Monday, March 27, 2017

Introducing Boardgame Recommendation website built with Shiny

My family and I love boardgames.  We are also on the lookout for new ones that would fit with the ones we already like to play.  So I decided to create a boardgame recommendation website

I built it using R.  The recommendation engine uses a very simple collaborative filtering algortihm based on correlation scores from other boardgame players collection lists.  The collections are gathered using the API from  It is very much in a beta project phase as I just wanted to get something built to get working.

I also wanted another project to build in Shiny.  I really like how easy it is to publish R projects with Shiny.

Some of the features include:

  • Ability to enter your own collection
  • Get recommendation on your collection
  • Amazon link to buy boardgame that is recommended
Its a work in progress.  There is much to clean up and to make more presentable.  Please take a look and offer comments to help improve the website. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Microsoft allows trying its new SQL Server for Linux

This is a great time to have tools to do data analysis.  Microsoft is now allowing evaluations of its new SQL Server.  This new SQL Server can now be deployed to a Linux OS environment.  This is big news especially for those that have followed this blog through the years.

The new SQL Server version is also carries new analytic tools such as R.  From this Techcrunch announcement

The new version of SQL Server will include improved support for R Services and a number of new machine learning and deep neural networking features.

These are exciting times in deed.  I hope Microsoft continues this path to bringing new tools to the market.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Microsoft releases LightGBM

Microsoft has been really increasing their development of tools in the predictive analytics and machine learning space.  Another such tool they released recently is LightGBM.  From the Github site...

LightGBM is a fast, distributed, high performance gradient boosting (GBDT, GBRT, GBM or MART) framework based on decision tree algorithms, used for ranking, classification and many other machine learning tasks.

Microsoft is definitely increasing their attempts to capitalize on the machine learning and big data movement.  I hope they continue to develop tools such as LightGBM and R with SQL Server.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Revolution R is now Microsoft R

There has been a huge shift in the force.  Can you feel it?  Today Microsoft is announcing that Revolution R is now Microsoft R.  This includes the Open R version as well.  Some notable features of Microsoft Open R.

  • Open R 3.2.2 is fully compatible with R 3.2.2
  • Microsoft, Mac OS X, and Linux support (wow!)
  • Available free to download
  • Multi-threaded math libraries
  • Enterprise version available (for a price)

This is an interesting shift for Microsoft in the analytics space.  Microsoft is flexing it's server muscles to show that it can play in the data science field as well.  I'm wondering if the industry is going to shift.  We know that IBM, SAS, and Oracle are pushing forward with cloud analytics.  Microsoft is showing a major commitment to partner with the R community.  I think this is a bold and wise move as R has shown nothing but growth the last few years.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Statistical Analysis and Data Mining hot on LinkedIn for 2014

Statistical Analysis and Data Mining are considered the hottest skills on LinkedIn for 2014.  According to their report from analyzing jobs and recruiters on the LinkedIn website.  I would say its safe to say that it will continue to be hot for 2015.

If you are looking to get your skills honed up I would suggest looking at ComputerWorld's Beginners Guide to R.  It looks like a complete tutorial and is indexed rather well.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Interesting high contrast plots in R

I was inspired by this blog post and thought I could do the same thing in R.  Well I posted the code in Google+

Here are my results.  Not bad.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Introducing the Shiny App DThiring

Well it has a been a long time since I have written anything on this blog.  I am long overdue.  I've been terribly busy learning new things and getting on with life.  One of the things I have learned is building R applications using Shiny developed by RStudio.   The folks at RStudio have also created a way to deploy Shiny apps using  Follow the link to DThiring

I'm a big fan of Data Tau which is a Data Science equivalent to Hacker News.  Like Hacker News, Data Tau has a Who's Hiring comment on the first of every month.  It is a good resource for those looking to see relevant jobs in the Data Science world.  Well someone created a hiring listings aggregator called  I decided I wanted to see if I could build a similar application using R and Shiny.

I will be posting the source code for this app to github in the near future.

If you have any ideas on how to improve this application let me know in this comment section.