But can ravens forecast?

G-Cloud forecasting

Why forecast sales?

Humans have the magical ability to plan for future events, for future gain. It’s not quite a uniquely human trait. Because apparently ravens can match a 4-year-old.

An abundance of data, and some very nice R packages, make our ability to plan all the more powerful.

A couple of months ago we looked at sales from an historical perspective in Digital Marketplace. Six months later. In this post, we’ll use the sales data to March 31st to model a time-series forecast for the next two years. The techniques apply to any time series with characteristics of trend, seasonality or longer-term cycles. Continue reading “But can ravens forecast?”

Criminal goings-on in a random forest

Criminal goings-on in a random forest

Supervised machine learning

In the “cluster of six”, we used unsupervised machine learning, to reveal hidden structure in unlabelled data, and analyse the voting patterns of Labour Members of Parliament. In this blog post, we’ll use supervised machine learning to see how well we can predict crime in London. Perhaps not specific crimes. But we can use recorded crime summary data at London borough-level (non-personal aggregated data licensed under the Open Government Licence), with some degree of accuracy, to predict crime counts.

Along the way, we’ll see the pay-off from an exploration of multiple models.

Continue reading “Criminal goings-on in a random forest”

Surprising stories hide in seemingly mundane data

Drifting boat

Experimentation with geospatial mapping

Recently I experimented with geospatial mapping techniques in R.  I looked at both static and interactive maps. Embedding the media into a WordPress blog would be simple enough with a static map. The latter would require (for me) a new technique to retain the interactivity inside a blog post.

My web-site visitor log, combined with longitude and latitude data from MaxMind’s GeoLite2, offered a basis for analysis. Although less precise than the GeoIP2 database, this would be more than adequate for my purpose of getting to country and city level.  I settled on the Leaflet package for visualisation given the interactivity and pleasing choice of aesthetics.

The results however were a little puzzling.
Continue reading “Surprising stories hide in seemingly mundane data”

Does G-Cloud 9 provide too much choice?

Buyer Choice on G-Cloud

The risk of choice overload

In his book The Paradox of Choice, American psychologist and professor of social theory Barry Schwartz argued that choice overload can, in the long run, lead to decision-making paralysis.

The launch of the G-Cloud framework opened up the market to SMEs via the Digital Marketplace.  And with successive iterations of G-Cloud came lots of choice.

Continue reading “Does G-Cloud 9 provide too much choice?”

Is the Government realising its ambition for SMEs on G-Cloud?

SMEs on G-Cloud

G-Cloud and the ambition for SMEs

Rewind to 2011, and the Cabinet Office articulated, in its Government ICT Strategy, an intent to “streamline the procurement process to break down the barriers that impede SMEs from bidding for contracts”.  They could thereby create a fairer and more competitive marketplace. Continue reading “Is the Government realising its ambition for SMEs on G-Cloud?”