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EARL Think Tank

Stay up to date with the latest data transformation and R news & views from the EARL community.

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R-Girls brings data science into core curriculum subjects to inspire future generations.

Data Science & Analytics

2022-08-23T22:00:00Z

Blog - 24 August 2022
Data Science & Analytics
EARL
R Community
Rbloggers

blog/time-to-upskill-in-r-earls-workshop-lineup-has-something-for-every-data-practitioner–/

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Time to upskill in R? EARL’s workshop lineup has something for every data practitioner.

Data Science & Analytics

2022-07-21T23:00:00Z

Blog - 22 July 2022
Data Science & Analytics
Data Engineering
EARL
R Community

Blog

Tim Fry, Graduate Data Scientist at Ascent, recently observed a talk by Hannah Fry (no relation!) on predicting human behaviour with data science, exploring via a range of fascinating stories how a mathematical view of what it means to be human can shape the way we design our society, from dating to healthcare.

data science, human behaviour, Hannah Fry, EARL conf

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2022-07-19T23:00:00Z

Predicting human behaviour with data science.

Graduate Data Scientist Tim Fry contemplates the notion of two parallel universes intrinsically linked by data science: the physical world which we inhabit and the parallel world of data.

article

Data Science & Analytics

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Using data science to understand patterns in human behaviour has fascinated researchers for years. But now predictive analytics is forecasting human behaviour better than ever before – helping us generating accurate (and sometimes surprising) answers to often complex questions.

I recently observed a talk by Hannah Fry (no relation!) at the recent Bristol Data and AI showcase on this very subject area. The event was specifically focused on tackling key issues including climate change, equality, and misinformation. A Professor in the Mathematics of Cities at UCL, Hannah believes there are two universes - the material one which we all inhabit, and a parallel world of data. In the data world, which is constructed of numbers and relationships, we can find mathematical insights that can help answer questions about our brick-and-mortar reality, enabled by data science and AI as critical tools link the two worlds.

Hannah highlighted - via a range of fascinating stories - how a mathematical view of what it means to be human can shape the way we design our society, from dating to healthcare. In ‘The Joy of Data’, a sprawling talk that covered everything from shrimp and cows to Wikipedia, serial killers and cancer, Hannah provided numerous examples of using data to solve real-world problems. She highlighted an important consideration: because data is just a proxy for the complex IRL scenario, we need to be sure the questions we are asking are the ones we really want answers to - and sometimes we get caught out by the nuances.

By way of an example, consider the question: ‘when is the best time to inseminate a cow in heat, if we want to birth a bull?’ It turns out that when a cow enters heat, they get up and go for a walk - so, innovative farmers have attached pedometers to their cows to monitor their activity and work out the optimal time for insemination. However, in reality all we can definitively infer from the data is ‘when does this cow go for a walk?’. Answering the wrong question can be a costly mistake, and so, before undertaking a project, it is imperative to take the time to align your goals with what is possible, and reflect upon the questions that can and should be answered to deliver the most value.

The talk was engaging and excellently delivered, and I cannot wait to see Hannah again at EARL this September. Hannah is one of the #EARLconf (Enterprise Applications of the R Language Conference) keynote speakers this year where she will deliver a talk on ‘The Trouble With Automation.’

Hannah Fry is an Associate Professor in the Mathematics of Cities at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at UCL where she studies patterns in human behaviour. Her research applies to a wide range of social problems and questions, from shopping and transport to urban crime, riots, and terrorism. She is a mathematician, a best-selling author, an award-winning science presenter and the host of numerous popular podcasts and television shows.

#BristolDataAI #rstats #EARLconf

Tim Fry

Graduate Data Scientist

Ascent

As a Graduate Data Scientist at Ascent, Tim leverages his background in Chemistry and Computer Science to explore and interpret data. Experienced in R and Python he has helped healthcare and pharmaceutical companies used their data to create business value.

Blog - 20 July 2022
Data Science & Analytics
Data Driven Decision Making
EARL

Blog

EARL, EARLConf, EARL Conference,

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2022-07-06T23:00:00Z

EARL your way: book your tickets now!

Join us at EARL 2022 - the biggest commercial R conference in Europe.

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Data Science & Analytics

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Your EARL tickets are now live to purchasehere. Offering you every possible EARL ticket combination, here is a quick summary of what you can expect. You can simply choose a 3-day jam-packed conference pass or a 1 or 2-day option to customise an itinerary that works for you.

Grab your EARLy bird tickets right away - limited for a period of 2 weeks and 2 weeks only, we are delighted to be offering an unlimited amount of tickets ranging from 15-25% discount on all ticket options, depending if you are NHS, not for profit or an academic.

Team networking.

Why not bring your colleagues along for a much needed team social at the largest commercial R event in the UK? Offering lots of networking opportunities from brands in similar markets - there will be plenty of time to swap market experiences, over coffee, at lunch or at our evening reception. We are certainly proud to be a part of such an enthusiastic community.

Full or half day workshop on day 1.

We are running a 1-day series of workshops to kick off EARL on 6th September, covering all areas of R from explainable machine learning, to time series visualisation, functional programming with purr, an introduction to plumber APIs to having some fun and making games in Shiny. There is plenty of choice with morning and afternoon sessions agenda.

Full conference pass.

Our all-access pass to EARL gives you full access to a 1-day workshop, full 2-day conference pass and access to the evening reception at the unforgettable Drapers Hall on day 2 - the former home of Henry VIII. We have got an impressive line-up of keynotes including mathematician, science presenter and all-round badass - Hannah Fry, Top 100 Global Innovator in Data & Analytics - Harry Powell and the unmissable Financial Times columnist John Burn-Murdock. To add to this excitement, we have approved used cases from Bumble, Samaritans, BBC, Meta, Bank of England, Dogs Trust, NHS, and partners RStudio alongside many more.

1 or 2-day conference pass.

If you would like access to the keynotes, session talks and abundance of networking opportunities, you can choose from a 1 or 2-day pass aligned to your areas of interest. The 2-day conference pass gives you access to the main evening reception.

Evening reception.

This year we have opted for an unforgettable experience at Drapers Hall (the former home of Henry VIII), where you will get the ability to network with colleagues, delegates and speakers over drinks, canapes, and dinner in unforgettable surroundings. Transport is provided in a provide London red bus transfer.

This year promises an unforgettable experience, with a heavy weight line up, use cases from leading brands and the opportunity at last to share and network to your heart’s content. We look forward to meeting you.

Book your tickets now.

Amanda Cleverly

Content Lead

Ascent

Amanda leads Ascent’s content strategy as part of her senior marketing role. With a strong background in data science and a passion for technology and innovation, her flair for compelling communications enables her to explore human, technical and business subject matter across diverse industries.

Blog - 7 July 2022
Data Science & Analytics
EARL
R Community

blog/the-nhs-r-community-collaboration-beyond-boundaries/

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The NHS-R Community: collaboration beyond boundaries.

Data Science & Analytics

2022-07-06T23:00:00Z

Blog - 7 July 2022
Data Science & Analytics
EARL
Healthcare
R Community

Blog

In this blog, one of Data Scientists Chris McLean has considered the breadth and depth of R applications synonymous with the alphabet in preparation for all the interesting and insightful talks that will take place at EARL in September – from dating, to insurance claims, news reporting, mental health and dogs.

applications of R, data science, EARL,

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2022-06-28T23:00:00Z

The A to Z of enterprise applications of R.

Ascent Data Scientist Chris McLean considers the limitless applications of R in enterprise across the length and breadth of industry sectors in preperation for EARL Conference 2022 - what’s your story?

article

Data Science & Analytics

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The growth of R and its commercial application has been synonymous with the embrace of data science techniques and data-driven thinking by organisations in industries as diverse as finance, pharmaceuticals, e-commerce and media.

In this blog, one of Data Scientists Chris McLean has considered the breadth and depth of R applications synonymous with the alphabet in preparation for all the interesting and insightful talks that will take place at EARL in September – from dating, to insurance claims, news reporting, mental health and dog welfare.

As an open-source tool, R offers users the power and flexibility to tackle the most complex of business problems with libraries that handle the full data science process from data ingestion and preparation to analysis and modelling to visualisation and dissemination. This enables organisations to build and test solutions quickly and embed them in their day-to-day activities. While they may not garner the same media attention as drones, bots or recommendation engines, many applications of R are fundamental to the way in which businesses operate.

The EARL conference enables data scientists to share examples of how they use R to help their organisations overcome specific business challenges. To get you in the mood, here is an A-to-Z guide of the ways in which R is applied commercially.

A is for Attrition.

Calculate Employee turnover can be a major challenge, particularly among those with skills in high demand. HR departments use R to identify employee’s that are likely to leave and proactively address any underlying internal problems to minimise attrition rates.

B is for Bats and Balls.

Analytics departments in sports such as football, cricket, baseball and basketball use R to analyse performance and seek ways to gain an advantage over opponents.

C is for Clinical Trials.

Shiny apps get the data from clinical trials into the hands of statisticians, clinical analysts and pharmacovigilance officers to speed up the drug development process.

D is for Demand.

Forecast future demand for goods and services based on historic sales data, which accounting for market conditions and competitor activity.

E is for E-commerce.

Analysing customer purchase and product sales history to segment products and customers that behave similarly and make data-driven decisions to improve sales KPIs.

F is for Fraud detection.

Anomaly detection and probabilistic modelling in R enables banks and finance institutions identify potentially fraudulent transactions in real-time.

G is for Genetics.

R has been at the heart of genetic analysis for decades; enabling scientists to analyse and visualise complex genomic data then publish reproducible analysis seamlessly.

H is for House price prediction.

Many realtors use models created in R to predict house prices in a given area to value properties ahead of going to market.

I is for Icelandic social swimming.

Soaking in natural thermal pools is a national pastime in Iceland so the Icelandic Government’s Data Science Team use R to gather, clean and visualise data in a Shiny app to let citizens know how crowded a specific pool is at a specific time.

J is for Journey optimisation.

With global fuel prices increasing, optimisation models in R can help identify the most efficient journeys for commercial vehicles, be they deliver vans, logistics trucks or waste disposal lorries.

K is for KPIs.

Automating Shiny dashboards and RMarkdown reports enable companies to disseminate KPIs to all areas of the business in real-time.

L is for Loyalty.

Survival analysis enables business to better understand the customer lifecycle and where to intervene to increase consumer loyalty and retention.

M is for Marketing.

Marketeers utilise R in everything from segmenting customers and predicting churn to social media benchmarking and visualising the impact of campaigns.

N is for News.

Data Journalism has grown exponentially over the last few years with outlets such as FiveThirtyEight, the New York Times and the BBC utilising R to analyse and visualise data in support of news stories.

O is for Optimised pricing.

Optimisation models in R help identify optimal pricing to maximise both revenue and demand while accounting for factors such as seasonality, competitor activity and product features.

P is for Pandemic tracking.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many governments and health agencies turned to R as the tool of choice in monitoring the spread of the virus, developing epidemiological models and informing citizens about infection rates in their local area.

Q is for Quantitative finance.

Quantitative analysts use mathematical models in R to ensure portfolios are risk balanced, help find new trading opportunities, and evaluate asset prices.

R is for Risk modelling.

Identifying and mitigating risk is crucial for banks and lenders when offering mortgages, loans and credit cards. R is a crucial tool for developing risk models quickly and at scale.

S is for Sentiment analysis.

Understanding consumer sentiment from analysing social media posts, product reviews or online customer service chats to improve products and services.

T is for Telecoms.

Telecoms companies use R to build models that predict the likelihood of faults occurring in the network, enabling them to proactively address problems. Not only does this minimise network downtime but it also makes more efficient use of engineering resources.

U is for User experience.

A/B testing is not just about choosing the right colour for your call-to-action button, it’s about shaping and improve the entire user experience. R provides UX practitioners with the tools to quickly test, evaluate and iterate their ideas.

V is for Visualisation.

Data is beautiful and ggplot is the go-to tool for many analysts and developers to create stunning, informative and interactive visualisations that can be embedded in reports, apps and websites.

W is for Weather prediction.

Weather organisations around the world, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), use R to predict changes in the weather, climate and oceans for short- and long-term forecasts.

X is for Xbox.

The Xbox matchmaking service, which pairs gamers with similar skill levels in online multiplayer games such as Halo, was built in R.

Y is for Yesterday.

Mining historical texts such as newspapers, documents or even social media can help historians and investigators unearth new information.

Z is for Zombies.

Modelling the potential spread of the future zombie apocalypse, while considering various infection and population parameters helps inform the development of epidemiology models for real-life pandemics, such as COVID-19.

Do you have an interesting application of R that you are interested to share and take centre stage at EARL? The final call for abstracts is midnight 30th June - you can submit here.

*If for whatever reason you are struggling to submit by the deadline above, please do reach out to us at earl@ascent.io and we can extend your deadline accordingly.

Chris McLean

Data Scientist

Ascent

As a Data Scientist at Ascent, Chris helps customers answer critical business questions through advanced statistical analysis and modelling to produce actionable insights. Chris began his career in market research and political polling and has over ten years’ experience in both agency and in-house data teams across industries including media, telecom, government and pharmaceuticals. Specialising in R, he has a strong track record of delivering data science and shiny development projects for clients.

Data Scientist

Blog - 29 June 2022
Data Science & Analytics
EARL
R Community

blog/moving-from-sas-to-r-six-guiding-principles-to-assure-success/

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Moving from SAS to R: six guiding principles to assure success.

Data Science & Analytics

2022-06-05T23:00:00Z

Blog - 6 June 2022
Data Science & Analytics
EARL
Open Source
R Community

blog/why-this-is-the-year-you-should-take-the-stage-at-earl-2022…–/

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Why this is the year you should take the stage at EARL 2022…

Data Science & Analytics

EARL Conf 2019 Rich Pugh

2022-05-05T23:00:00Z

Blog - 6 May 2022
Data Science & Analytics
EARL
R Community
Rbloggers

Blog

The Enterprise Applications of the R Language Conference (EARL) is a cross-sector conference focusing on the commercial use of the R programming language, and this year it’s taking place in person on the 6th – 8th September at the Tower Hotel in London. 

EARL conference, EARL, R community, Enterprise Applications of the R Language Conference, R conference, Mango Solutions,

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2022-04-07T22:00:00Z

Announcing Ascent as the new host of EARL 2022.

If you managed to attend our LondonR in-person event in January, you will have noticed that the events team has gone purple as the baton officially passes from Mango Solutions to Ascent in supporting all R community events, from Bristol, Manchester and LondonR to the annual flagship EARL conference.

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Data Science & Analytics

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The Enterprise Applications of the R Language Conference (EARL) is a cross-sector conference focusing on the commercial use of the R programming language, and this year it’s taking place in person on the 6th – 8th September at the Tower Hotel in London.

With Mango founder Rich Pugh at the helm as Ascent’s Chief Data Scientist, we’re super proud to be continuing the legacy and picking up the organisation of industry favourite EARL, an event that has built an enviable reputation since it was introduced in 2014. Attracting presenters from some of the world’s leading brands and an audience of some of the most influential people in R, EARL has developed into a must-attend conference for many, and the source of innovative new solutions to real-world commercial challenges.

The conference for data scientists who use R.

Real commercial R use cases.

As one of the world’s most widely adopted analytic languages, R has gained tremendous traction in data science projects over the years and today remains the programming language of choice for most statisticians. R’s vibrant package ecosystem and strong community and resources gives data scientists the ability to tackle any analytical challenge, from economic risk management to customer behavioural analysis. Across the pandemic, we saw R play a pivotal role on the global stage in informing effective, data-led decisions across an evolving landscape. The EARL conference attracts the same diversity of applications: past talks feature a wide variety of topics from journey planning to preventing human trafficking and technical talks on app development in R-Shiny and DevOps. Here’s some examples from previous years:

  • Using data to help reduce station overcrowding – Transport for London

  • Data to Deployment: Overcoming the challenges of embedding R models in Production - Royal London

  • Using data to flex analytical muscle: How data science, culture and commercial rigour comes together to drive better ROI - The Gym Group

  • Using data to determine how much milk cows produce - Arla Foods

  • Using data to drive better decisions - Hiscox

EARL is renowned for making delegates feel inspired, both by the creative work they see and in conversation with other R users. If some of these use cases have inspired you to tell your story - our call for abstracts is now open and the most appreciate and attentive audience in the industry is waiting for you…!

Submit an abstract for EARL 2022

EARL has given me things to change TODAY and other things I’ll be thinking about for a long time.

5 reasons to attend EARL 2022.

EARL attracts a huge following and is supported by companies year after year. It offers great opportunities to learn technical skills and gives you the chance to explore solutions to the common issues facing the community. In conversation with your team, here’s some of our top reasons EARL needs to be on your list of must-attend conferences:

  • Compelling keynotes: We’ll be revealing our headliners in the next few weeks but rest assured they’ll be unmissable…

  • Deep dive workshops delivered by leading R consultants: EARL’s ever-popular Day 1 agenda features a variety of workshops for 2022 designed to enhance your skills in Explainable Machine Learning, Time Series Visualisation, Shiny, Purr and Plumber, backed by a library of resources.

  • Custom agenda: Build your own conference programme from the 60+ sessions on offer, based on relevance to your industry or use case (or just because!)

  • Expand your network: Invaluable networking opportunities throughout the conference. Meet like-minded professionals and enjoy a cocktail with the best in the business.

  • Creative playground: Get inspired by the latest solutions and explore ideas that you can take back to your business.

We came away inspired by some of the sophisticated work and creative ideas we saw and a new perspective on issues facing the community. EARL is a highly recommended event for anyone using R to support their business.

Whether you’re coding, wrangling data, leading a team of R users or making data-driven decisions, EARL offers insights you can immediately action across your company. We can’t wait to see you there.

Tickets go on sale in May 2022.

Amanda Cleverly

Content Lead

Ascent

Amanda leads Ascent’s content strategy as part of her senior marketing role. With a strong background in data science and a passion for technology and innovation, her flair for compelling communications enables her to explore human, technical and business subject matter across diverse industries.

Blog - 8 April 2022
Data Science & Analytics
EARL
R Community
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