Attend any conference for any topic and you will hear people saying after that the best and most informative discussions happened in the bar after the show. Read any business magazine and you will find an article saying something along the lines of "Business Analytics is the hottest job category out there, and there is a significant lack of people, process and best practice." In this case the conference was eMetrics, the bar was….multiple, and the attendees were Michael Helbling, Tim Wilson and Jim Cain (Co-Host Emeritus). After a few pints and a few hours of discussion about the cutting edge of digital analytics, they realized they might have something to contribute back to the community. This podcast is one of those contributions. Each episode is a closed topic and an open forum - the goal is for listeners to enjoy listening to Michael, Tim, and Moe share their thoughts and experiences and hopefully take away something to try at work the next day. We hope you enjoy listening to the Digital Analytics Power Hour.
#150: The Curiosity of the Analyst with Dr. Debbie Berebichez
Did curiosity kill the cat? Perhaps. A claim could be made that a LACK of curiosity can (and should!) kill an analyst's career! On this episode, Dr. Debbie Berebichez, who, as Tim noted, sorta' pegs out on the extreme end of the curiosity spectrum, joined the show to explore the subject: the societal norms that (still!) often discourage young women from exploring and developing their curiosity; exploratory data analysis as one way to spark curiosity about a data set; the (often) misguided expectations of "the business" when it comes to analytics and data science (and the imperative to continue to promote data literacy to combat them), and more! For complete show notes, including links to items mentioned in this episode and a transcript of the show, visit the show page.
#149: Making Statistics Accessible with Chelsea Parlett-Pelleriti
How does a Bayesian tell what time it is? She starts with an estimated time as her prior and then makes a video for TikTok. If you've ever made a joke like that and then realized your audience might need a little statistical education in order to appreciate how hilarious it is (or, perhaps, what the probability is that it's hilarious), then this episode is for you. The Chatistician (and the creator of the #statstiktok hashtag), Chelsea Parlett-Pelleriti, joined the show to talk about tactics for making statistics accessible, both to ourselves and to others! Humor and thoughtfulness were both normally distributed throughout the discussion. For complete show notes, including links to items mentioned in this episode and a transcript of the show, visit the show page.
#148: Forecasting (of the Political Variety) with G. Elliott Morris
Once every four years in the United States, there is this thing called a "presidential election." It's a pretty boring affair, in that there is so much harmony amongst the electorate, and the two main candidates are pretty indistinguishable when it comes to their world views, policy ideas, and temperaments. But, despite the blandness of the contest, digging in to how the professionals go about forecasting the outcome is an intriguing topic. It turns out that forecasting, be it of the political or the marketing variety, is chock full of considerations like data quality, the quantification of uncertainty, and even () the opportunity to run simulations! On this episode, we sat down with G. Elliott Morris, creator of The Crosstab newsletter and a member of the political forecasting team for The Economist, to chat about the ins and outs of predicting the future with a limited set of historical data and a boatload of uncertainty. For complete show notes, including links to items mentioned in this episode and a transcript of the show, visit the show page.
#147: The Podcast Book Club
Do you know someone who always seems to have read the latest books and can cite concepts and ideas and authors and titles in any situation? Do you hate that person? Honestly, so do we. But that didn't stop us from recording an episode that, potentially, will grate on your nerves in such a way that you have to draw on your inner grit (Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth) to get through it. But, with luck, there will be some good ideas that make it into your long-term memory (Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by John Medina), and it will be information delivered in a gender-neutral manner, unlike so much of the world (Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado-Perez). Give it a shot, though. It may help you become a better leader in your organization (Dare to Lead by Brené Brown).
Unfortunately, we lost some of this episode (even our recording platform was tired of hearing about books?). We know what we talked about then, even if we have no audio record, so we've included those books in the show notes as well. For complete show notes, including links to items mentioned in this episode and a transcript of the show, visit the show page.
#146: The Manager/Analyst Relationship
Analytics is hard (so they say... but we're not going to open THAT can of worms). Do you know what's harder? Managing analysts! I mean, they're always asking, “Why?” Sometimes, they even ask it five times! They can wind up, you know, analyzing whatever you're asking them to do! On this episode, special guest Moe Kiss (you may know her as a co-host of this podcast) joined Michael and Tim to dig into the ins and outs of the analyst/manager relationship. For complete show notes, including links to items mentioned in this episode and a transcript of the show, visit the show page.
#145: COVID-19 Analysts, Policy, and Black Swans with Gary Angel
A wise man once said, "All forecasts basically assume that tomorrow is going to be very similar to today, just with an adjustment or two." That wise man was Gary Angel from Digital Mortar, and he said that on this very episode as we explored the ramifications for the analyst when the historical data is not at all a proxy for the near-term and medium-term future. What is the analyst to do when her training data has become as worthless as a good, firm handshake? If your prediction—based on listening to past episodes—is that Gary and our intrepid co-hosts might actually have some sharp ideas on the subject, well, give this show a listen and see how well you did! For complete show notes, including links to items mentioned in this episode and a transcript of the show, visit the show page.