RecSys, Commodity, CRISP-DM, Residuals, & Treat


Apple recently acquired BookLamp, a recommendation engine start-up, for an estimated $10-15 million. This acquisition positions Apple to compete directly with Amazon. Interested in the details? Click here.

While the recommendation methodology used by BookLamp differs from Amazon (take a look at the patent and the original paper), the recent purchase is an indication that engines have become prevalent in consumer marketing.

To find out more about recommendation systems, consider attending the next RecSys Conference or have a look at our position paper that outlines some of the issues.


Here's a good read on the expected effect of maturation of analytics within an organization. While the tools are important, it's still the interpretation of the results that matters.

Also, check out the report from MIT Sloan and SAS; The Analytics Mandate. It's interesting to see that while data is more accessible, the dissemination of insight is still a challenge (p.6).

Tools and processes can be commoditized, interpretation and insights... hum, well, not really!


Data mining methodologies are essential for projects. Unfortunately, many organizations do not follow them rigorously. It's our experience that these run into problems soon or later.

CRISP-DM is our preferred method because it identifies business understanding and data understanding as a separate part of the process. We always refer to it on every project.


With predictive analytics, as much as 80% of the time is spent on business, data understanding, and, data preparation; incidentally, here's a great piece that confirm this.

With the remaining 20%, it comes to no surprise that model evaluation is one of the steps that is most often neglected. With linear regression examining the residuals is vital for a thorough validation. Here's a great resource on the topic. Have a look!


The summer is moving fast. Before it ends, we suggest you get yourself a treat. Here's a virtual one, take a look at artisanal ice cream makers from around the world; Yummy!

Enjoy the rest of the summer!

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