Monday, July 27, 2015 - A nifty tool

We used to use browser tools such as Firebug to find out more 'backend' information about a particular site - for e.g. what servers does it run on? What server-side web technology is being used? What web content management tool is being used? etc.

Found a nifty website that gives all this info in the form of a neat table -
A useful tool to have in the arsenal for any web-master. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Correlation does not imply Causation !

One of the fundamental tenets that any analytics newbie needs to learn is that - Correlation does not imply Causation !

Using statistical techniques, we might find a relationship between two events, but that does not mean that the occurrence of an event causes the other event. Jotting down a few amusing examples that I found from the internet.
  • The faster windmills are observed to rotate, the more wind is observed to be. Therefore wind is caused by the rotation of windmills 
  • Sleeping with one's shoes on is strongly correlated with waking up with a headache. Therefore, sleeping with one's shoes on causes headache.
  • As ice cream sales increase, the rate of drowning deaths increases sharply. Therefore, ice cream consumption causes drowning.
  • Since the 1950s, both the atmospheric CO2 level and obesity levels have increased sharply. Hence, atmospheric CO2 causes obesity.
  • The more firemen are sent to a fire, the more damage is done.
  • Children who get tutored get worse grades than children who do not get tutored
  • In the early elementary school years, astrological sign is correlated with IQ, but this correlation weakens with age and disappears by adulthood.
  • My dog is more likely to have an accident in the house if it’s very cold out.
A good site showcasing such spurious correlations is here -

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Using the Solver add-in in Excel for finding optimal solutions

Today we learned about a nifty tool in Excel that can be used to solve 'maximizer' or 'most optimal' solution to problems. For e.g. Given a set of constraints, should we make cars or trucks.

The below links would give a quick idea on how to use this tool to find out optimal solutions and also carry out 'what-if' analysis. You enter the objective, constraint and decision variable cells and let the tool do the magic.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

How can large enterprises compete with new-age digital startups?

Chief Executive magazine recently featured an article by Nitin Rakesh on how large enterprise can compete with digital startups. The article is available at the following links:
Retraining Goliath to face digital David

The article advises large enterprises to capitalize on their strengths - i.e.

a) Utilize financial power to acquire digital competitors - How Allstate acquired Esurance..
b) Leverage existing brand equity - How Amex partnered with Walmart to launch Bluebird..
c) Mine existing customer data - Leverage customer insights to deliver highly personalized services.
d) If possible collaborate rather than compete with digital startups.