The Data Quality Trap

There is a lot of work in the data management community that looks at data quality as a first-class problem, capable of being solved largely as an independent problem that can then benefit many downstream systems. There is certainly a lot going for this line of thinking. My own view, drummed into me by a former NASA scientist who I … More The Data Quality Trap

Interview Questions for a Data Science Leadership Role

It’s not always easy for a technically competent data scientist to make the transition to a data science leadership role. Here are some interview questions I use to assess whether a candidate has successfully made that transition. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you applied for this role? What is … More Interview Questions for a Data Science Leadership Role

Robert Kuok’s Trading Algorithm from 1963

I am reading Robert Kuok’s autobiography and these two paragraphs from the chapter Vintage 1963 jumped out at me. “Success in futures depends on your feel for the market, your instincts and rhythm. I would talk to different brokers. Each company had bright, young English traders. One or two would be a little cunning, but, … More Robert Kuok’s Trading Algorithm from 1963

A Framework to Detect Waste and Fraud in Health Insurance

A challenge with fraud-detection problems in many cases is the lack of any meaningful collection of labelled data for supervised-learning approaches to work. Two things practitioners do to tackle the problem are statistical profiling, usually via domain-specific business rules, and statistical outlier detection, sometimes augmented with non-trivial models of what constitute “normal” behaviour. There is … More A Framework to Detect Waste and Fraud in Health Insurance

Large-Scale Distributed Analytics: A Research Program

Since starting my part-time appointment as an associate professor at the Australian National University, I have been thinking about spending more time on fundamental research. As Don Knuth counsels, “if you find that you’re spending almost all your time on theory, start turning some attention to practical things; it will improve your theories. If you … More Large-Scale Distributed Analytics: A Research Program

Agile Data Science: A Portfolio Approach to Managing An Analytics Team

I recently concluded a two-year stint managing a team of ten highly skilled analytics professionals spread across three different locations. There were of course many challenges but the team over-achieved on just about every measure of success one can imagine. The team’s wins include completing on-time and under-budget a data-matching project that delivers tens of … More Agile Data Science: A Portfolio Approach to Managing An Analytics Team