Predicting Flight Delays: Exploring Airline Data with XLMiner

Can you work with Big Data in Excel?  From the barrage of recent news, white papers, and sales calls about Big Data, you would think not.  A common theme is that “spreadsheets can’t handle Big Data and advanced analytics,” and that companies need to “move up” to new tools, that the vendors with the white papers offer -- implicitly, the benefits outweigh the expense and steep learning curve.

New York City Taxis: Exploring Big Data with XLMiner

Over the past decade, thousands of organizations have made their data available to the public, either by posting an extract online or through an API. These data sets range from government data to restaurant reviews to metadata on songs. One of the more famous data sets released recently was the New York City Taxi data, which was posted by the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission in 2013 as a result of a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request.

Canadian Football League Uses Frontline Solvers to Optimize Scheduling in 2016

Trevor Hardy of the Canadian Football League -- Canada's counterpart to the NFL -- faced the task of scheduling 18 games for nine clubs throughout the 20-week season, balancing competing priorities for revenue, TV ratings, or player time -- while meeting a wide range of constraints, from times of day for fans in four time zones to traditional Labor Day rivalry match-ups.  Here's how he used optimization in Microsoft Excel to create significantly better schedules than the league had been able to create by hand.

Optimizing Vendor Contract Awards Gets an A+

Choosing vendors to serve a business or government organization is essential. Several vendors compete for contracts during the bidding process, and it is up to the administrator to make a wise and impartial decision. With many variables to weigh in the decision, optimization software can solve the relationships between the variables and find the optimal solution. This method is both optimal and impartial, and it is faster than human analysis.

How Apache Spark Will Make Your Life Easier

For many people, talk of big data and data visualization can be overwhelming, but Apache Spark is hoping to change all that. This post from eWeek has all the details on how their open source data processing engine will help users make sense of complicated data analysis with an easy to use platform.

Our take: One of the ways Apache Spark is making data analysis easier is in Frontline’s Analytic Solver Platform.  Its built-in link to Apache Spark clusters makes big data analysis a point-and-click operation -- no R, Java or Python programming required.

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How Data Science Helps Five Types of Businesses

There’s been a lot of talk about the rise of data science lately, but what does it mean for your business? While not every company needs to hire a data scientist, almost every business and industry can benefit in some way from analyzing company data more intelligently and efficiently. Companies within industries from retail brick-and-mortar to online ecommerce can use customer data to help them make more informed decisions that will resonate more personally with their intended customers.
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Can You Measure Happiness With Data Science?

Data science is an extraordinarily helpful tool to monitor company operations and trends in demand to make important business decisions, but can it be used to measure happiness? According to this post from Forbes, the people of the Kingdom of Bhutan think so. By hosting an upcoming workshop with data scientists, Buddhist leaders and others in power in various fields of importance, the government of Bhutan hopes be able to measure what they call Gross National Happiness, or GNH.

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