Sunday, May 21, 2006

Data Mining for Business Applications Workshop

The upcoming International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD) conference (August in Philadelphia) will feature a workshop on "Data Mining for Business Applications". The goals of the workshop are stated as:

1. Bring together researchers (from both academia and industry) as well as practitioners from different fields to talk about their different perspectives and to share their latest problems and ideas.
2. Attract business professionals who have access to interesting sources of data and business problems but not the expertise in data mining to solve them effectively.

I love attending KDD - it is a fun conference with lots of interesting talks and posters, which attracts both industry people as well as academics from artificial intelligence/maching-learning and a few statisticians (the cool ones, of course). Aside from the main conference there is a variety of workshops and tutorials. This conference has a competitive acceptance rate for papers, which guarantees high quality.

See you in Philly!

Bridging academia and industry

The latest AMSTAT NEWS, which is the monthly magazine of the American Statistical Association has an interesting article by Bonnie Ray, a statistician at IBM Watson Research Center. She describes the wealth of activities (sections, conferences, etc.) by the sister organization INFORMS that are aimed at bringing together academics with industry professionals. In particular, she mentions the huge gap in the field of business and the burning need for quantitative and "statistically literate" experts in businesses.

I believe that one GREAT resource is the MBA program. Some of the students who take (in addition to a core statistics course) a hands-on, business-oriented data mining/analysis course have a big advantage: they not only understand and tried out some analysis, but they are well versed in the business world, in their field of concentration (marketing, finance, etc.) Some of my top students would be an incredible asset to any company.

It is prime time for the statistics community to embrace MBA programs and not only teach statistics, but also learn more about its use, challenges, and real applications in the business context.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Special issue of Statistical Science on "Statistical Challenges in eCommerce Research"

Yes, the special is coming out this month! It will contain a collection of papers by statisticians and non-statisticians (researchers from information systems, marketing, and more). Lots of great data, methods, analyses, and open questions.

For those not familiar with the journal Statistical Science, this is a really neat and readable statistical journal that features special issues on interdisciplinary areas, interviews with famous statisticians, and more. My colleague Anindya Ghose from the Stern School of Business just sent me a few websites showing the HUGE impact factor of this journal (this is the ratio of the number of citations to the number of published articles) :
  • According to Thomson's Sci-Bytes, in 2000-2004 it had an impact factor of 4.9, and was in the 4th place, after Bioinformatics, J. Computational Biology and Econometrica.
  • Ranked 6th on the list of Top Journal in Statistics (among 72 journals) in an analysis by Professor Wayne Oldford from the University of Waterloo (and director of the center for computational mathi in industry and commerce) .
  • Ranked as one of the two "Top Tier Review Journals" by Dept of Statistics at Florida State U (in a document that ranks journals for purpses of tenure and promotion...)

So hold your breath for the May issue. A preview of the cover and Table of Contents will be available at the 2nd Symposium on "Statistical Challenges in eCommerce" at Minneapolis (May 22-23). A leak from the editor says that the issue will also include an interview with a famous statistician...