User Analytics: Transforming Social Data into Actionable Insights
User Analytics: Transforming Social Data into Actionable Insights


Much of the growth in data science in recent years has been fueled by the need to understand and alter user behavior in web products. As with most data science applications, domain knowledge is vital to defining metrics and outcomes, performing feature selection and building models.

In this talk, I'll describe some of the unique challenges of working with user data including the complexity of social processes, incomplete information and the importance of context. I will start by developing a framework for understanding individual and social behavior in web products based on best practices in demography, sociology and public health, and then explore useful modeling techniques in R for dissecting social processes. These will include multi-state modeling, causal inference through statistical matching and uplift modeling and cohort versus period modeling. I hope you will leave the session with a heightened appreciation for social data and an excitement to apply what you learned.


"Joanne's passion is exploring and understanding human behavior. It has motivated her unique academic background and career path. She did her undergraduate at Georgetown University in the School of Foreign Service. Then, she received a master’s in Mathematics at the London School of Economics and two more masters in Demography and Political Science at the University of California Berkeley. Her unique academic background gives her the ability to use social science frameworks with the latest statistical and algorithmic methods to better model and understand user behavior.

Joanne has worked as a data scientist/statistician at number of companies, including as the first data scientist at MeYou Health and statistics manager at Sony Playstation, creating frameworks to define and measure social dynamics in their products. In my professional career, she has modeled complex social processes, derived insights from user behavior, run 100s of A/B tests and worked extensively with engineering and product managers to implement solutions. Currently, Joanne is also working on a book on user analytics for Manning Publications. "

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