Month: February 2014



Orthogonality is a system design property facilitating feasibility and compactness of complex designs. Orthogonality guarantees that modifying the technical effect produced by a component of a system neither creates nor propagates side effects to other components of the system. The emergent behavior of a system consisting of components should be controlled strictly by formal definitions of its logic and not by side effects resulting from poor integration, i.e. non-orthogonal design of modules and interfaces.


In geometry, orthogonal means “involving right angles” (from Greek ortho, meaning right, and gon meaning angled). The term has been extended to general use, meaning the characteristic of being independent (relative to something else). It also can mean: non-redundant, non-overlapping, or irrelevant. In computer terminology, something – such as a programming language or a data object – is orthogonal if it can be used without consideration as to how its use will affect something else.

Job Trends in the Analytics Market: New, Improved, now Fortified with C, Java, MATLAB, Python, Julia and Many More!

I’m expanding the coverage of my article, The Popularity of Data Analysis Software. This is the first installment, which includes a new opening and a greatly expanded analysis of the analytics job market. Here it is, from the abstract onward through the first section…

Abstract: This article presents various ways of measuring the popularity or market share of software for analytics including: Alteryx, Angoss, C / C++ / C#, BMDP, Cognos, Java, JMP, Lavastorm, MATLAB, Minitab, NCSS, Oracle Data Mining, Python, R, SAP Business Objects, SAP HANA, SAS, SAS Enterprise Miner, Salford Predictive Modeler (SPM) etc., TIBCO Spotfire, SPSS, Stata, Statistica, Systat, Tableau, Teradata Miner, WEKA / Pentaho. I don’t attempt to differentiate among variants of languages such as R vs. Revolution…

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R note: quantiles, averages, standard deviations

    To get a summary from most basic R statistics you may enter

> summary(dataset$variable)

The typical output the summary() function gives include:

Min, 1st Qu, Median, Mean, 3rd Qu. Max.

Minimum, Maximum and Range in R









There are 4 basic quantiles in every data collection.

>quantile(dataset$variable, 1/4)  #Gives the first quantile

>quantile(dataset$variable, 2/4)  Gives the second quantile

>quantile(dataset$variable, 3/4)  Gives the third quantile

>quantile(dataset$variable, 4/4)  Gives the fourth quantile

Mean Absolute Deviation in R


Median Absolute Deviation (MAD) or Absolute Deviation Around the Median is a robust measure of central tendency (the most common measures of central tendency are the arithmetic mean, the median and the mode).

Robust statistics are statistics with good performance for data drawn from a wide range of non-normally distributed probability distributions. Unlike the standard mean/standard deviation combo, MAD is not sensitive to the presence of outliers. The interquartile range is also resistant to the influence of outliers, although the mean and median absolute deviation are better in that they can be converted into values that approximate the standard deviation.

Essentially the breakdown point for a parameter (median, mean, variance, etc.) is the proportion or number of arbitrarily small or large extreme values that must be introduced into a sample to cause the estimate to yield an arbitrarily bad result. The median’s breakdown point is .5 or half (the mean’s is 0). This means that the median only becomes “bad” when more than 50% of the observations are infinite.


set <- c(2, 6, 6, 12, 17, 25, 32)

The median is 12 and the mean is 14.28.


Constant “b” in the formula above is depending on the distribution. b=1.4826 when dealing with normally distributed data, but we’ll need to calculate a new “b” if a different underlying distribution is assumed:

b = 1/Q(0.75) (0.75 quantile of that underlying distribution)

To calculate the MAD, we find the median of absolute deviations from the median. In other words, the MAD is the median of the absolute values of the residuals (deviations) from the data’s median.

Using the same set from earlier:

  1. [(2 – 12), (6 – 12), (6 – 12), (12 – 12), (17 – 12), (25 – 12) ,(32 – 12)] Subtract median from each i
  2. |[-10, -6, -6, 0, 5, 13, 20]| Take the absolute value of the list
  3. [10, 6, 6, 0, 5, 13, 20] Find the median
  4. [10, 6, 6, 0, 5, 13, 20] -> [0, 5, 6, 6, 10, 13, 20] -> 6
  5. 6 * b ->  6 * 1.4826 = 8.8956

We now have our MAD (8.8956) to use in our predetermined threshold. Going back to our example set’s median of 12 we can use +/- 2 or 2.5 or 3 MAD. For example:
12 + 2*8.8956 = 29.7912 as out upper threshold
12 – 2*8.8956 = -5.7912 as out lower threshold

Using this criteria we can identify 32 as an outlier in our example set of [2, 6, 6, 12, 17, 25 ,32].

R code for MAD

mad(x, center = median(x), constant = 1.4826, na.rm = FALSE, low = FALSE, high = FALSE)


Standard Deviation and Variation in R



First Coursera Course: Data Analysis and Statistical Inference

When I decided to add “Learning R and Python” into this year’s to-do list, I started searching for learning materials. There is one open source text book called “Open Intro Stat” in my opinion is well organized and come with several labs that will walk you through fundamentals of R. And it’s very interesting how new resources and informations just pops up in front of you when you’ve tuned yourself in certain frequency (I guess that what people called the Law of Secret).

There is this Data Analysis and Statistical Inference class offered by the online education website called Coursera. Online education is a pretty new experience to me. So far I’m enjoying it. Usually there are few common components in a course. Video lectures divided into weeks, a quiz that briefly test your knowledge based on each week’s lecture, assignment, labs, or project.

We also have to do a project for this class. The due date for the proposal is March 10th. So I still have about a week or so to make up my mind what to do. We can use either the dataset this course provided or choose our own. Kaggle has some very interesting competitions and I probably could dig some fun topic and data. A more real-life case should be more beneficial to me, but I’m not sure how much business or economics knowledge is required.