Beth Schultz

Chase Gets High-Performance Analytics

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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.  

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.

Pierre DeBois
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Blogger
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.

Brian27
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Prospector
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. 

WaqasAltaf
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Data Doctor
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.

WaqasAltaf
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Data Doctor
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.

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