What Popular Baby Names Teach Us About Data Analytics

When Nate Silver and Allison McCann of FiveThirtyEight mined a classic dataset — the first names of all babies born since 1880 — they skipped the lists of the most-popular or least-popular names. Instead they investigated whether someone’s first name provides sufficient information to guess when he or she was born. The lessons they learned can apply easily to any business analytics team, says Kaiser Fung, Associate Program Director of Columbia’s Applied Analytics Master’s Program, in an article for the Harvard Business Review.