I have an awesome textbook on statistics. It covers most statistical things, but one of the things you will not find in this awesome textbook is anything on time series. Time series are different and that makes them really interesting to me. This is because the x-axis is time, with the y-axis the thing (KPI) you are measuring. Because of that, you need to use different models to predict outcomes.
In these models, the y-axis values are compared to other values on the y-axis (the lag values). For example, this month’s revenue is compared to last month’s revenue and the revenue of the month before, going all the way back to the beginning of the dataset. The chosen comparisons are based on the statistically significant lags. Last month’s revenue might be statistically significant to the current month’s revenue, but revenue two months ago may not be (but revenue from three months ago might be).
In this post, I will give an overview of one type of time series models and describe how they work in simple language. In future posts, I will describe how to implement the models in BigQueryML and in R.
Yoast SEO can help with optimizing website pages. Screaming Frog SEO Spider can crawl your website and report where you may have issues with your technical SEO – such as missing meta-descriptions or canonical tags. You can also use it to check if your analytics tags are present on all pages. Let’s get started!
This post is a bit of a deviation from focusing on data and analysis. However, I thought I would cover something that is very important if you have a website and want to drive traffic to it (and I do work in Marketing Analytics, so…). Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing the content on your site so that you have the best chance of being picked up by search engines (mainly Google).
If you are wondering how to begin with SEO, Yoast SEO could be the answer. Yoast SEO is known for its WordPress plugin. However, their plugin is available for other platforms, like Magento. But, I will focus on the WordPress plugin in this post. Once activated, there will be a Yoast SEO section for each page, post, category & tag.
SQL is the language used to communicate to relational database management systems (RDBMS). E.F. Codd wrote a paper in 1970 describing a completely different way of structuring data. Up till then, data was generally organized in a hierarchical structure of some kind and a lot of code was needed to work with the stored data. Codd’s paper described a structure of storing data as relationships to reality as objects that have ties to other objects in the data structure.
As an analyst, you work with data. Sometimes the data is already stored somewhere…acceptable. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it might just be good enough to use a text file or excel document. But a lot of times that’s very impractical for a whole host of reasons.
If the data is large, it will take a long time to load and query. If you want to share reproducible results, it may be better if the data is remotely located, somewhere that accessible through code. Also, the data should only be accessible to those that should have access to it (security!).
This is generally solved through using a database, like MySQL, SQL Server or PostgreSQL. However, that requires that you have a server available and that there is a secure (read: encrypted) connection to it. That is not always practical. I have often used a remote MySQL or SQL Server as a solution (sometimes local, but…reproducibility). It has not always been as secure as I would like and scalability could sometimes (read: often) be an issue. Additionally, for data to be accessed efficiently, tables need to be optimized through indexes and server configuration.
If you are looking for data storage that is secure, fast, scalable and self-optimizing, BigQuery might just be the solution you need (I know I sound like a salesperson, but I really like BigQuery). BigQuery is part of the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Once loaded, you can access data stored in BigQuery securely. In fact, there is no other option. It is hugely scalable as well – practically limitless. It works a lot like a database, but most of the optimization is taken care of by Google. You only need to worry about how you want to structure and query the data. Continue reading →