Chapter 13

Consolidating our Learnings

In this, the final chapter, we will review what we have covered in this book and look at how the skills we’ve learned can be used in different contexts. With the journey all but over, what does the destination look like and where might we go from here? What else can we use our data science toolkit for?

Source: Elephants in India (13.5 and 13.6):

Just to prove I wasn’t making it up, Here’s a link to an article about Elephants ‘ransacking’ (sic – bit emotive perhaps?) a village in India.  There are plenty more, just a Google search away.

Source: Nelson Mandela Anecdote (13.3, pg 299)

I should elaborate a bit on the provenance of the anecdote about Mr Mandela,  the ANC and the ‘Conversion Model’:

In the 1990s I worked in the market industry in Durban South Africa, but not at Research Surveys (RS).  A close colleague, a friend even. worked closely with RS (from client side) and bought a lot of Conversion Model products.  He ended up working there too.

The Conversion Model was highly rated by people in the market research industry at the time – those who knew about it.  The specifics of the algorithm were a closely guarded secret of course, but the outcomes it was able to produce were on record, if you knew where to look.  The model was designed to measure the propensity of people to change religion according to different messages, but it worked well in measuring all manner of attitudinal shifts.

The individual who outlined how the model was used by the ANC is Simon Lee, a man I hold in great regard.  I sought him out when people gathered for drinks, not only because he was a decent chap, but because I was very interested in the Conversion Model, and he usually had stories to tell about it.  I have not been able to track him down to get permission to recount this tale… I tried, but was unsuccessful.   But its 25 years since the story was told, and I think that’s a reasonable statute of limitations for me recounting it publicly.  Simon – hope you read this m8 and I hope you are well 🙂  Soz for the name drop, but the story sounded a bit fanciful so needed a source.