What learning material would you suggest for a CS person / novice statistician / novice mathematician to get into predictive analytics?
There's no need to call it Predictive Analytics :) It already has two names: statistics, and data mining.
Beginner Stats Book: Statistics in Plain English
Advanced Stats Book: Multivariate Analysis, by Hair
Data Mining Book: I still haven't found a great one, but Data Mining by Witten is okay.
Don't get too confused by all the details. There are only so many things you can accomplish in general:
- predict a real number (regression)
- predict a whole number (classification)
- modeling (same as the above two, but the model is understandable by humans)
- group similar observations (clustering)
- group similar factors (factor analysis)
- describe a single factor
- describe the relationship between multiple factors (correlation, association, etc)
- determine if a population value is different from another, based on a sample
- design experiments and calculate sample size
They have written a book on what predictive models are, when to use what tests/models, and how to create them in Excel. I'm using it every day in my job. I think it's extremely useful.
Reading this one now: Predictive Analytics: Microsoft Excel
By Conrad Carlberg
Published Jul 2, 2012 by Que.
- ISBN-10: 0-7897-4941-6 ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-4941-3
I'm not done reading it yet, but so far its a good introduction to the topic for a non-stat person. It starts pretty basic with both stat concepts and Excel functionality and is building from there.
On the Stats front, its going into a pretty healthy discussion of of using moving averages and smoothing to help determine signal/noise in time series.
On the Excel front, its explaining how to build models using the above concepts (rather than just plunking a typical Excel trendline on a chart), and using some of Excels add-on functionality (e.g. Solver and Data Analysis).
I wrote a book on this topic:
"Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die", by Eric Siegel, Ph.D. (Wiley, February 2013)
More info: http://www.thepredictionbook.com
The Fiscal Times ran an excerpt as an article: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2013/01/21/The-Real-Story-Behind-Obamas-Election-Victory.aspx
And there are other excerpts available throught the book website above.
Let me know if you have any questions about the book!
There are quite a few books around. The above are all pretty good. I've also done a book focusing specifically on predictive analytics in retailing and financial services.
Finlay, Steven (2012). Credit Scoring, Response Modeling and Insurance Rating. A Practical Guide to Forecasting Customer Behavior. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-230-34776-2.
Its certainly not a "Hard core" mathematics book, but it does give a basic introduction to they key methods such as logistic regression, neural networks etc. In particular it focuses on the entire model development process. Starting with project planning and going through to implementation and monitoring of the model post live.
Further to my previous note - I'd just like to let people know that my new book: Predictive Analytics, Data Mining and Big Data. Myths, Misconceptions and Methods is now out. Available at amazon and all good book shops:
Eric - your book is recommended reading.