A Blog on Analytics and Marketing

SAS, Marketing, Predictive Modeling, Statistics

Archive for September, 2009

Ten Reasons Why Models May Fail

Posted by phillippeng on September 14, 2009

Kent Leahy and Nethra Sambamoorthi list ten most common reasons why predictive models in marketing may fail. These top ten reasons are:

(1) Modeling strategy design. The person who will actually be building the model is not included in the initial discussions or design of the model.
(2) Model overfitting. The model has been “overfit” to the sample at hand ,and, consequently, does not generalize well to the actual mailing population, or is otherwise unreliable.
(3) Population shift due to environment changes. The circumstances surrounding the actual mailing change or the mailing environment turns out to be substantially different from the one on which the model was built.
(4) Model generalization too much. The model is used as though it were ‘generic’ or ‘universally applicable’.
(5) Population shift and model overfitting. Changes in the mailing environment in conjunction with the use of an ‘overfitted’ model.
(6) Model out-of-date. The model contains “post-event” variable(s), or those that occurred after the event you are trying to predict.
(7) Model validation and implementation. Not ‘test-scoring’ the model, or making an error when implementing the model.
(8) Sample selection QC. Failing to run an audit of the file as the first step in the model-building process.
(9) Miss the model expectation. A consensus on just exactly what the model is expected to predict (and for which audience) is not reached and/or well understood.
(10) Poor fanancial Planning. The model performs well but the mailing itself is not a financial ‘success’.

Reference: http://www.crmportals.com/crmnews/2002123.html

Posted in Marketing, Modeling | Leave a Comment »

Resources from SIAM

Posted by phillippeng on September 10, 2009

SIAM stands for Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Invited and Prize Lectures from the 2008 and 2009 Annual Meetings are captured as slides with audio. You can access them through the following link:


The proceedings section includes good coverage on data mining:


Posted in Modeling | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Text Editor to Recommend: Notepad++

Posted by phillippeng on September 3, 2009

As I search for a free but powerful text editor tool, Notepad++ just comes on top of the list. Notepad++ is widely used by advanced programmers.

Download Page:  http://download.cnet.com/Notepad/3000-2352_4-10327521.html

Great resource Link:  http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/uk/download.php

Notepad++ has built in formatting modules for many programming languages. However, SAS is not one of them.  You can add SAS as a user-defined language following steps below:

1. Download the user-defined language to your computer
2. Click start, run, type (or paste in) %APPDATA%\Notepad++ then click ok
3. Rename userDefineLang_SAS.xml as userDefineLang.xml
4. Copy and paste userDefineLang.xml file into the directory. If you add more than one languages, simply
copy everything from each file starting at <UserLang…> to </UserLang> and paste it at the end of the userDefineLang.xml
right before </NotepadPlus>.
5. Save the newly improved userDefineLang.xml

SAS language formatting file was originally created by Joakim and can be downloaded from SAS. I have made some changes to this file. If you have interests in it, please email me (ppeng08@gmail.com).

I’d like to call out some great features about Notepad++:

1. Highlighting your coding language;
2. Column selection and edition;
method: click the starting position –> alt+shift+click the ending position
You can then edit by column. It works great.
Column edit (alt+C) from the menu does not work the way I want.
3. Able to open an incomplete file. For example, you want to check the SAS log file while you code is still running. Regular text editor just cannot open such a file. Notepad++ can read whatever in the current file. Once there are more information added to the file, a window will pop-up asking if you want to reload/refresh the file in the window.
4. Advanced search and replace. When you search for one word, the same word in the whole file will be highlighted. This helps check your spelling and the keyword referencing in the file.


You will find more great features as you begin to use it.

Posted in Computer, SAS, SQL | Leave a Comment »