Ben Lorica

Ben Lorica is the Chief Data Scientist and Director of Content Strategy for Data at O'Reilly Media, Inc.. He has applied Business Intelligence, Data Mining, Machine Learning and Statistical Analysis in a variety of settings including Direct Marketing, Consumer and Market Research, Targeted Advertising, Text Mining, and Financial Engineering. His background includes stints with an investment management company, internet startups, and financial services.

Google's New Marketplace Has over a Thousand Apps

Google's New Marketplace Has over a Thousand Apps

One week into its public launch, the Google Apps Marketplace has just under 1,500 (enterprise) apps. Combined with Salesfore.com’s app exchange (also with over a thousand apps), enterprises interested in moving to cloud apps have an increasing number of software tools to choose from.

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1 in 4 Facebook Users Come From Asia or the Middle East

1 in 4 Facebook Users Come From Asia or the Middle East

Asia’s share of the more than 400 million active Facebook users recently surged past 15%. With a market penetration of 1.7% in Asia and Africa, the company has barely scratched the surface in both regions. While the company continued to add users in Southeast Asia, there were an additional 2.3 million users from South Asia over the past 12 weeks. In fact according to Alexa, Facebook has already overtaken Orkut in India.

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Long Tail iTunes Book Apps Are More Expensive

Long Tail iTunes Book Apps Are More Expensive

In an earlier post, I examined the average price of the Top 100 PAID apps and noted that the relationship between price and popularity was somewhat dependent on the category. But in the Book category, I concluded that the Top 10 PAID apps were on average cheaper than those ranked 91-100. But what if we examine all Book apps, will the long tail apps be pricier?

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The Most Efficient iPhone Developers

The Most Efficient iPhone Developers

Last week marked the first time the U.S. iTunes store had over 150,000 apps available. Close to 31,000 different developers (or “sellers”) were responsible for those apps, with many offering one to five apps, while a few offered over a hundred different apps. Which developers consistently produce top-selling apps? I examined the percentage of apps produced by a developer that became best-sellers.

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Manifold Learning, Calculus & Friendship, and Other Math Links

Manifold Learning, Calculus & Friendship, and Other Math Links

One of the largest gatherings of mathematicians, the joint meetings of the AMS/MAA/SIAM, took place last week in San Francisco. Knowing that there were going to be over 6,000 pure and applied mathematicians at Moscone West, I took some time off from work and attended several sessions. Below are a few (somewhat technical) highlights. It’s the only conference I’ve attended where the person managing the press room, was also working on some equations in-between helping the media.

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Collecting, Aggregating, and Analyzing Data Exhaust

Next week, O'Reilly's Research Director Roger Magoulas, will lead an exciting panel discussion on Big Data†. The focus will be on the piles of data that companies have been collecting, and are just beginning to analyze: The internet and social media create a mountain of random, unstructured, and at times ephemeral data by-products, which may appear to be trash. Yet,…

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Apps Per Seller Across the US iTunes Categories

Apps Per Seller Across the US iTunes Categories

Measured in terms of number of unique apps, the Top 5 categories in the U.S. app store have been Games, Books, Entertainment, Travel and Utilities. But comparing categories in terms of number of apps doesn’t capture the challenge of developing applications in different categories. As I noted in an earlier post, it’s much easier to develop a Book app than an interactive game. One crude measure for the relative complexity of developing apps across categories is to compare the number of apps per seller.

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Asia Continues to be Facebook's Strongest Growth Region

Asia Continues to be Facebook's Strongest Growth Region

With Facebook topping 330 million active users over the past week, the company’s strongest growth region continues to be Asia. Over the last 12 weeks, Facebook added close to 17M active users in Asia alone. Since my previous post, the share of active users from Asia grew by 2% (to 13.5% of all users), and roughly 1 in 7 users now come from the region. With a market penetration under 2%, Facebook is poised to add many more users in Asia (and Africa).

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Counting Unique Users in Real-time with Streaming Databases

Counting Unique Users in Real-time with Streaming Databases

As the web increasingly becomes real-time, marketers and publishers need analytic tools that can produce real-time reports. As an example, the basic task of calculating the number of unique users is typically done in batch mode (e.g. daily) and in many cases using a random sample from relevant log files. If unique user counts can be accurately computed in real-time, publishers and marketers can mount A/B tests or referral analysis to dynamically adjust their campaigns.

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Games Top the Charts in the iPhone and Android App Markets

Games Top the Charts in the iPhone and Android App Markets

While it might be true that the number of Book apps is growing at a faster rate, Games continue to dominate the list of popular U.S. iTunes Apps. Games accounted for about a fifth of all iTunes apps over the past week, but the category continued to have a disproportionate share of the Top 100 charts, accounting for 52% of the Top Grossing, 56% of the Top Paid, and 50% of the Top Free apps.

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