continue reading Data Science Challenges in Behavioral Health Care Analysis

David Steinberg. One of the simplest methods for two-group classification is naïve Bayes, in which predictors are treated as though they provide independent information. Traditional event models underlying naive Bayes classifiers assume probability distributions that are not appropriate for binary data generated by human behavior. This paper develops a new event model, based on a … Continue reading Wallenius Naïve Bayes

David Steinberg. This paper addresses a classical problem in causal inference: matching, where treatment units need to be matched to control units. Some of the main challenges in developing matching methods arise from the tension among (i) inclusion of as many covariates as possible in defining the matched groups, (ii) having matched groups with enough … Continue reading FLAME: A Fast Large-scale Almost Matching Exactly Approach to Causal Inference

David Steinberg. Yang et al. consider the application of predictive data mining techniques in Information Systems research. Their focus is on the impact of data errors and misclassification on the subsequent data analysis by econometric models. Typically, data mining methods are first used to generate new variables (e.g., text sentiment), which are added into subsequent … Continue reading Mind the Gap: Accounting for Measurement Error and Misclassification in Variables Generated via Data Mining

David Steinberg. One of the hot topics in internet commerce is A/B testing – the use of designed experiments to maximize revenue from web sites. The fact that experimental design is a great way to test ideas should not be a surprise to readers of this column. And many businesses have caught on to the … Continue reading The Surprising Power of Online Experiments

Tahir Ekin, McCoy College of Business, Texas State University. The INFORMS Annual Meeting was held in Houston, TX on October 22-25th, 2017. Initially, there were concerns about the readiness of Houston to host the conference after Hurricane Harvey. The organizing committee conducted a series of evaluations and decided to help the city get back to … Continue reading Perspectives from the INFORMS 2017 Annual Meeting