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From Nick Martin <nick.martin....@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Getting Involved
Date Fri, 27 Dec 2013 16:34:43 GMT
Hi all, have a question re: tutorials...

 At my org we use Mahout primarily for recommendations - both eComm and
offline for other purposes. I'm new to Mahout (~9 months of toying around)
and honestly I never actually "touch" the code - I simply use what's
"out-of-the-box" and occasionally ping the @user list for questions and
always seem to get pointed in the right direction so that's been a huge
help for us and I can't thank the community enough.

 I've spent the past several months documenting what we've gone through to
get our recommendation pipeline up and running but it comes from a more
"business-y" angle. For instance, I have a section in our documentation
explaining how we expanded the use of the recommender beyond item-level to
include higher-level product groups/categories, replaced the notion of
"users" with customers or groups of customers, etc. (i.e. some of the
things MIA suggests can be used to expand the breadth of what one can
accomplish with recommending things). I also include some information about
how we actually apply this to business problems (i.e. driving
recommendations to your sales force, integrating with eComm, using the
recommender to quickly ID gaps in your category penetration, etc.).

 It took me a while to piece together everything we could do with
recommendations from various blogs, MIA, the Mahout wiki, slideshare, my
own experimentation, etc. and I kept hoping I'd find a consolidated source
for "this is how you can start to apply Mahout's recommendation
capabilities in a fairly traditional commercial organization" but never
stumbled across a resource that fit the bill. MIA was great in getting me
to think about what might be possible but finding real-world examples was
tough.

 Personally, I would've loved to have something that gave me a little more
in the  "applied techniques" space that expanded on the basics of getting
me in the right CLI syntax to kick off a recommendation job. My experience
was/is that probably 30% of my time was spent learning how to get Mahout
deployed/integrated with our Hadoop cluster, kickoff the relevant jobs, get
the results into a useable format, etc. and 70% thinking about how best to
bring this capability into the fold for driving business results. So, would
it prove worthwhile to have something like this as a component of the
Mahout wiki? If so, I'm happy to condense some of my documentation and send
to the group for thoughts and potential inclusion. I'm not the guy you want
helping fix bugs or cleaning up code but I spend my days with "boots on the
ground" implementation of Mahout in a Fortune 15 organization and I have to
believe there are others out there in my position looking for help on how
to integrate Mahout into their operations.

Best,

Nick

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