Category Archives: Finance

Mark Zangari speaks on Agency and Machine Learning: from data to actions

Once upon a time there were programmers, but not software engineers.  As businesses and other organizations learned the value of this new technology, software engineering emerged as a discipline to derive maximum business value from it.

There is a similar need emerging in data science today.  This means that machine learning is underutilized compared to its potential in solving business problems. So the question is, how to bridge from the business to data and machine learning to drive maximum value?

Quantellia co-founder Mark Zangari presented a talk on this topic, called “Agency”, in Seattle on May 1 at MLConf 2015.

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Predictive analytics is not enough

The idea of predictive analytics can seem like magic: how, really, can a computer predict the future? Yet we’ve seen a lot of success based on this advanced technology in recent years, from Netflix to Amazon, Google, and more. These companies mine a massive amount of data every day for patterns, and it drives massive revenues.

However, for a widespread class of situations, predictive analytics alone aren’t enough. Consider the decision model below, which I introduced in my last post. The blue graphs on the right-hand side are based on predictive analytics, but they are only building blocks in the full model.  They are not enough on their own.

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Announcing interactive web-based decision intelligence

At Quantellia, we’ve been delivering enterprise-scale, desktop- and PC-based decision intelligence models to our clients for a few years now, using our World Modeler™ software.  In the last few months, every single one of our clients has asked for our work to be delivered through a web interface, so we’ve been heads-down in delivery and development to meet their needs.  These are not available to be viewed by the general public, however, so I’ve spent the last few days building a demonstration to show you what we do, and as part of my answer to a recent Quora question on Agency theory as well as Mark’s upcoming talk on this topic at MLConf Seattle.

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The magical diminishing returns link, and why it can fix government budgeting (and yours, too)

A couple of years ago, I was honored to be invited to help with a US government budget. My team and I would fly to Washington, take the metro into Union Station, and meet with our clients, who were struggling with an important question: “how to do more with less?” as they distributed funds to hundreds of departments.

In the midst of the project, sequestration loomed, and then materialized, so this question became critical. Continue reading

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