Yesterday night saw two back-to-back events at Deloitte in Melbourne:
The A1 meeting went well, attended by approximately 20. Arranged by Yuval Marom, the founder and convener of MelbURN, and chaired by the dynamic Richard Fraccaro, head of Melbourne’s A1 chapter.
The presentation consisted of an update of what A1 has achieved since it was founded and revealed at MelbURN in October last year. The recent AIPIO presentation, the Canberra launch, the Sydney Chapter think tank and this website/knowledge repository all rated a mention.
A healthy discussion followed on the nature and needs of analytics education, prompted by a question regarding the role of academia.
But this was not the main event.
Following right after, and attended by 45 or so, came the MelbURN event, with the title “Experiences with using SAS and R in insurance and banking”, presented with human and unassuming polish by Hong Ooi, statistician at ANZ Bank.
This was, without exaggeration, one of the best R presentations I have ever seen.
Hong taught the audience some very important things about banking and finance, rigorous statistics, data representation and a masterful use of the R language, and key R packages such as plyr.
More importantly, he provided not one, but multiple case studies, and in each a comparison of R and SAS, as well as ways of combining the two together. This included calling R from SAS, and using R to generate SAS code.
Most striking for me was the comparison of SAS with R in a live, corporate financial context, and the presentation of R as a viable, robust, industrial strength option, with some unique advantages, and admitted weaknesses.
I hope that Hong can present this again to the Sydney Users of R Forum (SURF)
His presentation slides can be found here.
A video of the presentation will hopefully be available soon.
Stephen and I will be in Melbourne until Saturday if any A1 blog readers want to meet before then.
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