22 September 2007

6 out of 49 – The Magic of Numbers (Introduction)

    The antics had a special fascination for numbers, be it them just simple counters or numbers with special qualities, numbers that bring memories, numbers that have powers, numbers that bring emotions, number that bring luck, and I can continue here with many more examples based on the role the numbers play in our lives. Such numbers may create a special universe, and lot of people spent lot of time or even lives trying to discover insights in such universes. The numbers we collect from one or multiple sources could offer us interesting information, for example analysts may look at prices or companies’ profit evolution to observe trends in data, trends which can be used to find information about past or even predict the future.     I’m working often with numbers, better said with data, and frankly I like it. With a few nice written queries, there could be some valuable information in each set of data, some little knowledge which can be gained.     Probably the numbers charged with the most powerful emotional component are the Lotto numbers. Those 6 or 7 magic numbers change destinies, there are people who became incredible rich over night, there are people keeping alive all their life the dream to win the big pot that will change their lives. I will try in a set of a few postings to show a few SQL techniques based on drawing numbers. They can be used only to get insights on numbers’ occurrence in drawing over time; they’ll not make anybody rich, not without lot of luck or inspiration.     So, let’s get into it! Data analysis presumes: 1.  Having a set of data which can be studied 2.  Transforming the data in a form which can model the problem; often the data must be cleaned so they can be use. 3.  Use a technique or set of techniques to study the data through one or multiple iterations. 4.  Making use of the data, and believe me, that the most difficult task, because it is based on the understanding level of each person. Just to exemplify, the stock information are available for many people, but only those who combine the data with knowledge derived from experience and luck are successful.     This was just a “short” introduction, stay tuned for more!

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