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The Data-fication of the Music Industry

Summary: With Nielsen SoundScan, the music industry can judge the popularity of artists based on irrefutable data. Like SoundScan, Shazam also offers industry insiders a data-driven approach to tracking the rise of upcoming artists. These services have dramatically affected the landscape of the Billboard 200.   Years ago, way back in the early 1990s, Billboard   Continue Reading

Following the Breadcrumbs: An Example of Decision Tree Analysis in Action

Imagine you’re the lead underwriter at a major insurance carrier. The number of policyholders filing multiple claims per year is on the rise, and you’ve been tasked with reassessing premiums to ensure they reflect the level of risk the organization is facing. Easier said than done. Identifying risk-prone policyholders after a claim is filed is   Continue Reading

Is the Alt-Vehicle Market Powering Down?

Has the novelty of hybrid and electric vehicles worn off? After record sales in August, alternative-fuel vehicles suffered paltry sales in September and October despite a surging auto market. Using data from the HybridCars.com monthly dashboard, Misix determined that September hybrid sales were 3.6% lower than September 2012, and October managed only a 0.8% year-over-year   Continue Reading

Hooray for Hollyworld

Every Monday, cinephiles pore over the weekend box office results, categorizing the newcomers even before theaters can empty their Dumpster-loads of popcorn. People tend to view that first week as the harbinger of a film’s fate. Some even combine those dollar amounts with ratings aggregated from multiple sources to construct elaborate indexes that tell moviegoers   Continue Reading

Standard Deviation and Aggressive Strategies: Why Bad Teams Should Play Risky (But Don’t)

It was arguably the biggest upset in the history of college football. The fifth-ranked Michigan Wolverines hosted the relatively unknown Appalachian State Mountaineers in both teams’ first game of the 2007 season. The Wolverines were heavily favored, so much so that Vegas didn’t even offer a betting line on the game. Of the 100,000+ people   Continue Reading

Drive for Dough, Putt for Dough

If you find yourself wondering if you read that correctly, you did. The old golf adage really goes, “Drive for show, putt for dough,” which implies a golfer who hits the ball far may look flashy and impressive, but what really matters is how well a golfer putts. With the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup Playoffs   Continue Reading

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