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John F. Elder Instructor:
Dr. John Elder
CEO & Founder
Elder Research, Inc.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016 in San Francisco
Full-day: 8:00am - 3:30pm

Room: Salon 3 & 4

The Best and the Worst of Predictive Analytics: Predictive Modeling Methods and Common Data Mining Mistakes

A free copy of John Elder's book Statistical Analysis and Data Mining Applications is included.

Intended Audience: Interested in the true nuts and bolts
Knowledge Level: Familiar with the basics of predictive modeling.

Attendees will receive an electronic copy of the course notes via USB drive.

What prior attendees have exclaimed

More statements of testimony:

"You don't know what you don't know ... after this course, I now know what I don't know and what I should develop greater understanding in for both myself, my company and our clients"
– Sean Liddle, Deloitte

"Some very complex topics were explained very comprehensively and clearly, and put into a wider context of how to use these in real-life situations."
– Colin Styles, Information Architect, Sussex Health Informatics Service

"I can't remember when I walked away from a one-day training course so filled with insights and new ideas. Thank you for your real work experiences and great examples about analytics and modeling for decision making. Because of your training on modeling techniques, you helped me rethink my approach to data mining and predictive analytics. You were generous with your time and with the Q&A. I would like to learn more than just the basics you covered, but what I did learn gave me a foundation for better management techniques and using data analytics."
– Manager Data Analytics, US Postal Service Office of Inspector General

"Best workshop I had attended in a long time. Business perspective is a big advantage of the workshop."
– Andres Uribe-Sanchez, Liberty Mutual Insurance

"In depth knowledge of methods. Well structured presentation slides. Broad practice knowledge and advice. Presented in fun and humor."
– Ling Zhang, Comcast

Workshop Description

Predictive analytics has proven capable of enormous returns across industries – but, with so many core methods for predictive modeling, there are some tough questions that need answering:

  • How do you pick the right one to deliver the greatest impact for your business, as applied over your data?
  • What are the best practices along the way?
  • And how do you avoid the most treacherous pitfalls?

This one-day session surveys standard and advanced methods for predictive modeling.
Dr. Elder will describe the key inner workings of leading algorithms, demonstrate their performance with business case studies, compare their merits, and show you how to pick the method and tool best suited to each predictive analytics project. Methods covered include classical regression, decision trees, neural networks, ensemble methods, target shuffling and more.

The key to successfully leveraging these methods is to avoid “worst practices”. It's all too easy to go too far in one's analysis and “torture the data until it confesses” or otherwise doom predictive models to fail where they really matter: on new situations.

Dr. Elder will share his (often humorous) stories from real-world applications, highlighting the Top 10 common, but deadly, mistakes. Come learn how to avoid these pitfalls by laughing (or gasping) at stories of barely averted disaster.

If you'd like to become a practitioner of predictive analytics – or if you already are, and would like to hone your knowledge across methods and best practices, this workshop is for you!

What you will learn:

  • The tremendous value of learning from data
  • How to create valuable predictive models for your business
  • Best Practices by seeing their flip side: Worst Practices

Why Attend?

View Dr. Elder describing the course in this brief video:


Price and Registration Info:
  • Registration/Breakfast - 7:30am -8:00am
  • AM Break 10:00am - 10:15
  • Lunch 12:15-1:00pm
  • First PM Break: 2:15- 2:30pm
  • End of the Workshop: 3:30pm

Attendees receive a free copy of John Elder's book Statistical Analysis and Data Mining Applications, an electronic copy of the course notes, and an official certificate of completion at the conclusion of the workshop.


Dr. John Elder, CEO & Founder, Elder Research, Inc.

Dr. John Elder heads a data mining consulting team with offices in Charlottesville Virginia, San Francisco, Mountain View California, and Raleigh North Carolina ( Founded in 1995, Elder Research, Inc. focuses on investment, commercial and security applications of advanced analytics, including text mining, forecasting, stock selection, image recognition, process optimization, cross-selling, biometrics, drug efficacy, credit scoring, market timing, and fraud detection.

John obtained a BS and MEE in Electrical Engineering from Rice University, and a PhD in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia, where he’s an adjunct professor teaching Optimization or Data Mining. Prior to 21 years at ERI, he spent 5 years in aerospace defense consulting, 4 heading research at an investment management firm, and 2 in Rice’s Computational & Applied Mathematics department.

Dr. Elder has authored innovative data mining tools, is a frequent keynote speaker, and was co-chair of the 2009 Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining conference, in Paris. John was honored to serve for 5 years on a panel appointed by President Bush to guide technology for National Security. His book with Bob Nisbet and Gary Miner, Handbook of Statistical Analysis & Data Mining Applications, won the PROSE award for Mathematics in 2009. His book with Giovanni Seni, Ensemble Methods in Data Mining, was published in February 2010, and his book with colleague Dr. Andrew Fast and 4 others on Practical Text Mining won the PROSE award for Computer Science in 2012.

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