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On October 25th ESQUANT attended the annual Belz lecture organised by the Victorian Branch of the Statistical Society of Australia. The Belz Lecturer was Professor Louise Ryan of UTS with a talk entitled "But I'm a Data Scientist too, aren't I?" There was a very large attendance and Louise's talk was very interesting and informative.


What was particularly interesting was Louise's mention of Tessera which she described as a software platform for Hadoop type computation but with an R interface. Tessara, developed by William Cleveland and colleagues at Purdue University, has just recently changed its name to DeltaRho( DeltaRho is an open source project with the goal of providing methods and tools than enable deep analysis of large complex data. It consists of two R packages: datadr and trelliscope.


datadr stands for Divide and Recombine in R. An excellent tutorial is available ( The idea is that the data is divided into meaningful subsets, analytical methods are applied to the subsets, and then the results are recombined. The package provides distributed data objects and distributed data frames and methods that operate on them. In dataddr, there are three ways to store data: For "small data" in memory; For "medium data" on a standard file system; and for "large data" on the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS). The great thing is that irrespective of what size data you have the commands are just about the same. For visualisation of the results the trelliscope package is used.


Overall, datadr is a great package. It complements the wonderful dplyr package and we are looking forward to experimenting with it further.



On October 5th Neil attended "More Joy of Text" given by Andrew Robinson of the University of Melbourne, co-organised by Data Science Melbourne and Melbourne Users of R Network. Andrew gave a great introduction to Regular Expressions with some nice applications.


On May 19th Neil presented a session at Lean Sigma Institute's Black Belt Training Day "Using Analytics to gain Strategic Insight into Operational Excellence".


On April 4/5 Neil attended Yellow Belt Training with our friends at Lean Sigma Institute. 




Geelong Quality Council


On November 12th, The Geelong Quality Council held a forum at the Geelong Club at 74 Brougham Street at 6:30PM. The forum focused on best class strategic and tactical management of organisational improvement. There was a presentations given by attendees including the Lean Sigma Institute and ESQUANT. 


ESQUANT recently attended a meet up group as part of the Lean Sigma Institutes Professional Development program. The first meeting, on the topic of Insights into Lean Sigma Analytics, was held on the 29th of October at Logical Tech office, level 7 446 Collins Street Melbourne. 15 People attended and presentations were given by ESQUANT, Steve Perera, and Terry Brookshaw.





AWS Summit-Sydney 2014

ESQUANT recently attended the 2014 Amazon Web Services Summit in Sydney, at the Hordern Pavilion & Royal Hall of Industries. The event lasted the day comprising of numerous breakout sessions, demonstration booths and workstations for people to test out the ideas that they were exploring throughout the day.


This was ESQUANT’s first attendance of the event, and it was a fantastic experience. The guest speaker of the event was Dr. Werner Vogels, Vice President & Chief Technology Officer at His opening keynotes explored the evolution of the AWS eco-system, and the changes to the environment and the uses that the AWS system could be put to.


Following the opening Keynotes, the breakout sessions that comprised the majority of the day commenced. ESQUANT first attended the introductory Breakout ‘Jump Start your First Hour with AWS’. This talk mainly explored the absolute basics of AWS management but was filled with pro-tips from Craig Dickson, a Solutions Architect who works for Amazon. The setting up of an instance, finding the software to run and then organising the security permissions properly were explored in-depth.


ESQUANT then explored the process of running Hadoop via AWS without compromising either performance or security. This session, which was sponsored by Intel, explored Project Rhino which is a common security framework for this kind of work. Peter Kerney ran the session.


The next sessions explored what exactly moving business infrastructure to the Cloud entailed. Run by Karl Durrance, this session was mainly aimed at IT executives and focused a great deal on cost comparisons between running computations and business functions on the Cloud compared to having physical server farms requiring upkeep and management.


Jaspersoft then ran a session on how the Cloud is transforming Business Intelligence tools. The session explored several case studies, from start ups to multi-billion dollar companies, and how they are using these tools that have been created to transform their business markets. Usually BI tools are too unwieldy for managers to use easily but the Cloud and Jaspersoft has made it a much more accessible. This talk was held by Andrew Lampitt, GM Cloud, Jaspersoft.


The last session of the day that ESQUANT attended was called ‘Running your first application on AWS’, run by Dr. Peter Stanski. This session focused on the architecture underlying the AWS service, the various differences in cost, bandwidth, stability and performance depending on the cost-tier chosen and the opportunities that running a program on AWS could offer.


The day was intermixed with exploring the many booths that had been set up in the Hall of Industries. Many companies were explaining the programs and services they ran through AWS. It was a fantastic day out and ESQUANT looks forward to attending the 2015 Summit.



Workshop on Structural Equation Modelling with Lavaan and R.

On 26th and 27th of February 2014 we conducted our first workshop for the year. In the workshop we introduced R, R Commander, and R Studio, as well as Onyx, a graphical user interface for Structural Equation Modelling and the R package Lavaan. For those that attended, thank you for the hard work you put in. We hope you got as much out of the event as we did running it.