Idiro shortlisted in TWO categories at the Technology Ireland software awards

Idiro shortlisted in TWO categories at the Technology Ireland software awards

We are delighted to announce that Idiro has been shortlisted for awards in two categories of the prestigious Technology Ireland software awards.  Our two categories are:

  • Digital Technology Services Project of the Year, for our analytics project in the South Pacific
  • Technology Innovation of the Year, for Red Sqirl, Idiro's advanced analytics platform for Big Data

Idiro's CEO, Aidan Connolly commented: "It is an honour to be shortlisted for these awards and it is testament to the ingenuity and hard work by the team". 

The awards ceremony is on Friday 24th November and our fingers are crossed.

Twenty Numbers that Define Kenny’s Leadership in the Past Six Years

Twenty Numbers that Define Kenny’s Leadership in the Past Six Years

Google, homelessness and a shrinking unemployment rate: a look at the figures that will come to define Kenny’s legacy—for better and worse.

  • 2,277: days in power on 1st June 2017.
  • €197,000: Enda Kenny’s average salary between the 2011 election and the end of 2016. 
  • 14.4%: the unemployment rate in February 2011 when Enda Kenny was elected Taoiseach. 
  • 6.2%: the unemployment rate in April 2017. 
  • 2.59%: average inflation rate in 2011. 
  • 0.01%: average inflation rate in 2016. 
  • 7: words [the homeless] “don't want to come off the streets” - Enda Kenny’s opinion on the homeless in 2016.
  • 4,588,252: the population of Ireland in 2011. 
  • 4,761,865: the population of Ireland in 2016.
  • 3.8%: increase in the population of Ireland between 2011 and 2016. 
  • 173,613: increase in population from 2011 to 2016.
  • €13,000,000,000: Apple’s Irish Tax bill.
  • 2.7: Doctors per 1,000 population in 2013 
  • 20: Ireland’s rank in 2015 for disposable income within the 38 OECD countries. 
  • 3,808: the number of homeless people in Ireland as of April 2011.
  • 7,472: the number of homeless people in Ireland as of March 2017.
  • 679: drug related deaths in 2013.
  • 26: seats lost by Fine Gael in the general election 2016.
  • €22,600,000,000: Google’s EMEA revenue from controversial advertising sales business in Ireland in 2015.
  • €47,800,000: tax paid by Google in Ireland in 2015.

 

Analysis shows that cash is king in the Irish housing market

Analysis shows that cash is king in the Irish housing market

As the housing market in Ireland is heating up again, we examined the trends in cash purchases of housing from 2010 till 2016. There is a significant jump in non-mortgaged home purchases going from €347 million in 2010 to approximately €6 billion in 2016. This represents an increase of more than 1,600% over that period.

Housing sales 2010-2016: cash vs. mortgages

To see an interactive version of this graph, click on the image above

The proportion of cash transactions for housing in Ireland peaked in 2013 and has been on a downward trajectory since then. However, it is still 44 percentage points higher than where it was in 2010.

Cash sales as a percentage of housing transactions has increased massively since 2010, and recently declined slightly.

To see an interactive version of this graph, click on the image above

There can be significant externalities created by an influx of cash within the property sector. It can lead to an increase in home prices and displace the median income
home buyers out of the property market, leading to an increased affordability gap. It should be noted that although cash sales have been a feature of the Irish housing market, recently the proportion of institutional and international investors has increased. Finding data on investments by international property players such as Blackstone within the Irish real estate market would require further research. It is well understood that credit cannot compete with cash. As long as the housing market in Ireland is dominated by cash buyers, whole classes of renters are likely to be priced out of their dream of owning a home.

Idiro staff and friends launch Databeers Dublin with sell-out success first event

Idiro staff and friends launch Databeers Dublin with sell-out success first event

'Databeers' is a series of talks that started in 2014 in Madrid, and then spread to Barcelona, London and many other cities.  Databeers aims to bring together data experts (from industry or academia, at a level accessible to a wide audience), with short talks and beer, i.e. in a fun way.  The format of Databeers talks is unlike any other: three or four talks, each seven minutes (yes, seven minutes!) long, on any aspect of data, free beer, and of course free entry.  

A group of friends working at Idiro (Julie, Davide & Simon) heard about Databeers, and thought it would be good to bring Databeers to Dublin.   We recruited three more people - FrancescaAonghus and Stefano - and formed the organising team.  The team found a fine venue (thank you Bank of Ireland), a beer sponsor (many thanks, Estrella Damm), three great speakers (thanks Krithika, Cathal and Patricia).  We launched the event and sold out in 3 days!  On the night we had a full house, three great talks and we managed to avoid the hassle of undrunk beer to keep till next time...

The Databeers Dublin team: L-R: Francesca, Stefano, Simon, Davide, Julie and Aonghus.

The next event is already being planned, so keep an eye on @DatabeersDub for updates!

 

The data analytics landscape in Ireland

The data analytics landscape in Ireland

What does the data analytics landscape look like in Ireland?

Check out the results of our survey and see whether you won the €100 voucher.

 

A few weeks ago, we here at Idiro Analytics decided to run a survey on the data analytics landscape of Ireland. Our hope was to get a better insight into the data analytics field here in Ireland and gain a better understanding of where Ireland stands in the global analytics industry.

As with any field, it can be too easy to only focus on your own area and what works for you, but having an overview of what other people in your industry are doing can be extremely valuable. Even something as simple as seeing tools being used by others in your industry could lead you to explore options you might not be aware of.

With data analytics and Big Data being such popular buzzwords for marketers to throw around, we thought it would make sense to gather facts directly from those working in the industry.

We received a great response to our survey from the Irish-based data analytics community and we would like to thank everyone who completed it.

Here is the summary of the survey results:

We’ll start with the job title, and it’s interesting to see here that there are a lot of people working with data who don’t categorise themselves as being in a traditional data analyst / scientist role.

When asking the types of business problems you were solving with data, we found that a huge 69% of people were using data for marketing and sales activities.

Although marketing and sales analytics might not be the only focus, it’s clear that a lot of companies in Ireland are finding value in that area of analytics. That reflects Idiro’s own experience - most of the analytics work we do for our own customers is around helping our customers do better marketing or sales.

So are some industries doing more advanced analytics than others? It seems so - we found that the highest number of analysts working on predictive analytics projects are in these three industries:

Now let’s look at the analytics tools. As you’d expect, there’s a massive number of different software tools in use by the analytics community in Ireland.

And we can see, the top 3 analytics software tools in Ireland are Excel, R & MS SQL Server.

There are big differences according to the industry the analyst works in, for example:

Finance/Accounting

Utilities

We have an interesting breakdown by industry, but the table is far too big to show here, so contact us if you’d like to see it.

Next, we looked at the type of work being done (reporting, insights / analysis, modelling), and split by the different job titles:


 

 

 

Idiro researcher invited to speak at MACSI 10

Idiro researcher invited to speak at MACSI 10

Idiro researcher invited to speak at MACSI 10

 

The importance of academic research has never been underestimated here at Idiro Analytics. Encouraging our analysts to explore new and innovative technologies and techniques when solving data problems has always been a part of Idiro’s company culture.

Bridging the gap between academic research and industry is an area Idiro are very proud to be involved in. With this in mind, we're happy to report that our colleague Davide Cellai was invited to be a speaker in the workshop to celebrate 10 years of MACSI.

This is Davide’s report from the event:

"Last week I participated, as an invited speaker, in the workshop to celebrate the 10 years of MACSI. MACSI (Mathematics Applications Consortium for Science and Industry) is a consortium based at the University of Limerick that promotes collaboration between applied mathematicians and industry.

MACSI was founded in 2006 by the largest single grant ever awarded to mathematics in Ireland, and since then it has been quite a special point of reference in the country for mathematicians interested in industrial applications. I had been working in MACSI for more than four years and I knew the people over there very well. MACSI engages in industrial collaborations both at the national and international level. People in the consortium work hard to improve products and processes for the industrial partners and provide advanced training in mathematical modelling to students and researchers.

Davide Cellai speaking at MACSI

Idiro and MACSI have a long-standing collaboration. Indeed, Idiro is always keen to collaborate with academia. As we continuously improve our models and expand our range of services, we often employ cutting-edge research to meet those challenges. In 2014, when I was still in MACSI, I won a Science Foundation Ireland Industry Fellowship, a grant that gave me the opportunity to move to Idiro and apply Network Science models to the problem of predicting telecommunication churn, using one of the datasets available in the company. This work was so successful that I was later hired by Idiro as a Senior Data & Analytics Architect.

In my talk, I illustrated the model (called m-exposure model) that I developed during the Fellowship and the outcome of this work. While the m-exposure model was designed for portout churn, we then developed a similar model for expiry churn. Both models are now part of Idiro's suite of SNA tools for churn prediction.

Finally, I presented some new ideas and challenges that we would like to pursue in the near future.

There was a lot of interest in my talk. I got both great questions and great feedback (and lots of compliments) in the following hours. Some of the scientists in the audience were particularly interested in Idiro's future projects. Hopefully, we will get some good ideas for designing our next products.

The workshop was also very interesting in its own way. I listened to some great envisioning talks. In one of them, Professor Wil Schilders was comparing the benefits of faster computer hardware with faster algorithms. His point was that the latter was actually more interesting. In other words, it's often better to have a new algorithm running on an old computer than an old algorithm running on a new computer. Some other talks were also speaking about how science can improve society, from the elimination of tropical diseases to exact calculation of delay time after a road incident. I was delighted to be invited to such a great event."

Davide Cellai at MACSI

A sentiment analysis of a Premier League game: Man United vs Arsenal

A sentiment analysis of a Premier League game: Man United vs Arsenal

A sentiment analysis of a Premier League game: Man United vs Arsenal

 

One of the biggest rivalries in the English Premier League is the one between Manchester United and Arsenal. Less so in recent years since the retirement of Alex Ferguson, but still a hugely anticipated match between two of the world's biggest clubs.

One of the major outlets for fans of these two clubs to voice their opinions and feelings about upcoming games is Twitter. With a Twitter fanbase of 9.31M for Man United and 8.48M for Arsenal, it can be a great source of data about how the fans are feeling in the build-up to a game and their emotions in the hours after it.

On the 19th of November 2016, Man United and Arsenal went head to head in a game that, in all honesty, won't go down in history as being a great game. Although both teams are battling to stay in the running for the title, the game ended with just a 1-1 draw. Nothing all that exciting for the Twitter followers to remark on (with the exception of the equalising goal).

But we can still see some interesting results when we analyse the tweets being posted about the game by doing a sentiment analysis. A sentiment analysis essentially takes a piece of text and assigns emotions to the specific words being used. That overall text can then be determined to be positive or negative and we can work out the specific emotions being expressed. We can then plot these emotions on a graph and examine how they change over time.

For example, this tweet below can be classed as being an overall negative one. Each of the words being used “abysmal”, “gutless” etc. can be grouped into specific emotions, this helps us understand the feelings being expressed in the tweet.

screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-15-44-41

Below is a graph of the results. As you can see, tweets about this game started growing strongly an hour or two before the match, peaked towards the end of the match, and declined steadily until ten hours after the match. 

red-sqirl-premier-league-sentiment-2

Two interesting points worth highlighting from the results are the levels of surprise and trust:

red-sqirl-premier-league-surprise-2

Looking at the surprise, we can see a clear spike towards the end of the game, most likely caused when Olivier Giroud scored the equalising goal in the 89th minute.

screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-16-20-08

Analysing the trust is quite interesting, a huge number of people tweeting felt a lot of trust before the game kicked off, it then drops slightly after kickoff but starts to rise again half way through the game. Possibly at halftime with the score being 0-0, the fans felt it was all still all to play for.

It's clear to see the potential use cases for a system such as this, a complex analysis of a large constantly updating dataset, scheduled to run at predefined intervals. For example, we’ve used this previously to explore the sentiment on the US presidential election.

The difficulty with an analytical project like this is setting it up. Building the data pipeline that goes from gathering the data, to building the analysis workflow, to scheduling that workflow to run periodically and then to display the results, usually takes a lot of expertise and overhead. However, Idiro Analytics have developed a tool called Red Sqirl which can perform each of these steps in one intuitive interface.

Modern sports and data analytics now go hand-in-hand, it'd be hard to imagine a professional sports organisation that wouldn't be utilising data analytics in some form. And with data becoming more easily obtainable, it opens up so many more opportunities. With the right tools data analytics can be accessible to a lot more people.

Red Sqirl

Red Sqirl is a flexible drag-and-drop Big Data analytics platform with a unique open architecture.

Red Sqirl makes it easy for your analysts and data scientists to analyse the data you hold on your Hadoop platform.

For more information visit RedSqirl.com, and for a guide on how to build the entire process of analysing Twitter data using Red Sqirl, as outlined above, please read our detailed guide.

Title image courtesy of Premier League ©

What do the Irish think about Trump and Clinton?

What do the Irish think about Trump and Clinton?

What do the Irish think about Trump and Clinton?

 

Comparing Irish people's opinions to the rest of the world

 

It’s everyone's favourite subject right now, the US election. Unless you've somehow avoided consuming any form of media over the last few months, you'll have no doubt been exposed to a lot of opinions and "facts" about the two front runners for the US election Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

With such a media overload, it's hard not to form our own ideas about who should be elected and who shouldn't. It's a strange phenomenon, the world being so invested in an election for a nation we have no vote in. The American people will vote for an American president, and yet the rest of the world seems to feel like we're involved in the decision.

With this in mind, we here at Idiro Analytics decided to get a clearer understanding of the opinions of people here in Ireland surrounding the election. Do the opinions of the Irish people differ from those of the rest of the world?

To do this we chose to use Twitter as our source of public opinion to do an analysis on. We gathered thousands of tweets posted about the election over a 24 hour period in the days leading up to the election and ran a sentiment analysis on them.

This means we were able to break down each tweet and work out the sentiment (overall feelings) being expressed by analysing the types of words being used in each tweet. From this, we can then chart if the majority of tweets being posted about both Clinton and Trump are positive or negative and the general feelings behind each one.

First, let’s look at the sentiment for both Clinton and Trump worldwide:
idiro-analytics-what-irish-think-us-election-wh

idiro-analytics-what-irish-think-us-election-wt

One interesting note from the two charts above is the huge difference in the number of tweets being posted about each person. The number of people tweeting about Trump is over three times higher than the number of people tweeting about Hillary.

If we break this down further into just positive and negative sentiments, we can see that the majority of Tweets being posted worldwide about both Clinton and Trump are negative.

idiro-analytics-what-irish-think-us-election-pnh

idiro-analytics-what-irish-think-us-election-pnt

 

Now let's look at the sentiment of Irish people towards the two. (Note that in order to get a large enough sample to analyse, we used tweets posted by people in Ireland over 4 to 6 days leading up to the election)

idiro-analytics-what-irish-think-us-election-hti

From looking at the chart above, it's strange that even after all we've read about Trump over the past year, we're still surprised by him.

idiro-analytics-what-irish-think-us-election-hi

idiro-analytics-what-irish-think-us-election-ti

Although it’s not by a huge amount, we can see that the sentiment towards Hillary in Ireland is positive compared to the negative worldwide sentiment towards her, whereas Trump is still negative.

Lastly, let’s combine the worldwide sentiment for both Hillary and Trump versus the sentiment towards them in Ireland.

idiro-analytics-what-irish-think-us-election-hwi

idiro-analytics-what-irish-think-us-election-twi

From these last two charts we can see that the Irish people have a little more fear and anger about the future than the rest of the world. Is there something we know that they don't?

 


 

About Idiro
Based in Dublin, Ireland, Idiro Analytics is an award-winning provider of analytics to businesses around the world.

For an overview of Idiro’s analytics services, see our homepage www.idiro.com

Media contact information
Simon Rees, Clients & Marketing Director, Idiro Analytics.

simon.rees@idiro.com

+353 1671 9036

 



red sqirl
The data analytics work for this article was performed using Red Sqirl. From within Red Sqirl, we were able to build a data pipeline that gathered thousands of tweets, sorted each tweet, run multiple different analysis steps on the data and output results into visualisations in real-time. Visit the Red Sqirl website for more details