Podcasts for Data Science Start-Ups

I am not a Podcasts person. Most episodes are too long, there is a lot of nonsense talk with inside jokes, and I usually find information quicker when googling on my own. As the past months have been quite busy, however, I was looking to fill the time where I couldn’t read or do other things like when walking to the train station, driving the car, etc. Somehow I came back to my old Overcast account with a lot of unplayed episodes. After going through my subscriptions and some lists, I created my own short list of podcasts that I actually listen to. Episodes are reasonably long, there is little chit-chat, and some thought-provoking content. In this post, I share six of those podcasts with you.

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From Psychologist to Data Scientist

Many blogs and podcasts discuss the question how to get into data science. In my experience, data scientists mainly come from computer science, physics or statistics. Social scientists are rare among data scientist – but I believe that in many business contexts, social scientists and psychologists can provide a much needed perspective to data analysis. While psychological theories, methods, and statistics provide a good starting point for data science adventures, most social scientists will need to learn and embrace additional skills. In this post, I highlight what I think they need to add to their training if they aim to pursue a data-driven career in what fancy people now call “data science”.

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Workshop “Einführung in die Datenanalyse mit R” (Post and Slides in German)

Last weekend, I gave a 1.5 day workshop for students at my university on data analysis using R. In this post I briefly share my experience along with the workshop slides and an example project – both of which are in German. If you are looking for an English introduction into R, have a look at Hadley Wickham’s excellent “R 4 Data Science”, which you can find here.

In unserem Psychologie-Studiengang wird, wie an vielen andere Unis auch, der Umgang mit SPSS gelehrt. Dabei liegt der Fokus im Wesentlichen auf der Anwendung der gängigen Hypothesentests über die Menüs. R wurde bisher nur mal am Rande erwähnt – als Alternative wenn die Fragestellungen etwas anspruchsvoller werden. Im Rahmen der Open Science-Diskussionen ist R aber auch zu einem wichtigen Baustein geworden, wenn es um reproduzierbare Analysen und Nutzung freier Software geht. Continue reading “Workshop “Einführung in die Datenanalyse mit R” (Post and Slides in German)”

Predicting EVE Online item sales (BVM Data Science Cup 2017)

This year, the BVM (German professional association for market and social researchers), hosted their first Data Science Cup. There were four tasks involving the prediction of sales data for the online sci-fi game “EVE Online”.

It was my first year working in market research and applying statistics and machine learning algorithms in a real-world context. So, naturally there is much room for improvements to my solution, but I ranked 3rd out of five, so I’m right in the middle. I would do many things differently today, but that’s how it’s supposed to be, right? For example, I would go through with a multilevel model, since the data has a natural hierarchy, that should be incorporated into the analysis.

I have uploaded my solution to a GitHub repository, so you might learn from my mistakes. In the README I have also included some of my reasoning and some technical details. But beware, the code is messy and badly documented – proceed with caution.


Vagrant VM for starting a Rails project

This is something off-topic for this blog, but after spending several hours setting up an environment for developing and testing a Ruby on Rails project, I’d like to share my solution.

I recently had an idea for a small web-project, for that I’d like to use Ruby on Rails. From previous attempts of using Rails, I knew that Ruby and Rails are updated regularly and that the setup of the environment might be tricky. And using my Mac not only for web-development, I did not want to have many versions of Ruby, Python, whatnot, in parallel on it. And as I read about Vagrant some weeks ago, I wanted to give it a try.

It took quite some time to set-up the provisioning script properly. I tried using Chef, but it made things more complex and I appreciated the simplicity of a shell script. Continue reading “Vagrant VM for starting a Rails project”

Re: Blog

Okay, schon wieder ein Blog. Ja, ich habe in den letzten Jahren immer wieder neue Blogs aufgemacht. Und ja, die haben selten länger als ein Jahr gehalten. Trotzdem habe ich noch mal einen neuen Anlauf gestartet.

Und wieso? Seit Anfang Oktober arbeite und promoviere ich in der Abteilung Methodenlehre, Diagnostik und Evaluation an der Uni Bonn. Das führt dazu, dass ich häufiger mal interessante Paper lese und da irgendwie meinen Senf zu abgeben möchte. In dieser Hinsicht richtet sich der Blog also an Interessierte jeglicher Herkunft und Fachrichtung.

Damit das alles aber nicht zu langweilig wird, könnten hier – bitte nicht erschrecken – auch mal Fotos oder ähnliches auftauchen. Und um die Komplexität Internationalität zu steigern, werden einige Posts sicherlich auch mal auf Englisch kommen.

Keine Ahnung, ob das jetzt länger als ein Jahr klappt, aber ich dachte mir: Ich versuch’s einfach mal wieder.