Beth Schultz

Chase Gets High-Performance Analytics

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WaqasAltaf
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No trade offs
WaqasAltaf   4/30/2013 12:44:21 PM
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I totally agree that trade offs between speed and accuracy are not acceptable these days. With constant research going on this field, it is highly unlikely that a solution isn't available to fulfill the business's need for high performance analytics and an application developer is the one who looses out if it isn't meeting the user's needs because there is someone out there who has a solution.

BethSchultz
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Re: No trade offs
BethSchultz   4/30/2013 3:37:25 PM
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@waqasaltaf, while I agree solutions are available I don't think it's that simple. High-performance analytics/computing doesn't necessarily come cheap, for example, so there is budgeting to consider, for one.

 

WaqasAltaf
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Re: No trade offs
WaqasAltaf   4/30/2013 7:48:48 PM
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Beth, true. Budgeting is not a factor to be ignored esp for a SME however large corporations may agree to pay as much as a high quality solution costs because of the economies of large scale they benefit from.

Noreen Seebacher
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Re: No trade offs
Noreen Seebacher   5/1/2013 7:51:31 AM
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The Costco principle?

BethSchultz
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Re: No trade offs
BethSchultz   5/1/2013 1:11:46 PM
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@Waqas, while waiting for a SAS Global Forum session on HPA to begin, i did overhear a couple of gentleman from a satellite TV company say they thought HPA was great, and would be useful, but at "a half a million bucks" unreasonable for its environment. I asked SAS CTO Keith Collins about this when I met with him the next day. He agreed that, yes,  the initial offering was not affordable at large. But a June release changes that, eliminating the need for the pricey, dedicated appliance plus slicing up the functionality so you can buy only what you need and grow from there. Plus, companies will be able to take the SAS procedures they have running on a single server and move them over to an HPA cluster as needed. 

 

WaqasAltaf
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Accuracy over speed
WaqasAltaf   4/30/2013 1:26:30 PM
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One more thing I would like to add is that if ever a compromise needs to be made, it should be made on speed and not accuracy. What if you get an answer that is misleading but you receive it an hour earlier; it wouldn't help.

Brian27
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Re: Accuracy over speed
Brian27   4/30/2013 2:32:02 PM
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@WaqasAltaf

Faced with the alternatives between your position and one which suggests the risks to get some indication quickly trumps other concerns - my considered opinion aligns with yours.

Curiously, I have to admit to giving the issue as presented only a cursory review (haven't looked at any of the links provided, or even taken the time to read the post carefully); so I've opted for speed over accuracy.  Yet, I've given the base arguments (as encountered in a number of presentations and discussions), considerable thought - enough to establish in my mind the value of the principle you and I share, in this regard. 

What I just said may seem a contradiction; but I don't think it is.  What it suggests to me is that there are principles which can serve us well, even in instances where arguments to the contrary are posed in a novel form.  If we sense that a proposal suggests that speed is more important than accuracy, our principle keeps us from being taken in.  At the same time, we can hold to that principle, yet be open to persuasion that the argument is actually suggesting a means to improve speed without risking misinformation - the world can always use a better mousetrap. 

In support of our principle, we have last week's Wall St. flash-crash, as an example of the what can go wrong when speed trumps accuracy. 

Pierre DeBois
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Re: Accuracy over speed
Pierre DeBois   4/30/2013 2:48:01 PM
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Brian, 

Avinash Kaushik, a well known web analytics practioner, noted the trade off between accuracy and precision. The comparison complements your comment about the principles that serve well even if augments to the contrary are posed in a novel form.  Precision is preferred over accuracy, even if the intent is not what was expected. The reason is because of repeatability, being able to at least repeat an experience, and allowing our minds to organize the process and analyze it further.  Speed and accuracy, however, introduces some interesting scenarios in either case. Is it better to faster know a problem vs zeroing in on an error even if the time arc differs.

Brian27
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Re: Accuracy over speed
Brian27   4/30/2013 3:30:47 PM
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@Pierre

In order to be fair to the points made in the post - I'll really have to read it more critically.  I also have to think through your comments (though the question you raise about speed of awareness is obviously important; and it brings to mind the related issue of false positives). 

It does seem, though, that there is a healthy regard for prudence in leveraging inferences drawn from analytics, expressed by most of those frequenting this site.  I don't see that same level of discretion among other sample populations - where arguments about adverse consequences are either less well understood, or are trivialized as not relevant to new realities.  

WaqasAltaf
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Re: Accuracy over speed
WaqasAltaf   4/30/2013 7:41:21 PM
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True Brian. We should assume that speed over accuracy argument actually implies that in the presence of reasonable accuracy, speed is to be enhanced. Misinformation is not intended.

Pierre DeBois
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Re: Accuracy over speed
Pierre DeBois   4/30/2013 2:34:07 PM
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Well but wouldn't you realize the error that much faster than waiting a week for a running model to complete and see the error?  Speed and accuracy are not easily balanced.

BethSchultz
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Re: Accuracy over speed
BethSchultz   4/30/2013 3:44:24 PM
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But isn't this more of an "it depends on the purpose of the modeling rather than a universal statement?

Brian27
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Re: Accuracy over speed
Brian27   4/30/2013 4:52:30 PM
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@Beth

 ...it depends on the purpose of the modeling...

There is certainly truth in that statement, as it could be applied to many considerations.  As I read your implication, you hold that the context of modeling and analytics are essential to determining what is acceptable, in terms of both the nature of the results, and the means of achieving them - the principles to which I adhere are in agreement.

The problem with such an endorsement, in many cases (though I can't say it applies in this case), is that the very context which the principle requires has been stripped from the data on which the processes operate, or even the processes themselves.  The effect ends up being like some food being deemed both beneficial and detrimental to good health; without an understanding of the particulars of how these contradictory conclusions were derived, how can anyone make an informed decision as to what to eat or not eat?  I think a question similar in nature is faced by those considering analytics strategies.  With mushrooms, the safe assumption is to assume they are unsafe, unless proved otherwise - pretty much the same with speed vs. accuracy. 

kicheko
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Re: Accuracy over speed
kicheko   4/30/2013 5:09:57 PM
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waqasaltaf, - If this was a debate i would be on the other side saying compromise on report if you have to. Speed is important..as they say late information is uselsss. I like to hope that if a report has to suffer from having been quick it would be on the completeness as opposed tp the accuracy.

WaqasAltaf
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Re: Accuracy over speed
WaqasAltaf   4/30/2013 7:52:45 PM
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Kicheko, you have raised a good point. Completeness is the thing to compromise on rather than the accuracy and that is what practically happens in practical life. Misleading information and delayed information; both are not acceptable.

Noreen Seebacher
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Re: Accuracy over speed
Noreen Seebacher   5/1/2013 7:52:29 AM
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Yes, I'd rather have a small plate of delicious food than a huge plate of crap

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