August 2014 | Civis Analytics

Month August 2014

A Menagerie of Tattoos

A Menagerie of Tattoos

by Civis Analytics

When it comes to tattoos, Florida’s male inmates are five times more likely to get a dog tattoo than their female counterparts. Female inmates prefer cats two to one over men. I know this because one of the great things about working for Civis is finding and working with interesting datasets and a favorite of mine has been from the...

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Why We Love Models

Why We Love Models

by Civis Analytics

Here at Civis, we love models. But not the ones that wear swimsuits or walk down runways: the kind of curves we care about are mathematical representations of human behavior, and we employ models to predict everything from political beliefs to consumer preferences. Why Model? Imagine that it’s your friend’s birthday, but you don’t know what present to buy for...

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Summer Interns and Fellows

by Brian G.

We recently said goodbye to our inaugural class of summer Interns and Fellows here at Civis. The class of ’14 worked hard with our Engineering, Data Science R&D, Applied Data Science, and Data Research teams helping solve tough problems for non-profits, political campaigns, and companies. We accepted students from all over the country, ranging from rising juniors to completed PHDs...

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Using Docker to Run Python

by Jenny F.

Here at Civis we like to use the best tool for the job, so integrating different tools and stacks is essential. Docker is the tool-du-jour for portable code. It allows us to maintain a rich environment for statistical programming, and easily call that environment’s executables from our webapp. Props to Docker for a great online tutorial. It’s available here. It’s...

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Piaggio: The Accurate Way to a Story Worth Telling

by Civis Analytics

Piaggio’s Question: What combination of attributes in our ads will positively impact the perception of our brand? Our survey design helped the scooter-maker identify the right ads for distinct consumers. Summary Challenge Piaggio, the makers of Moto Guzzi and Vespa, needed to identify the best online ad but testing Piaggio’s desired combinations using traditional A/B testing was too difficult. What...

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Measuring Pi with Lentils and Python

by Civis Analytics

Here at Civis, we like to have fun. And what’s more fun than coming up with new and creative ways to measure pi? For our recent one-year anniversary party, we hosted a Civis Science Fair in our shiny new office. Joerg Rings and I decided to use the occasion to teach people about a common computational technique called the Monte...

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Person Matching on AWS

by Matt B.

Data scientists have to handle data from many different sources. Many of these sources however aren’t very useful until they can be combined together (list of potential customers, volunteer signups at a campaign rally, public records, etc). When an organization is trying to understand people, it needs all the information it has about individuals linked together in a single record....

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How Forecasting Revolutionized Election Resource Allocation

by Jesse S.

How can we predict voter outcome to help manage our outreach resources? We used our Golden program to perform 60,000 daily simulations to remove polling biases and keep us as accurate as possible during the 2012 Obama re-election campaign. Summary Challenge Campaign decision makers work in a data rich environment. Internal metrics, consultant pollsters, and public polling inundate campaigns, but...

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