If you have ever used a spreadsheet program then you are well-acquainted with the frustrations produced by entering one thing and having it auto formatted into something else. If such formatting errors go unnoticed then it will definitely lead to serious repercussions when it comes to company finances in the commercial scenario, but when it comes to the serious sciences like genetics their outcomes will be catastrophic.
Recently a study published in the journal of Genome Biology stated that 19.6 percent i.e. roughly 1 in 5 of all genetics papers published that contained spreadsheets had such errors. The main reason behind the problem is the way how genomic names are written. To consider an example, the gene called – “Membrane-Associated Ring Finger (C3HC4) 1, E3 Ubiquitin Protein Ligase” is written as MARCH1 in shorthand. But in Excel due to its default settings, it is automatically converted into 1-Mar or some other calendar date format.
Similarly when scientists enter genetic ID numbers they get converted into floating point numbers like – 2310009E13 became 2.31E+13. And as per Popular Mechanics, it is not possible for the scientists to completely reformat their excel files. So, instead they choose to reformat a blank document and then re-enter their data cell by cell. However, fortunately these errors do not have any effects on the paper’s original findings, but they may pose a serious problem for scientists who would want to replicate the study.
Here is some more insight on the issue:
Recently in a convention for geneticists, the speaker began with the snarky statement that – if you thought autocorrect was a bummer for your Whatsapp texts then you should talk to a geneticist instead. While automated features and productivity tweaks are supposed to save people time and work, they are often times counterproductive as they insert errors into our substantial pieces of work. And sadly, that is the case for an alarming number of academic papers in genetics.
Many academic papers come with supplemental files complete with charts, table and other tabular data and ideally such files are there to support the data and other aspects of the research. They are also useful for fellow researchers to take the work further. While all things remain fine in an ideal scenario, but some automated features in Excel some important data such as scientific names, floating point numbers and dates ends up getting reformatted and causes much too trouble for the scientific community causing havoc confusion. This problem with automatic reformatting occurs all the time and scientists had found the issue back in 2004 and the problem has still persisted since then.
An extensive research has been conducted by Mark Ziemann, Yotam Eren and Assam El-Osta on gene name conversion revealed that about 20 percent of all papers with supplemental spreadsheets have such errors appearing in them. The researchers took a note of more than 35,000 supplemental Excel files attached to such research documents related to genetic studies. They employed automated software to search and filter anything that resembled lists of genes and narrowed the field to about 3597 papers with several supplemental files. Then they went on to screen for the 10 most common false positive cases and discovered them in files attached to some 704 publishing houses who have published such papers. That is 19.6 percent of all the research papers they screened.
So, while many of us have been the victim of autocorrect changing the meaning of our text messages, some with hilarious results but in the case of genetic studies this matter is of no big laughs. These papers are assets for the scientific community and are often used by new generations of researchers to further study the matters. But having such massive errors on the papers can definitely slow things down and create problems for science to advance.
Science has already seen several wasted years in the world due to human intervention with obstacles to free thinking and questioning in the past riding on government or authoritarian censorship eating away people’s ideas of genius.
To further worsen the situation, there is no way we can turn off this autocorrect feature in Microsoft Excel permanently. Fortunately, researchers have discovered that Google Sheets does not perform such automated correctional functions, and if people copied such content from Google Sheets into other forms of spreadsheet programs then the formatting of these data were preserved.
So, until the prominent spreadsheet software manufacturers can figure out a way to offer people with the feature to switch off such autocorrect functions, it will probably fall in the hands of some young, unfortunate research assistant to double check this massive amount of data and correct the lists of gene names.
To learn more about common application of MS Excel and some nifty tricks for spreadsheet software take up an advanced Excel course in Gurgaon from DexLab Analytics, the premiere analytics training institute in India.
If you still are unaware of the power of data analytics even after the success of the movie Moneyball, then you might as well be living under a rock. Yes the book by Michael Lewis transformed the way sports administrators can identify low-performing players by using data analysis rather than the conventional techniques. This was the first time something as analytical and core-academic was used in the field of sports and that too for something as substantial as selecting players.
But today data analysis is used in almost every aspect of our lives than just the way we like our favorite teams in popular sports. The basic idea behind statistical analysis is to determine meaningful patterns within a given set of data. This discipline is slowly edging its way into every conceivable business avenue these days whether big or small. The main elements in this field are data (that are available easily these days) and highly powerful computer programs that are used to analyze it and draw valuable insights from it. This field has completely changed the way we perceive information and make decisions. Historically these analysis tools have helped companies take decisions on how they should position themselves in new market ventures as well as place their new products.
For instance, ecommerce start-ups that house some of the smartest minds in the business are using expert statisticians to analyze Big Data with state-of-the-art data analysis tools to generate useful deductions from otherwise dull numbers and decimal points. Whether it is the heavy shifters in the logistics market or simply consumer durables and other fast selling products, companies are using data analysis to predict trends, deduce pricing patterns and are leveraging themselves with a revolutionary use of data analysis tools. Also in the sports world data analysis is behind big decisions like who to draft in a team to what should be the in-game strategy to marketing budget. Movie studios also employ analysis tools to calculate box-office generations and to even predict which movies will be a hit and which ones will be a flop.
Therefore, it is highly unlikely that data analytics would not make its way into the field that generates the highest number of data i.e. finances. The worlds of finances are all about numbers and so data analysis is an integral tool that has been used as an operational instrument in this field for a long-time now. While data analysis has been used in the financial world for several years globally, it is still fairly new to the Indian markets. Until now Indian markets only used data analysis tools in brokerage firms for slicing orders and for minimizing the impact cost of sales and purchases. But data analysis can also be used for mitigating frauds in money laundering, risk analysis and management and for rogue trading.
But currently the stock market is also on the verge of boarding the Big Data analysis train which is known as ‘Quants’ amongst the industry insiders. The basis of decision making in the stock trading market holding the hands of Data Analysis is to choose on the basis of history repeats itself theory. So the analysis tools are used more for technical analysis. The trend of analyzing data on the verge of the result season is slowly transforming as realizing valuable insights and patterns in data has somewhat a knee-jerk effect for the analysts and experts associated with the field. Hence, it is understandable that data analysis is making its way into the core practices of how we trade finances. So, it is understandable that the new key player in the market is data analysis or in other words also known as power computing. As the market experts have realized that using data analysis tools with precision will only increase their trading capabilities while enriching their funds in the process, so it is highly recommended for market participants to join the coveted team of data analysts to harness the true potentials of data.
In India the leading data analyst training institute in Delhi, NCR is DexLab Analytics which offers industry-oriented training courses in data analysis, Big Data Hadoop and other statistical analysis tools used in the market currently.
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We at DexLab Analytics conducted a survey, where we asked some of the tech savviest professionals associated with the ITES/Telecom/Marketing/BFSI fields, if they look to change their line of work in the near future and if they do, what will it be? Most of their response was to get into – Business Analytics.
But we have also noticed that although many are ready to take up Business Analytics for their career, when the time comes to take the big leap they are frazzled with a million questions that leave them confused. So, to help give such professionals some direction while taking such important decisions, here we have answered some of the most commonly arising question in the minds of students.
Firstly let us start with the very basics of the subject. What essentially is Business Analytics? Although this question has been answered by us numerous times; to put it simply it is the logical way we make decisions or the way we use logic.
For better understanding imagine a scenario, you are at the mall for shopping for a new dress. Some stores at the mal are offering a sale while some aren’t. And like all malls this one also has diverse range of retailers from budget-grade to superior high-quality ones. Now how do you decide on a dress?
You and almost everyone else take a decision based on the available information or data. How do you find data? You gather them by perusing around the mall visiting different shops and looking at the available options. But what if all the data is available, are there any risks associated with available data then? Is decision making completely risk-free? In such a scenario, even if information or data is available to us, they are usually not very conclusive or not present in their entirety. So, it might help to analyze the data to reduce the risk of taking wrong decisions.
While this might seem like an overly complex process and unnecessary burden to take care of when just shopping for a plain old dress, but imagine making high-stake decisions in similar or even more complex settings at business. Sounds daunting don’t it? That is the main use of Business Analytics. And as long as the mountainous heap of data keeps growing in the industry, the work of a Business Analyst will not dry-out.
The important tools in business analytics today are:
- R programming
- Advanced MS Excel (using macros and VBA)
- Tableau/Spotfire/Qlikview etc.
Where can you learn Business Analytics?
The analytics training institutes in Delhi are the leading organizations in this sector much like B-schools. And with the real estate boom in the NCR regions of Gurgaon many reputed organizations are expanding their chains to such locations. DexLab Analytics is a premium analytics training institute that caters industry-specific training to data driven minds with the best in class faculties.
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With computerized information development anticipated to increment by 4,300% all over the world by 2020 and viable weights rising, organizations should now like never before convene the growing requests of their customers.
This digital upheaval is additionally giving remarkable chances to enhance the general client experience by means of big data analytics, as per a study conducted by Big Data Hadoop certification in Gurgaon. This is the procedure of gathering and deciphering these boundless amounts of information to separate the important, savvy, and helpful information that gives worth to a customer.
The following are 3 tips to utilize Big Data to improve general customer experience.
Actualize proactive bill shock administration
Bill shock is client agony from unforeseen allegations and is normally the consequence of broadband clients’ powerlessness to evaluate their huge information utilization, particularly while roaming. These disappointed clients can adversely affect the correspondence administration supplier’s repute and at last prompt income misfortune. Broadband organizations can stay away from this by giving continuous authorization activities and choices, through content warnings or email, permit free limited skimming, and divert clients to exchange information arrangements to dodge upcoming concerns.
Make more intelligent customized shopping encounters
Opt-in versatile showcasing correspondences of focused items and administrations can then be offered through customized messages particular to every phase of the purchaser cycle – mindfulness, engagement, thought, change and steadfastness. Suppose somebody selects to get promoting messages from a retailer who has an outlet in the neighborhood shopping center. GPS-incorporated tracking recognizes that the client is close to the store and sends the client an instant message alarming them to a unique one-day offer. With the client’s advantage provoked, she heads into the store and buys utilizing the coupon code as a part of the instant message.
Diminish holding up time in the line
A service organization, for instance, can deal with this perpetual agony of getting, as to orchestrate a home repair visit by getting the purchaser’s favored channel of correspondence, affirming the evening before in a mechanized way by means of that favored channel, and illuminating the client that the administration tech will call at 8:00 a.m. to tell the purchaser where he remains in the everyday line. This joys the client and disposes of the expense of up to three inbound telephone calls.
You have to know clients as people if you need to win them and then you’ll make more intelligent choices about their needs and practices.
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