How do you feel about analytics?

People say that the world has changed, but I think it'd be more accurate say that people that have changed the world.

Social media, big data, big analytics, internet of things … whether you're an executive, a data scientist, or a student, when you hear these buzzwords, you have an emotional response. That emotional response shapes your approach to analytics and how you see this new world we're in. Read More »

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The Common Reporting Standard: an opportunity and a challenge for tax authorities

Cooperation and information sharing between tax authorities around the world can help ensure that taxpayers pay the right amount of tax to the right jurisdictions. The Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is an agreement between countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to collect and share data from their financial institutions annually.

455069151This remarkable achievement offers significant opportunities to eradicate financial crime and tax fraud. For example, if the standard is properly adapted by the tax authorities it will minimise risks involving non-residents tax evading on taxable assets and activity in non-residence countries.

OECD has proposed a timetable for when the agreement will become binding by each country, and it has published comprehensive guidance for the implementation of CRS. Current OECD guidance explains what information will be exchanged between tax authorities and the format with which the information should be exchanged.

Whilst the guidelines are very helpful and offer sufficient flexibility, the tax authorities need to decide how they will use and integrate the exchanged information in analytics solutions for detecting fraud. Although this might sound obvious, in practice is not. At least this is what the experience has shown from similar initiatives such as the use of third party bulk information by many tax authorities across OECD.

For example, the common reporting standard will make matching exchanged data with the internally held information easier. However, unaddressed challenges may delay the implementation of a working solution and the realisation of the benefits that CRS can bring.

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Three steps to modernizing your marketing organization

marketing-ebookAt SAS, we've worked hard to transform ourselves into an analytical marketing organization. And it's an ongoing journey. As new tools and data sources appear, we'll continue to grow, change and improve.

As the leader of this effort, I wish there had been a how-to guide available when we started searching for answers at the beginning of our journey. I hope you can use our experience as a shortcut to modernizing your own marketing organization.

So here's some practical advice -- three things you can start to do tomorrow (or Monday morning) to begin your own transformation into an analytical marketing organization: Read More »

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Event inspires students with disabilities to pursue STEM careers

There are no limitations for what you can accomplish.

That’s the message Keith Poston from the Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences imparted to 300 middle and high school students, teachers and parents assembled this week at the museum for the fourth STEM Career Showcase for Students with Disabilities. The Showcase also was livestreamed to reach even more students. (STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.)


Keith Poston, Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Officer encourages students to study STEM.

Poston set the stage for a morning of inspiring and motivational stories told by STEM professionals and college students who live with different disabilities.

SAS and JMP sponsor the event, which was the brainchild of Ed Summers, Distinguished Technical Leader in the Accessibility and Applied Assistive Technology Department at SAS. The event was also sponsored by the museum, IBM and the Bresler Foundation.The Women's Initiative Network from SAS supplied 18 volunteers who helped out at the event.

“The goal of the STEM Career Showcase for Students with Disabilities is to raise the student’s expectations of their own potential by providing concrete examples of adults with disabilities that are performing at the highest levels in STEM fields,” said Summers, who moderated a panel of NC State University students who discussed their disabilities.

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From fraud detection to fraud prevention: working towards optimal audits

A focus on fraud can create optimal auditsCurrently, most fraud detection solutions for financial crime and tax fraud are focused on risk assessing entities. That is to say, they evaluate the risk of each individual or businesses separately. While this helps prioritize risk-based investigations by alerting investigators to the likelihood of fraud, it does not necessarily maximize deterrence. Therefore it does not always lead to optimal audits.

The current process for fraud detection almost always requires the use of hybrid analytics for scoring businesses or individuals. This typically involves a combination of methods such as business rules, predictive modeling, anomaly detection, social network analysis and other tactics.

Each entity is scored taking into account a wide range of attributes. These attributes include information about financial transactions (volume, frequency and parties involved), socioeconomic characteristics (such as income and profession) as well as information about direct and indirect associations with known fraudsters. Once a score for each entity has been established, alerts are generated for entities with a high risk score. The alert then forms the basis for opening a case which requires the involvement of an investigator. However, the process does not always facilitate optimal audits. Read More »

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4 hottest trends in retail analytics

565973017Retail isn't an easy place to be these days. The environment is omnichannel and ever-changing. Competition is rising and retailers are struggling to understand how to best meet customers’ merchandise preferences.

Fortunately, analytics are driving profitability and market share for smart retailers. Let’s take a look at the four hottest trends in retail analytics: Read More »

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Fighting tax fraud at the Iowa Department of Revenue

fighting-tax-fraudThe Data For Good initiative is all about using data and analytics to improve the lives of citizens around the world – however most people wouldn’t immediately think about tax collection as a humanitarian effort. But that’s exactly how Courtney Kay-Decker, Executive Director of the Iowa Department of Revenue sees the work of her department.

“Our mission is to collect all tax due – and no more,” said Courtney Kay-Decker, IDR’s Director. “Eliminating fraud, waste, and abuse – and using tax revenues responsibly -- benefits all citizens of Iowa.”

Iowa reports about 1.5 percent of filed tax returns are fraudulent – a fairly low percentage. But it can add up to millions of dollars in fraudulent refunds. That’s why fraud analytics sit at the core of the Iowa Department of Revenue’s (IDR) operations.

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Analytics: The lifeblood of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The digital age has fundamentally changed how brands and organisations interact with consumers. This shift has been a crucial part of the Third Industrial Revolution and helped spark the era of consumers sharing their data with different organisations.

But now organisations are heralding the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and data is the raw material that will power it. But the Fourth Industrial Revolution requires further development of consumers’ willingness to share data. That data is needed to fuel the hyper-personalised services that technology can deliver.future-of-analytics-gen-y

As our research with Future Foundation indicates, a data generation has emerged -- a generation which understands the power of its own consumer capital.

They see their personal information as bargaining chips that can be used to obtain free products, direct financial rewards or save them time. They're willing to share data if they receive a valuable, relevant and timely service in return.

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Four ways to continue the health care transformation

525445579Electronic health records (EHRs) and the overall advancement of information technology have produced a tsunami of data that must be stored, managed and used. Some had naively hoped that EHRs would bring a simpler, more streamlined industry.

Instead, we’re finding that the delivery and management of health care is more complicated than ever. Fully interoperable systems that readily generate insights and best practices is still fantasy for most of us.

The pace of these changes is breathtaking, leading to operational complexity along with increasing pervasiveness of data streams. The proliferation of smartphones and mobile technology has further empowered a culture of individualism and consumerism in health care. Read More »

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Using real-world data from real-life patients

72141592What would happen if we could ask any type of scientific or clinical question about patients, and then go out and find the data to answer our questions? With "real-world data," we can do just that.

Real-world data is all medicinal product data that comes from real-life patients. In contrast, clinical trial data comes from the gold standard of clinical research: a double-blind randomized clinical trial (RCT).

Access to real-world data changes the paradigm in a major way. Big healthcare and patient data is messy, incomplete and diverse. But new analytical technologies now make it possible to extract safety and effectiveness data about the new medicinal product. Whereas with RCT, we collect the data first and then do the analysis according to a predefined plan.

The list of real-world data sources is long, but here are some examples: pragmatic clinical trials, health devices and wearables, social media information, health insurance claims records and electronic health records. Real-world data is nothing more than a rough mirror image of the patient health state (1). Together with accurate diagnostics and molecular information, real world data can narrow the gap between research and the clinical practice.

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