conversation about maximising value from customer insight

Data Science programming languages: (3) Resources for Julia

Resources for juliaAs promised, I’m returning to our series covering data science programming languages, this time-sharing resources for Julia.

My first introduction to the Julia language, was mentions at R or Python events, that “the cool kids are writing in Julia these days“. Now, bloggers are always in danger of being on the look out for something topical or trendy, but further investigation revealed that Julia is indeed a useful language with growing usage amongst data scientists.

So, to ensure we are not limited to the more familiar R and Python languages, I’m delighted to extend our series to also look at resources for Julia programmers, or those wanting to consider this language. As before, I’ll share a book recommendation for learning Julia, as well as some online resources, cheat sheets and an event to attend.

I hope this proves useful, for Data Scientists and Insight Leaders, who are seeking to expand their repertoire or achieve better performing code.

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Data Science programming languages: (2) Resources for Python

Resources for PythonAs promised in our previous post, for the R programming language, this one will focus on resources for Python.

Although R may have a longer heritage within the Statistics and Data Science community, Python could be described as a more complete programming language.

In my conversations with clients and Data Science leaders, I’ve also heard a number praise Python as much quicker to learn. So,although both languages are proving popular with analytics teams, there is perhaps a choice between the more statistically grounded R and the easier programming in Python.

But, even that distinction is now less clear, as both benefit from the kind of support/resources ecosystem that I mentioned in my post on R.

So, enough introduction, let me share some resources that I’ve found to help Python coders (and would be coders). Enjoy diving in, at the risk of getting bitten by the coding bug.  (more…)

Data Science programming languages: (1) Resources for R

Resources for RThis month, let’s turn our attention to Data Science programming languages; today, resources for R.

Ever since the rise of R as an alternative to traditional statistical packages (like SAS, IBM Analytics etc), there has been a growing focus on coding.

In the past I have tended to avoid these programming languages as a topic for this blog, as I have some concerns. Namely that the role of insight analysts, in the migration to job title of Data Scientist, is being reduced to that of a programmer. Too much focus on coding skills & the capabilities of new packages, can reduce the needed focus on interpretation, insight generation & influencing a business.

However, working with clients, I am seeing that a majority are now embracing this new generation of analytics tools/languages. So, I thought it would make sense to (hopefully) help readers by sharing the resources I have found online for a few of the most popular options.

In this post we will focus on the R programming language. (more…)

Data Visualisation books – our third set of resources for you

Data Visualisation booksDuring our month with more focus on Data Visualisation, we should not overlook data visualisation books.

I hope our previous posts, focussing on Data Viz blogs and twitter experts have helped your personal development. But, even in this digital age, we should not overlook the power of books.

Whether you invest in hard copy or digital versions, the longer form of books often give opportunity to better structure information for self-development. So, to complement those earlier resources, in this post I am going to recommend a number of books from 9 experts.

Many of these experts are the same people I have recommended for blogs & tweets, but there are 4 new experts. I’ll leave you to spot which are different. Plus, enjoy this treasure trove of 11 data visualisation books from 9 Data Viz experts. (more…)

How to understand your customers’ mobile mind shift

mobile mind shiftWhen I first received a copy of this book, when it was published in 2014, I didn’t think it would be so relevant. Understanding a ‘mobile mind shift‘ sounded like just a fancy way of presenting advice for e-commerce leaders working on moving to mobile.

Now, having read this engaging work, I can see how relevant it is to all business leaders (including customer insight leaders).

There is much more to think about than you might first imagine. This practical book makes a good case for explaining why you can’t just port your website. It’s also much more involved than just having a dynamic presentation layer, that will adapt to the device (i.e. screen size) being used.

Packed full of findings from Forrester’s Mobile Mind Shift surveys, the structure of the material takes you through the different elements you need to consider.

Starting with understanding the needs/wants & current challenges of your customers (or employees), it helps you see how a different perspective (on what helps) can make all the difference. (more…)

Are you drifting or do you have a plan for your life?

plan for your lifeSummer holidays can be a great opportunity for reflection. Whether you are lying on a beach or enjoying a sightseeing vacation, I wonder if you’ve reflected on a plan for your life?

I’m conscious that can sound a bit worthy, or overly ambitious.

But, consider for a moment, how many important priorities in your business would you seek to achieve without a plan?

Is your life & what you want to achieve with your life actually less important than those business goals?

Given the importance of this topic & the fact that I still find most leaders lack any form of ‘life plan‘, I’m delighted to review a new book to help you create one.

A bestseller already, Living Forward is co-authored by leading influencer Michael Hyatt & coaching expert Daniel Harkavy. (more…)

Do the stories, you tell your business, inspire?

Leaders Guide to StorytellingTen years ago, in 2005, a group of people working in the field of knowledge management across UK & USA, coined the phrase ‘narrative leadership‘.

So was born what might appear another fad in the field of leadership. Plenty of books were written & conferences attended.

But, once the dust had settled, and HBR et al were talking about other topics, positive progress had been made. More CEOs made use of stories to communicate compelling visions. More innovative businesses brought together multidisciplinary teams to share knowledge through storytelling. One of the leading lights of this movement was a consultant called Stephen Denning.

Now a decade on, amidst the buzz about big data, decision science, content marketing & disruption – you don’t hear many people talk about narrative leadership. But a focus on storytelling is reawakening. In the early 2000s I had the pleasure of experiencing a leadership training course that included material from Stephen & was captivated. The concept that humans are innately receptive to the telling of stories as a means of effective communication was self-evident around the world & in so many different cultures. It was also captivating to imagine how the dull world of working in Financial Services could be enlivened by this more holistic style of leadership. (more…)