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At the 14 July R User Meetup, hosted at Atlan, I had the pleasure of briefly introducing the relatively new tidytext package, written by Julia Silge (@juliasilge) and David Robinson (@drob). Essentially this package serves to bring text data into the “tidyverse”. It provides simple tools to manipulate unstructured text data in such a way that it can be analyzed…

Unleashing the power of alternative data to transform India’s battle against malaria Too many malaria cases, too little data Today, India is fighting one of its toughest battles against malaria. With a malaria prevalence rate 1.5 times greater than that of Southeast Asia, India accounts for over 67% of malaria cases in the region. What’s even more worrying, however, is that this…

Today hedge funds use alternative data to shape their investments. Why can’t organizations use it to shape their own future? In the fall of 2015, Chipotle (an American food chain famous for its massive burritos) was rocked by a series of health scares. From August to December, norovirus and salmonella broke out in 19 locations across California, Massachusetts and Minnesota. The…

When discussing data collection, outliers inevitably come up. What is an outlier exactly? It’s a data point that is significantly different from other data points in a data set. While this definition might seem straightforward, determining what is or isn’t an outlier is actually pretty subjective, depending on the study and the breadth of information being collected. So what’s the…

One of the first things we are taught in Programming 101 is to write a well-structured and commented code. And as any newbie would, we ignore this lesson and focus on achieving the end result. Recently, I coded a R (the R language!) script to be run on files amounting to 30 GBs! This was my first professional experience after…

The most challenging part about designing any survey is to identify and create the right set of questions. Typically, there are two types of survey questions – open-ended questions and closed-ended questions. Let’s take a closer look at the following questions: What are closed-ended and open-ended questions?When do we use closed-ended and open-ended questions? What are some examples of the…

What Is a Focus Group Discussion? A focus group discussion (or FGD) is a qualitative research method in the social sciences, with a particular emphasis and application in the developmental program evaluation sphere. FGDs are a predetermined semi-structured interview led by a skilled moderator. The moderator asks broad questions to elicit responses and generate discussion among the participants. The moderator’s…

Any research is only as good as the data that drives it, so choosing the right technique of data collection can make all the difference. In this article, we will look at four different data collection techniques – observation, questionnaire, interview and focus group discussion – and evaluate their suitability under different circumstances. Observation Seeing is believing, they say. Making…