Blog Header 1.jpg


Sort by Topic

Machine Learning for Disease Event Detection

Jennifer Schaff, PhD

July 13, 2018

BLOG_Machine Learning for Disease Event Detection

Viral respiratory illnesses can be particularly challenging for people with asthma. A cold or flu can lead to acute respiratory complications or even death in asthmatics. Elder Research developed a predictive algorithm to define asthma, and identify asthma sufferers who are ill and at risk for major respiratory complications, allowing for intervention prior to onset of acute asthma symptoms, thereby potentially
preventing hospital stays and even loss of life.

Read More »

Do Algorithms Have Bias?

Peter Bruce

July 6, 2018

BLOG_Do Algorithms Have Bias

Algorithmic bias is a popular topic; see for example this article describing how Microsoft is working on a dashboard product to detect unfair bias in algorithms. When a typical person (not a statistician) uses the term "bias" they usually have in mind unfair prejudgment, or stacking of the deck, against a person based on some aspect of that person's identity (race, gender, ethnic background, religion, nationality, etc.). Until recently, "bias" meant something very different to statisticians.

Read More »

Sophisticated Text Analysis Is Hard, but it Works

John Elder, Ph.D.

June 29, 2018

BLOG_Sophisticated Text Analysis Is Hard, but it Works

Since its founding more than twenty years ago Elder Research has been involved in hundreds of data mining projects. Most of those projects employ numerical data, but for about a decade now we have been called on increasingly to extract information from unstructured or semi-structured text.  Though Gartner recently classified Text Analytics as just exiting the “Trough of Disillusionment” on their famous “Hype Cycle”,[1] we have found that every text mining project we have worked on has been a success.

Read More »

Prediction in the Public Sector: Why the Government Needs Predictive Analytics

Eric Siegel

June 22, 2018

BLOG_Prediction in the Public Sector

Data can appear lifeless and dull on the surface—especially government data—but the thought of it should actually get you excited. Data is the very most interesting and powerful thing. First off, data is exactly the stuff we bother to write down—and for good reason. But its potential far transcends functions like tracking and bookkeeping: Data encodes great quantities of experience, and computers can learn from that experience to make everything work better.

Read More »

Team Diversity: Women In Data Science

Paul Derstine

June 15, 2018

BLOG_Team Diversity_Women in Data Science

According to Women in Tech: The Facts, a report by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), “In 2015, women held 57% of all professional occupations, yet they held only 25% of all computing occupations.”  The NCWIT report authors believe that this pattern is “especially troubling given ample evidence of the critical benefits diversity brings to innovation, problem-solving, and creativity. Indeed, a solid body of research in computing and in other fields documents the enhanced performance outcomes and benefits brought about by diverse work teams.”

Read More »

Share Your Case Study at Predictive Analytics World for Government

Paul Derstine

June 1, 2018

BLOG_Apply to Speak at PAW Gov

The only conference of its kind, Predictive Analytics World for Government advances the deployment of analytics within federal, state and local government -- to drive smarter decisions, automate manual processes, and reduce fraud, waste, and abuse -- by extracting actionable insights from vast quantities of data. Are you interested in sharing your case studies, lessons learned, or best practices for using analytics to further your mission? 

Read More »

Developing an Analytics Strategy: The Analytics Champion

Robert Pitney

May 25, 2018

 BLOG_The Role of the Analytics Champion

As outlined in Developing an Analytics Strategy: The Role of Culture, there are five facets to “cultural infrastructure” that organizations must address to realize the full potential of analytics.  This may require significant cultural change, which must begin with executive leadership, i.e. setting the “tone at the top”.  We recommend appointing an Analytics Champion to maximize value from analytics. Here, I’ll describe the key traits of an Analytics Champion and how they can set up an organization for future “wins” with analytics.

Read More »

Why You Should Attend Predictive Analytics World

Paul Derstine

May 18, 2018

 BLOG_Predictive Analytics World-Las Vegas

This year there will be only ONE Predictive Analytics World conference in the U.S. Billed as Mega-PAW, it will be the largest Predictive Analytics World event to date and is the premier cross-vendor conference for machine learning and predictive analytics professionals, managers and commercial practitioners. The only conference of its kind, Predictive Analytics World delivers vendor-neutral sessions across verticals such as banking, financial services, e-commerce, entertainment, government, healthcare, manufacturing, high technology, insurance, non-profits, publishing, and retail.

Read More »

Detecting Fraudulent Workers' Compensation Claims

Isaiah Goodall

May 11, 2018

BLOG_Detecting Fraudulent Workers' Compensation ClaimsHealthcare fraud is very difficult to detect because a variety of nuanced methods are employed, investigative evidence is often buried in text documents, and there can be collusion among network providers. Excessive or redundant medical services, medical coding errors, improper billing, as well as outright fraud, continue to be significant challenges for health insurers.

The Department of Labor Office of Inspector General wanted to develop an effective fraud detection solution to prioritize high-risk workers’ compensation claims for investigation.

Read More »

Developing an Analytics Strategy: The Role of Culture

Robert Pitney

May 4, 2018

BLOG_Promoting Data-Driven Decisions_The Role of the Culture

Analytics enables organizations to more effectively accomplish their mission by revealing new insights that promote better decision-making.  When first getting an analytics capability going, organizations often focus on the technical building blocks, such as constructing an IT infrastructure, obtaining analytics software, or hiring data scientists and analysts.  However, when developing an analytics strategy they often overlook whether the organization is ready, and willing to develop the “cultural infrastructure” necessary to benefit from those investments.

Read More »

Jumpstart Your Data Science Team with Experts

Isaiah Goodall

April 27, 2018


BLOG_Jumpstart Your Data Science Team with Experts 2

Increasing numbers of mid-size and larger companies have seen the worth of analytics and are trying to build in-house data science teams to capitalize on the value of their data assets. But, hiring effective data scientists is a challenge due to the competition for this rare and expensive talent. Further, beyond the task of finding and retaining data scientists and analysts, building a working in-house analytics team is fraught with organizational challenges such as securing buy-in from business unit leaders, IT, and executive decision-makers.

Read More »

The Power of Open Data and Crowdsourcing Analytics

Paul Derstine

April 20, 2018

 BLOG_The Power of Open Data and Crowdsourcing Analytics

Crowdsourcing, a combination of “crowd” and “outsourcing” first coined by Wired magazine in 2005 and fueled by the Internet, is a powerful sourcing model that leverages the depth of experience and ideas of a public group rather than an organizations own employees. In The Importance of CrowdSourcing Matt H. Evans points out that “Crowdsourcing taps into the global world of ideas, helping companies work through a rapid design process. You outsource to large crowds in an effort to make sure your products or services are right.” The advantages of using crowdsourcing are claimed to include improved costs, speed, quality, flexibility, scalability, or diversity. It has been used by start-ups, large corporations, non-profit organizations, and to create common goods. Wikipedia maintains a list of crowdsourced projects.

Read More »

Get Ready for Analytics Summit 2018

Paul Derstine

April 13, 2018


BLOG_Analytics Summit 2018Elder Research will participate in the 7th annual Analytics Summit 2018, Hosted by The University of Cincinnati Center for Business Analytics on May 14th-16th, 2018 at the Sharonville Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. This year’s event will feature three high-profile keynote speakers, four technical one or two-day training sessions, one managerial half-day forum, and five analytics tracks with three presentations each.

Read More »

What is Data Wrangling and Why Does it Take So Long

Mike Thurber

April 6, 2018

BLOG_What is Data Wrangling and Why Does it Take So Long

Data wrangling is the process of gathering, selecting, and transforming data to answer an analytical question.  Also known as data cleaning or “munging”, legend has it that this wrangling costs analytics professionals as much as 80% of their time, leaving only 20% for exploration and modeling. Why does it take so long to wrangle the data so that it is usable for analytics?

Read More »

Choosing the Right Analytics Problem

Miriam Friedel

March 30, 2018


BLOG_Choosing the Right Analytics ProblemIf your organization is new to data science and predictive analytics, it can be difficult to know where to start. In our two decades of experience at Elder Research, we have found that there is often a mismatch between what companies think they should do with analytics versus what will provide the most value. While the specific problem to tackle varies by industry and business, we have found that choosing the right problem and focusing on a few key guidelines at the outset helps us deliver business value and gain support for analytics from key stakeholders.

Read More »