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An occasional series in which a review of recent posts on SmartData Collective reveals the following nuggets:

Prediction + understanding
In my view, predictive models can be powerful business tools, but they have the potential to lead us into a false belief that because we can predict something on the basis of mathematical relationships, we understand what we’re predicting. We might also lapse into an expectation that “prediction” based on past behavior is in fact destiny. We need to remind ourselves that correlation or association is a necessary but not a sufficient condition to show a causal relationship.
—David Bakken: Analytics Ascendant: Will Predictive Modeling Replace All Other Way...

It’s not what you do, it’s the way…
I think most folks, especially in these tough economic conditions, actually understand the tough business decisions that need to be made – even with restructuring. Where it gets ugly is how the change is implemented.
—Melissa Dutmers: Corporate Restructuring is Hard – Transparency and Authenticity are...

Managing the master data
Ensuring that data quality is at a high level is one of the most important functions of any data management unit. It is an interminable process that sometimes gets underrated. The backbone of broader quality initiatives is a sound master data management. Master data, as opposed to transactional data, describe items like product and customer names, addresses, etc. These data will be stored and reused in the long run but very often change over time.
—Teradata EMEA: La Trahison des Données

Their time has come
…the article details how statisticians are in hot demand at companies like Google, Netflix and IBM, and claims that statisticians can earn $125,000 at top companies after completing a PhD. … I've long lamented that statisticians lack a hero to make the field seem exciting -- Indiana Jones made archaeologists into action heroes, for Pete's sake! -- but the role of statistician seems to have progressed beyond "nerdish wonk" even if it isn't quite yet to rock-star status.
—David M Smith: One word from the NYT: Statistics

Not quite full-duplex
We're in this time of transition as the social web starts to impact business in a significant way. We've learned a lot from our efforts to use the web and the new social enablers like Facebook, Twitter, 12Seconds.tv, Qik, YouTube, etc. I wonder, though, if business is ready for a full-duplex conversation? Business, for the most part, has been at best half-duplex for a long time…
—Michael Fauscette: It’s not a full-duplex world

So who’s surprised
It is easier for people to express themselves publicly, the detached nature of online communication releases people’s inhibitions, and the speed and efficiency of distribution (especially through search/alerts) means that the people most likely to be or feel damaged by an act of public expression are far more likely to discover that act. So it’s not surprising that users are being sued for what they say online—it’s an expected consequence of the democratization of publishing, especially in the litigious English-speaking countries on both sides of the pond.
—Daniel Tunkelang: Public Expression, Liability, and Anonymity

If you’re going to rebrand…
Rebranding is a hollow exercise if it’s not accompanied by changes in the customer experience. A revamped logo and a signature cocktail in business class hardly count when the flight attendants continue to patrol the cabin like martinets. In the world of customer loyalty what counts is the way your behaviors change. And no, you may not have the entire can.
—Jill Dyche: Rebranding and the Customer Experience

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