Sunil Wattal

  • Travel policy for MIS PhD students

    All MIS doctoral students are eligible to apply for up to $500 / year in travel funds. Doctoral student travel is managed by the departmental PhD coordinator. The research […]

  • Please email the completed exam to me ( before 6:00pm Sunday Dec 14, 2104 

    use of internet is not permitted while you are completing the exam.

    Exam MIS 5101

  • Leave your response as a comment on this post December 9. Remember, it only needs to be a few sentences.

    Think for about 100 seconds and answer the following questions:

    What was the most important takeaway […]

    • Here are my biggest takeaways:
      1. Data Analytics can be successfully implemented if the organization culture is aligned for data driven decision making
      2. Leadership plays an important role to drive Data Driven culture across the organization
      3. Data Visualization tools are important to communicate the organizations most pressing data needs
      4. Data Analytics Challenge and Group Project allowed to apply the learings into real work situation

    • I think it was both interesting and important to learn that data analytics can be used in every industry to optimize and improve business processes and decisions. Similarly, most analytics techniques are the same across industries, so having this background is important no matter what company you work for. Although I thought KPIs and good visualizations were the most valuable tools in analyzing data, there are a large number of helpful data tools that, when all used together, make for hugely successful IT/ BI initiatives.

    • My biggest takeaway from MIS5101 was that everybody wants to use data analytics and visualization to improve business practices and drive shareholder value, but not everybody knows how. Understanding data and implementing business intelligence tools is more challenging than using a “gut reaction” or qualatative assumptions to make decisions. Many organizations do not have the personnel capable of using these tools, or the leadership willing or able to lead strategically using them. By entering into the business world with experience and eagerness to use data analytics and visualization, we will have a competitive advantage over more traditional-style leaders.

    • My biggest takeaway from this course is that the efficient use of data analytics involves embedding it in every business process, collecting and presenting results in simple yet exhaustive visuals and finally drawing critical insights from the data presented, the insights that further help in the business decision process. Companies that have the capabilities to do so, gain a significant competitive advantage over the companies that neglect the importance of data analytics.

    • My biggest takeaway was how to efficiently transform data analytics into effective data visualization using tools such as Tableau or Excel, etc. It is important that the data visualization is simple but effective to get the point across. With the abundance data now, how use that data effectively into a simple visualization is ever so important. This is a key asset for individuals and organizations have competitive advantage on how to differentiate themselves from competitors.

    • My biggest takeaway from the class is that major decisions are based on data rather than the gut feeling of the managers. This is applicable to companies of all sizes. Analytics and visualizations aid in this decision making process and they should be simple for the message to be effective. We need to keep a look out of incorrect and misleading visualizations.

    • My biggest takeaway from our class:1) be able to identify fact, data, and knowledge; 2) a successful data-driven company is not only good at data analysis, but also has data-driven culture to influence; 3) Excel, Tableau, and SQL, etc. are useful tools for us to analyze data, but before we are going to use data, we should be clear of our analysis purposes; 4) Infographic provides an easier way for readers to understand.

    • What I really enjoyed was hearing everyone participate during class. As a non-Fox Business School student, my program is in the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, it was truly a pleasure listening to the Fox students get involved in the course material and really present themselves at a high standard. Gave me a good idea of what and who else is out there in various business sectors. Plus, class content was easily relatable to my career and academic interests so that’s always a positive!
      Thank you all!

    • My biggest takeaways from this course is how to apply data mining and business intelligence techniques to solve specific business issues. Data analysis is a strong and persuasive evidence for decision making. Along with that, we need to stand at the audience’s perspective to select appropriate data visualization techniques, a proper infographic can effectively communicate the results.

    • My biggest takeaway from this course is to learn the trend for organizations in most of the industries to use data analysis tools to improve the operation process as well as to support better quality in business decisions.
      Also I learnt that when it comes to data analysis in real business situations, a good visualization is more important than statistical theory itself. It is true that we need solid statistical knowledge during the process of “data mining”, but without good visualizations, we can only end up getting confusing formulas and functions instead of valuable business insights. I’m glad to have chance to learn a couple of useful visualization tools this semester.

    • My biggest takeaways from this course are:
      1. Use of SQL Workbench: This is a core skill, which I had a rough idea about, but never had the opportunity to get hands on experience on it.
      2. What is big data really all about? It is about having huge volumes of data, but the key to analyzing this data lies in sifting through all the data to find the most relevant and key insights and translating this into valuable information which can be easily understood.
      3. The Data Analytics Challenge was a huge learning experience where we got to put our skills to the real test. Our team performed really well, getting to the last stage.
      4. The skill of creating an infographic: I created two infographics for this course. This (data analytics challenge and group project) really helped me in analyzing large data sets to present information in the form of a good visual, thus enhancing my skill on Piktochart.

    • Besides learning knowing how to use visualization programs such as Tableau my biggest takeaway was understanding the difference between knowledge, data, and information. Knowledge is what we know, personal map of the world. Data are the facts or descriptions of the world. We can capture data in information, then move it around for analysis.

    • Learned a lot from this class, the business world is now a data driven world. Learning how to use data, how to mining data are essential for a business person. The biggest takeaway from this class for me is to learn how to efficiently identify the key data from the sea of data. Success companies are all good at data analysis and have a data-driven culture. Applying all these data analytic skills in business process not only can give companies more insights from the data but also can help predicting the future, and I think this is the beauty of business intelligence. And more important, using different tools to visualize data is also important. Visualized data can helps us transform a large amount of data into clear and simple result and helps people understand the data more directly. All the tools I learned from this class may help me in my future career life, and the application of the knowledge makes me better understand the business intelligence.

    • What I’ve learned is that data is collected in almost every aspect of a person’s life, from using your cell phone to grocery shopping to receiving healthcare. That data can be collected and analyzed in variety of ways. Ultimately, the goal of all this data collection and analysis is generate more revenue for corporations who provide you services.

    • The biggest learning opportunities for me were the in class exercises. For example, while a lecture on SQL and databases is key to understanding their framework, being able to sit down and play with finding things in a database shows you the business value. The same can be said for the pivot table and ERD exercises, I would definitely want these to be in future versions of this class. If I had to explain what this course was about I would say to understand the distinction between data, information, and knowledge and how each of those three can improve your business through the vessel of technology.

    • The exercises in the class were very helpful. I was exposed to different tools that are commonly used in different organizations. If I had to explain what this course is about, I would say that it taught me to really look beyond everything we are doing on a system, and visualize how everything works from the back end.

    • The biggest takeaway for me from this class was that the use of data analytics across industries is as prevalent and robust as ever. However, challenges exist as companies move to be more data-driven in their actions. The use of data to present ideas and make decisions can be complicated and leave people feeling more confused. One of the key things I took away from this course is to ensure that the data is presented in such a manner that tells a clear story and provides insights that can lead to more efficient strategies and operations. Also, people need to adjust their mindset to be more data-driven so as to be able to have the conversations and an understanding of the power of the analytics.

    • What I will remember most is some things to watch out for when moving toward being more data driven. The readings have shown some issues regarding personal safety versus the “greater good”, the role of technology on the industry (in terms of in what role publishers (or others) now fit), and accuracy versus access. Despite potential drawbacks, the course has shown that those who navigate these well will see great benefits by using data driven decision making (netflix, cheezburger, call center retention case).

      Further, just as important as the actual data is the way that it is presented. It is absolutely necessary to ensure the data is clear and easy to understand or else it will not be used. The story must be crystal clear.

    • Before joining this course, I was not aware that data could be used in so many different ways. And each persons perspective could lead into analyzing it in different ways to the need of the business and coming up with the quantitative solutions for the problems. Through our project I realized that there is a strong connection in real world between the data and the process followed either to gather the data, to analyse it and convert it to strategic recommendations.

    • Takeaways:
      1. Use of data and importance of having proper data.
      2. Use of various tools for various reasons – “One size doesn’t fit all”
      3. Ethical issues of using data and protecting it.

    • This class was highly valuable in my understanding of Business Intelligence and how the “game” is played on the global scale. One of the biggest things that have stuck with me was the data-information-knowledge-wisdom process. I feel I can apply that to many different things in my life. I love technology and business analytics and this class facilitated my passion for the arts. I hope that I may continue using what I’ve learned in this class for years to come. Thank You.

    • My most important takeaway from this course is the way data analytics have influenced the decision-making process in today’s world. Also, it is important to present the analyzed data visually in such a way that is easy to understand, coveys the information properly, and visually appealing.

    • My biggest takeaway from this course that data analysis is not just receive data. This course taught me how to interpret data in multiple way and determine different meanings to it. Organizations use data from any area and our everyday life routine is used as data.

    • The learning from all the in-class exercises and take-home assignments is very valuable to me. Having a business education background and having no knowledge on technical concepts like SQL and ER modeling, I learnt to use the technology to make things simpler and easier while dealing with big data. I had to watch at least 10 videos and spend hours in solving a single SQL query but, everything was worth my efforts is what I’d say!
      I never knew about the online info-graphic making website until I was given the assignment. It was fun creating and sharing other teams’ info-graphic in class!

    • My biggest takeaway from MIS 5101 is how to analyze big data and more importantly how to visualize this data to others. I learnt some of the very important concepts like SQL- for data extraction and info graphics for data presentation, which will be immensely helpful to me even if I shape my career outside IT.

      If I had to explain a scholar what MIS 5101 is about? I would say it’s all about data extraction and presentation. Practically speaking, in today’s era when you are surrounded by data, it is really important to understand what data is useful and how will you extract it. Also, this exercise is more useful if you are able to present this data more effectively and info-graphics rightly taught us to do so.

    • In this course, my biggest takeaway is that everyone wants to use data effectively but no one knows how.. That being said, the most tangible aspect of this course was using the ER Modeling and SQL programs. I was hoping to use more of these. The way I see is it if you understand the current ways in which people are manipulating and coding data then can be part of the solution and hopefully figure out new ways to analyze and ultimately use Big Data.The bottom line is the usage of data is powerful and cannot be ignored as it has continually been proved to be a more effective way of making important business decisions.

    • The biggest takeaway for myself would be just the power of data and the need for all corporations to integrate data analytics into their business is some capacity. Whether it be finding out more about a specific customer segment or doing market research, data can only help in the decision making process. I would tell a future MIS5101 student that this course is not only about how to incorporate analytics into daily business operations, but it is about how to best use data and how to properly make decisions based off of your findings. This course helps in taking that next step of actually utilizing the data to tell a story or gain a specific outcome.

    • The biggest take away was strategy being data driven. The business world will be dominated by organizations who have learned how to use data and CRM tools to understand their customers and the way people behave. That will be the key difference between the very successful companies and those in the middle of the road.
      The course was about how data is being collected in amounts just over the past few years more than ever before. Organizations are understanding the necessity of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting all of this data to find trends, forecast, and understand consumer behaviors. Articles and case studies give examples of how organizations handle big data, what tools they use and why to differentiate themselves from competitors.

    • The most important takeaway from this class is that plenty accesses to multiple BI software and tools such as MySQL, Tableau, Pivot table and so on which would be so applicable for my future career. Better understanding these analytic tools could be interesting and useful. The 1-hour lecture delivered by guest speaker was also very interesting and delivered some real business sense about data visualization from big companies based on those real business practices. Data visualization is not only about techniques and designs but also about understanding data and business process. MIS 5101 really introduced this analytic process very well.

    • After reflecting for 100 seconds, I feel the most important takeaway from the course is not so much the specific tools we learned to use, but the importance of data analytics in informing important decisions. I learned how to use data analytics to solve problems, offer new solutions, and most importantly, to tell a persuasive story. I most enjoyed the data visualization aspect of the course, and feel telling a story through dat visualization is the most valuable skill I will take from the course.

    • My biggest takeaway is that managers need not be experts in the generating/capturing information in order to maximize the knowledge potential of the company. By having a broad understanding of overarching data philosophy and strategy, managers can delegate data strategy to specialized experts and instead allocate their time to the interpretation and application of those specialist’s findings. Given the infancy of Big Data, even achieving a 5-10% increase in insight capabilities can be devastating to the competition. Slow playing cultivating a knowledge culture simply because we can’t achieve “100%” of the vision is a sure route to a competitive disadvantage.

  • Leave your response as a comment on this post by the beginning of class next week (Nov 18th). Remember, it only needs to be a few sentences. For these weekly questions, I’m mainly interested in your opinions, not […]

    • The most important takeaway from the speakers was to allow the graphic to stand on its own and tell a story. The message you want to deliver should be immediately and clearly understood by the picture. Those that need to be explained have not done the job. Also, different types of graphics do better than others to tell specific stories – how do things compare versus what are the trends, etcetera. It is not just about drawing a picture to show the data, but to make it clearly show an actionable solution. My concern now is that I need to learn Tableau much better than I currently know it!

    • I think that the most important takeaway from the guest speakers’ presentation was that a good data visualization should be easy to understand for the general audience (with no special background, like statistics or economics), the color scheme should be consistent in all of the graphs used to make it easier for the audience to compare different sets of data, and most importantly the data visualization should be able to communicate a clear message and answer a particular question being addressed.

    • The guest speakers helped a lot in understanding how the visualizations are actually used in making business decisions. It was good to know the practical usage of what we learn in class. It was interesting to see different types of visualizations for a question and learn from the speakers which visualization is more effective for the question at hand. Even though it might seem obvious, it was good to see examples where a combination of visualizations are used to communicate a message.

    • I thought that the presentation was great! It was awesome to know just how many different applications visualization has. I think one of the most important take-aways were the ground rules for good visualizations (keeping the audience in mind, using the right type of graphic, use actionable data, etc.) It surprised me that certain data and information can be seen so much more clearly when viewed in the correct way, and that the best graphics are the ones that elicit even more questions about a data set.

    • The biggest takeaway from the presentation was the need to tailor presentations and graphs to your audience. Graphics should be made to highlight information your audience is most concerned with. To make that information standout is necessary to keep their attention and help them see data in a way that answers their questions quickly. The goal should be to make a graph reveal critical information which your audience can understand in about five seconds.

    • At the outset the presentation was great. high quality talk and visuals. I particularly liked the focus on the design of the visualization rather than just focus on the tools.

    • I also thought the presentation was very enlightening. As some of our other classmates have touched on, I felt that one of the most important takeaways was the idea of an infographic telling a clear narrative, that is easy to understand without need for explanation. If you have to explain the infographic, then chances are that there will be several people who do not understand, or do not understand in the time that the slide or graphic should take to cover.

    • Last week the Wall Street Journal published an article how the next big thing is a Masters in Data Analytics. The presentation definitely proved this through the discussions of how it could be used in different areas within an organization. Visualization and uses of big data help not only analyze the information from the past but also possibly predict or have somewhat of an idea of what the future holds as well.

    • The great takeaway from the presentation is that the guest speakers emphasized how digital presentation is starting to be the big thing. Upper management would like to see the big picture and the only way to present that idea is through data images. The guest speakers focused on explaining how easy and beneficial it can be for companies. It was a great overall presentation from the guest speakers.

    • The most important takeaway from the speakers’ presentation was that data analytics and visualizations should try to simplify information, not complicate it. Often times when we are trying to prove how much work we have done or when we are unable to discern the most important information, we often end up with a far more complex story than our clients want. Presenting a simple visualization that proves you have synthesized all the relevant information into an easily accessible format is often what is most desired by the client.

    • I completely agree with a lot of the above comments. The most important takeaway for me was the importance of simple visualizations. Data can be complex and complicated. Figuring out the right method for the story you are trying to tell is critical. The visualization should not add to the level of complication, but rather simplify it so that the most important key takeaway can be absorbed by the audience. Overall though I really enjoyed listening to both Rich and Todd talk about data visualization and how it is so applicable across industries today to be able to deliver insight, action, and impact.

    • The most important takeaway for me was before going to the data, we should know what’s the purpose. Just like Richard talked, if a manager ask you for sales data, you shouldn’t go to the database immediately but you should ask the manager what he want to do with sales data. For me, I often get data first and then try to find something in it. So maybe I should try to come up with questions and then find answer in data.

    • As a student, I used to be so obsessed with all the theories and statistical tests I’ve learnt from class. The presentation last week made me realize that in a company, a more critical issue is to provide the key information to support decision-making, rather than giving long talks about textbook theories. Also I’m amazed by how properly organized data can tell story by themselves in a simply and clear way.

    • The most important takeaway from the speakers was the data might be complicated, but we should make it as simple as possible to present to others. Even most of the time we did a lot of data analyzes, we want to show everything we did, but the presentation should be all about the solution of problem. We should first find out the right question to answer, and present the answer in simple visual so no matter who are we going to present can understand what we find out and want to show. Find the right visualization, whether to use histogram, pie chart or other, choose the best one which can illustrate what you want to say.

    • I think that the most important takeaway from last weeks presentation was clearly the importance of being sure to allow the data to tell a story. While the presenter makes clear that it is important to use your data to back up your claims, it is even more important to create a coherent narrative that helps put your claims and the data in context. It is a two fold takeaway that reinforces itself. While it is clearly important to ensure that you are able to create a narrative that helps support the correct pathway and solve the problem for the client you are working with, it is also important to ensure that your conclusions are derived from the information that you are showing.

    • 1. I believe the most important takeaway from the guest lecture presentation is how the same data can be presented in different ways to draw different inferences. Sometimes, we stick with one style of representing the data, without realizing other styles might be able to deliver the message more meaningfully.

    • The most important takeaway from the speaker’s presentation is that rather than explain how these infographic has been made, we should focus more on how these data can influence organization’s business. Decision makers don’t care how do we make the infographic and get our conclusion, they don’t want to know what’s the “t-value” or “p-value”, what they care is how these data will influence their decisions, that’s why we should always stand at the audiences’ perspective and make data visualization to be simple, easy and clear.

    • I thought the presentations were extremely insightful and could be directly applied to the field in which we are interested in. I thought the biggest takeaway from my end was the ability for them to translate data in an easy to understand manner. They told us about the data set that they were using and the ways they could graphically depict the information to present it in a clear manner. They showed us multiple graphs and charts and explained each one thoroughly and showed the key differences each graph was highlighting. I kind of wish the presenters could have stayed longer and taken a little extra time on each graph and broken down one of the graphs to show exactly how the graph was thought up and then created. Overall, I thought the guest speakers and presentation was a great way to show an applicable use of infographics and data visualization.

    • I thought the most important takeaway from the presentations was that it is important to know how to present the data to others. It is important that you not only focus on the task at hand but also think bigger picture on how that data will translate into company success. It is also important to be able to present a simple but effective visualization to decision makers who aren’t particularly familiar with the topic.

    • ‘If you’ve never seen what a Chief Data Scientist looks like.. Well now you do.’
      –> The guest speakers provided me with a standard to strive for. The two Deloitte representatives were smart, interesting, captivating, and down to earth. I cared about their presentation and the content they provided, but I was more focused on what words they used, how they played with the data, why they used analytics. My goal was to be able to take away details that I could somehow use to advance myself in the analytic industry.

    • 1) I learnt how to present complex data into simple forms of graphs and charts. No matter how huge is the data, the skill lies in presenting it! Few of the example graphs and charts shown by Todd were tremendously interesting.

    • The most important takeaway that I had from the presentation last week which I think is counterintuitive in other exercises is to know what answer you are looking for before you decide which data you need. Often I see more benefit in the exploration of data but when it comes to visualization this seems more appropriate.

    • I think, more than anything, I just enjoyed the speakers excitement about data. I could tell that the two gentleman really enjoy what they do and it’s given me a slightly different perspective about a topic that can, at times, seem dry.

    • Last week’s speakers were incredibly engaging. The visuals were especially powerful and their personalities brought the concepts to life in a very engaging manner. Overall, the most critical takeaway for me was that companies should avoid waiting for the perfect candidate (i.e. the MIT post-doc). At this stage, even moving the needle from 50% on point to 60% in your analysis will crush competition that have not yet begun to incorporate data visualization and analysis into their offering. My own company is incredibly guilty of this practice, so I was able to immediately leverage some of their lessons in my own day-to-day to continue advancing the need for better data management internally.

    • My take away from our speakers were that if you have a good infographic it will convey important information that management will be able to use to make important decision about their business. All the data that you need will be available in one medium readily available.

    • The digital information good that I could think of from my experience is a beacon (that’s what the company calls, not sure if its widely popular).
      So the basic job of this good is to send text messages to people as soon as they enter certain area or a property. They might be greeting messages or coupons or any texts that the company wants to tell its customers.

    • In your opinion, what was the most important takeaway from our guest speakers’ presentation? Did anything surprise you?

      The most important takeaway from the guest speakers’ presentation is that “don’t get into data first”. As a MS student concentrating on research, I prefer analyzing the data as soon as I get them. In fact, the guest speaker reminded me that it is very important to figure out the objectives and structure that I want pull out from the raw data.

    • My take away from last week’s speakers’ presentation was that how different infographic can infer different information. So, it is very important to choose the right infographic to present the information

    • Q1: I am not really surprised by any of the comments of the speakers. Instead my understanding about visualization and the importance of story telling was further strengthened. I realized the importance of various tools and the need to be able to see the holistic picture as well as the granular information.

    • 1.The most important take-away from the speaker’s presentation during last class was: as important as what you are saying is how you are saying it. Good insights will only become obvious if appropriate visualizations are employed. The keyword in that sentence is “appropriate”, given that different visualization tools will yield different insights, and it is extremely important to make sure tools are selected with that in mind.

    • The most important take away for me was that you might have a sexy visual to show off but unless it tells a story your audience can understand then it’s useless. I run a small music production company and therefore the information good is the “album” or final product of the artistic ideas and inspiration. The most expensive part: times and creativity. One, is invaluable and the other you can’t buy.

    • The most important takeaway in my opinion was that the power of visualizations really lies in how your audience takes and interprets them. Careful consideration should be made not only in how the audience will be able to understand the visualization but also what implications it will have. This includes whatever biases the viewer brings to the table. Having multiple versions of the visualization configured in different layouts is a good exercise in case they can visually digest it in only certain forms.

    • At the company I interned with this past summer, I helped create several use cases for their previous projects. These documents are similar to case studies which we read at school. This might not be sold as an information good but is a good which is circulated across platforms to add value to the work done by the company, which is what an information good does.

  • Speakers : Rich Cohen and Todd Shock, Deloitte Consulting

    Topic : Data Visualization – tools and trends

    Time : 6-7 pm

    The talk will be for 1 hour, with 30-40 minutes for the talk and the rest for Q&A. The Q&A can be on any topic related to data analytics, including trends, career options, and Deloitte’s plans for analytics.

    Here are the bios of the speakers:

    Richard I. Cohen
    Managing Director , Philadelphia
    Lead Technology Principle – Philips
    Serves FDA/NIH/AZ

    Rich is a Senior Principal in Deloitte Technology Practice. He is responsible globally for the strategy, development and implementation of Information Based technologies, specifically, Data Warehousing, Decision Support, Enterprise Data Management, Data Quality, Master Data Management, Portal and Data Mining engagements to support the emergence of world class Analytic Applications. He has over 30 years of experience in the design, development, implementation, and support of information technology in a variety of industries with a heavy concentration in Life Sciences.


    Todd Shock
    Senior Manager, Deloitte Tax

    Todd Shock is a Senior Manager in Deloitte’s Tax practice developing technology, visualization and analytics solutions with the Partnership Solutions Group. Todd has over 20 years of experience in software development, data center management and operations, ASP/SaaS strategy and operation, and high performance computing. He is a graduate and former research faculty of the University of Maryland where he developed massively parallel distributed systems for the analysis of satellite data. He has served clients developing analytics solutions and strategies with Deloitte Analytics and formerly served as the Chief Data Scientist for Deloitte’s Center for Innovation and HIVE.

  • Book Chapter : A Manager’s Guide to Data Warehousing. John Wiley & Sons Chapter 10 (Implementation: Building the Database)

    click here

  • Please note the following change to the instructions for the final project.

    There is no individual component now. All the deliverables under the individual component should be performed and submitted as a group (one per group). In other words, a group  will create a two-page written brief to answer the following questions.

    Provide the context for the issue. Describe key business issue that must be addressed.
    What are the possible solutions? Explore two or three alternatives.
    What do you think is the best solution given those alternatives? Explain why.

    The group deliverable is now due on Nov 11

    Hope that clarifies.


  • interesting video on why gilt groupe uses nosql (click here) – the relevant portions are from minute 4 to minute 13.

  • Netflix knew that the show House of Cards would be a hit even before a single scene was shot – click here.  What do you think? Also list and explain other ways in which Netflix uses data analytics.

    • The Venn diagram strategy seems to big at Netflix, as it has used the same scheme while deciding the price for Favela Rising as it chose the common customers for both City of God and Born into Brothels which was estimated to be 250000 and made the decision on price. Cinematch was the biggest data analytic application for Netflix. The way it used data from its employees to see how they react if the DVD doesn’t reach on time was interesting.

  • Interesting article on how data analytics is changing the music industry (click here). Can you come up with examples of how other industries are changing with data analytics.

  • Leave your response as a comment on this post by the beginning of class (Nov 4). Remember, it only needs to be a few sentences. For these weekly questions, I’m mainly interested in your opinions, not so much […]

    • What was the total cost in the years 2009 and 2010?
      In 2009, the sum of cost is 10338384.53 and in 2010 it is 23696862.69.

    • What is the most likely time of day for someone to arrive at the emergency room complaining about chest pain?

    • Total number of people admitted at the hospital for allergic reaction–187 (female-151 and male-36)

    • Question: During what month do these least number of patients visit the ER? What is the most common visit reason during this month?
      Answer: November- difficultly breathing

    • What is the most common visit reason for patients aged 70 and over?
      Answer: Difficulty breathing

    • Question: Which month had the least amount of patients arriving to the ER by walking? Which month had the highest amount of patients arriving by walking to the ER? How many patients for each month?
      Answer: September, 1 patient arrived by walking to the ER; May, 96 patients arrived by walking to the ER.

    • How many patients visited Emergency Room? Ans: 17580
      How many of them were male and how many female? Male : 6867 , Female: 10713
      How many of them had Headache? Male : 217 , Female : 521

    • Q: What reason has the average longest duration of stay for women? How much?
      A: Chest Pain, 0.51 days

    • Question: For patients under 21, what is the most common visit reason?
      Answer: Chest Pain, 13%

    • Q: What’s the average stay duration for male and female patients in 2010?

      Male: 0.315 days; Female:0.328days

    • Question: What is the average cost of chest pain for people over 20 years old?
      Answer: Average cost is 2267.72, which female’s average cost is 2314.35 and male’s average cost is 2206.08

    • What is the ratio of 30 year old men to that of women ? Answer: 79:54 (158 men and 108 women who are 30 years old)

    • Which visit reason has the highest number of high urgency visits?
      Chest pain

    • Q: What are the top three most common reasons for visiting the ER?
      A: Chest Pain (2,285), Difficulty Breathing (1,508), and Pain, Abd General (1,352)

    • What was the average hospital duration of males and females at the age of 53?
      Males = 17 minutes
      Females = 22 minutes

    • Q: What is the average stay duration for people aged 29 years old?

      Answer: 29 year old stay on average 16.08 minutes, where male patients spend on average 14.4 minutes and female patients spend 17.01 minutes.

    • Q.How many visits are made by people 20 and younger. What is the most common reason.
      A. 651 in total. Flu Symptoms is highest at 85.

    • What age has the highest average stay duration for male and female?
      Female: Age 73, Avg stay duration: 0.412 day
      Male: Age 80, Avg stay duration: 0.452 day

    • Question: What is the average age of the males and females who go to the ER?
      Answer: Female: 52.72 years old Male: 52.21 years old.

    • 1) Dart mart example: information regarding no. of employees completed a particular certification.
      Parameters: Department, Job titles, and number of attempts

    • Data mart example: Information on media insertions placed through the agency

      Facts: Estimate ID, Property/Station ID, Weeks Active

      Measures: Quantity Ordered, Spend

      Dimensions: Client, Media Type (Product), Time

    • Q2
      What’s the average cost for people over 70?
      The average cost for people over 70 is $2278.42. Average cost for female over 70 is $2284.52 that is a little bit higher than the average cost for male over 70 ($2266.87).

    • Data mart example: Information on student’s contact information and interests
      Facts: Address, Phone #, Email, Social media use
      Measures: How many students are interested in what topics and where they are located
      Dimensions: Group students together by region and interests

    • Question 2

      What kind of patients paid most for ER on average in terms of age and gender? How much did they pay on average?

      80 Male ,2449.060111

    • For the Data Mart Exercise, the project that I was working on for my internship was looking to set up several data marts for the governmental organization we were consulting for. In terms of facts we were looking at dollar amounts for contracts that were awarded, how much had been set aside for research topics, researcher names, contact information and research subject. Measures were variables such as awards or research citations for research that had award money tied to it, or how much money had been spent. Finally the dimensions were primarily measured in financial terms.

    • Q: What is the most expensive month on average to go to the emergency room?

      A: August 2010 = $1,978.49

    • What is the total number of males admitted for allergic reaction?

    • How many teens went to the ER with the highest urgency in 2010?


    • What was the average ER length of stay for 65 year old + male or female? Male, .576 days

    • While working at Merck this past summer, I dealt extensively with several Merck data marts, including a data mart of the sales of pharmaceutical representatives. Measures included sales in particular regions, number of calls, and doctor visits. Dimensions were primarily financial. This data mart served to evaluate sales representatives, and helped to make sure different reps didn’t cross over each other’s territory.

  • Here is the Pivot Table Tutorial and spreadsheet prepared by Prof David Schuff. You need Microsoft Excel 2007 or 2010.

    And here are the answers to the “try it” exercises.

    If you’re already very familiar with […]

  • Leave your response as a comment on this post by the beginning of class next week (10/28). Remember, it only needs to be a few sentences. For these weekly questions, I’m mainly interested in your opinions, not so […]

    • could encourage better use of data by doing the following:
      1. Simplicity: Create the website and data interface with advance search features to ensure using the site is intuitive and easy
      2. Nomenclature and Classification: Give detailed description of data sets , identify source of data, define meta data to help users understand the data set better
      3. Application: For each data category display some useful case studies on the website.

    • If I were in charge of, I would encourage people to create and share visualizations of the data they cared about most. This would encourage collaboration and make the data sets even more readable by non-technical users. The maximize this potential, rewards and incentives could be given to those with the best/ most accurate/ most useful interpretations of data.

    • This mashup shows the correlation between high school graduation rate and teen birth rate. Note that those states with the highest ranking (darkest color) are those with either a high percentage of high school graduates, a low teen birth rate, or a combination of the two. The opposite goes for those states with the lowest ranking.

    • The following link shows the mashup on unemployment and poverty rate in the US. The states with higher resultant figure (product of unemployment and poverty rate) are shown with darker colors in the map and vice-a-versa.

    • To encourage people to use, I would make different competitions that would require the use of sites and data. We’re a culture that’s all about competition so I think this would be a good motivator for the U.S. I would work with different universities or organizations to see if they could facilitate the competitions and in return get additional federal or state aid. Getting corporate and organizational sponsorship would help with prizes and aid for participants.

    • The mashup shows high school graduation rate plus divorce rate. The highest score is in Wisconsin and the lowest is in Nevada.

    • The mashup shows the correlation between adult obesity rate and % of adults who are moderately/vigorously active. The darker states have higher correlation between these factors.

    • If you were in charge of, how would you encourage people to make better use of its data?

      If I was in charge of, i would encourage people to use this data to get information and making informed choices about the services they used. The top management can use the information and rely on it to understand what the users need. Business should take the data and produce goods and services from it.

    • I would encourage healthcare organizations to use for insight on trends regarding admission rates, the length of stay and what the return rates are to see what the national average is. They possibly can use the information to make informed decisions concerning their particular organization and see if they are part of that average.

    • The following graph shows the correlation between the SAT scores and high school graduation rates. The darker states have higher correlation between these 2 factors.

    • The following mashup shows sat scores times graduation divided by population. The darker states are smarter per capita.

    • This mashup shows the correlation between the percentage of adults who were told they have diabetes and the number of fast food restaurants per
      100,000 residents.

    • This may be outlandish, but if I were in charge of I would hold an open competition to have individuals run the data and find inefficiencies with the government. It seems like something that would probably resonate with a lot of people, and the reward (while also monetary) is to help the government operate better. This in my mind would certainly generate a lot of attention, but potentially cause someone to lose their job!

    • If I were in charge of I would advertise the publicity of data being shown around the internet. I would really try and drive traffic towards the website and encourage people to use this data freely. Once people arrive at the site should provide tutorials and walk-thrus for people who would like to learn more about how to properly utilize data. I would also encourage people to share their data outputs for some sort of incentive.

    • This mashup shows the coefficient between number of murder and the violent crime offenses (murder rate per 100k divided by the violent crime offenses rate per 100k).

    • If I were in charge of, I would create a review column/online discussion board under each datasets and encourage everyone leave their comments or questions. Other people could answer those questions or leave their own opinions. This will help people know other people’s insight about the data and find out which data is more useful when dealing with their own problem. In addition, reward is always the incentive of people’s participation. I will set a competition and reward people who could give valuable feedbacks for the inefficiencies of the data we provide.

    • i think they first need to make more aware of the issue, and also make the UI more appealing. Right now it looks like a bunch of links, and it’s pretty overwhelming. Make it easier to navigate.

    • If I were in charge of, I would hold events akin to Hack-a-thons, where the open source data could be used and analyzed to solve real governmental issues. This would both solve issues and raise awareness of the valuable resource at the same time.

    • If I was in charge of, I would try to include more data sets from non-government entities such as universities or non-profit. There could be a lot of biases on what the government wants us to know. I think if they included more data sets from other entities there will be a more balanced sharing of information.

    • For I would make it more visible by advertising it so people know it exists. Also possibly taking user feedback to improve it as well.

    • If you were in charge of, how would you encourage people to make better use of its data? needs a radical makeover. This should include a rebranding of the website to include an easier process to obtaining information, as well as including a tutorial section to support new users. Not only does the website need to improve, but so does the marketing strategy to promote the website. should take a few notes from the ‘Obama Care’ marketing strategy.

    • If I were in charge of, I would create a portal for people to share their creations based on the government data. This would be split into sections based on the focus of the data and how it is used. I would also consider running a contest for, awarding a prize to the most innovative use of the government’s data. Ideally, this would result in an innovation that could be used to improve government process, and the prize money would be minuscule in comparison to the cost savings resulting from the innovation.

    • This mashup shows the relationship between the presence of a loaded gun in a household and deaths by firearm within state populations (per 100k people):

    • If I am in charge of, I would offer the chance for people to analyze the data, give their own opinion about the data and draw the conclusion that could help government to make political decisions. If the advice from general publication makes sense and support the decision making, the government can adopt their opinion and give them awards.


      This is a data mash of number of births times population covered by health insurance. This could help healthcare companies identify target markets based on knowing the largest pockets of the future population that will be covered by health insurance.

    • So, if I were in charge of I would take some pretty innovative measures in order to encourage folks to make better use of the data available. I would ensure to hold an annual national data analytics competition and offer monetary compensation. Furthermore, I would have tiered contests for different age groups and have challenges targeted directly to children, thereby fostering their interest in data.

    • Q1: I think the problem with is not a lot of people are aware about the existence of it. In order to make better use of data, firstly, they need people to be aware about the existence, for which data. gov should advertise. It can also incentivize people to provide examples for creative usage of the data on its website. In this way, people visiting their website will be aware and motivated to use the data in a better way.

    • If I were in charge of, I would initiate an analytics challenge where people are invited to make a case on how to improve governance with regards to delicate issues in their municipality or state. These cases would then be posted in a separate website, and other members of the community can vote on them. The cases would need to rely on really good evidence in order to quality. This way, the governing bodies can have an idea of what sentiments are being shared by their communities and have an opportunity to improve their practices and provide an opportunity for a truer democracy.

    • 1. If I were in charge of, I would take the following steps:
      a). Agree with Andy’s idea of holding a competition, this opens up the loop holes and helps me improve the website.
      b). Classify data according to categories, provide sufficient explanation to headers and he process through which it was collected.
      c) Make data easy to analyze (having proper headers in CSV format)
      d). Provide basic information about analyzing data.


      This is a mashup of Murder rate per 100k [divided by] Gun Ownership as a % of State Population which could help the government and enforcement department to find relationship between murder rate and gun ownership. Thus, they could decide whether gun ownership policy are protecting citizens.

    • 1)
      If I were, I would have focused on making people and organisations aware of and its usefulness. Having a marketing plan would help increase its presence.

    • The below mashup shows the SAT score compared to the high school graduation rate. States with high high school graduation rate had people with more SAT scores.

    • I have included a mashup of CO2 Emissions by Fossil Fuel Combustion compared with the States population density. What it indicates is that per person, more densely populated states actually produce less CO2 from Fossil Fuel combustion, which was actually the opposite of what I had expected.

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