We build cool stuff with R and Shiny

Andy Merlino

I am the founder and lead developer at Tychobra. I started Tychobra to help organizations leverage R and Shiny. R is the world class tool for data science, and Shiny allows us to build web apps to communicate our R analyses.

At Tychobra we are focused on delivering results quickly. On a typical Shiny project, we deploy a prototype app within a week. We then iterate to a final production application. If you want a hands-on, results-based approach to application development, please consider Tychobra for your next Shiny app.

Data Analysis Principles

Data quality presents the most substantial bottle neck to a productive analysis. Once data is properly organized, it is fairly easy to set up basic predictive models. We work to organize the data and then tweak and improve the models to gather insights that could never be achieved by a one off analysis.
The most important predictive model is the one that can be quickly run to produce a meaningful result. Working from a solid base, we fine tune our models to build familiarity with the problem. We start simple and iterate on all predictive modeling, user interface design, and all general business models.
Spreadsheets are extremely powerful tools for exploratory data analysis, but they are abused by many industries. For almost all serious data analysis, a programmed data analysis is a better option than a spreadsheet.
We only build things that we use
The web is the greatest communication platform ever created and the speed of innovation is extremely exciting. Nothing else comes close.
The only way to make something is to actually make it. We build stuff for business, sport, and fun.

What's With the Name

Tycho Brahe was a 16th century astronomer who cared about his data. He had a gold nose (though not in his potrait) and an epic mustache (shown in portrait). Tycho kept meticulous data records of planetary orbits. These records led to world changing discoveries.

Tycho was able to use his records to make break throughs on the nature of supernovae and comets, but his life's goal was to decipher an accurate model of our solar system (they thought the Sun and planets ordited around the Earth in Tycho's time).

Tycho unsuccessfully struggled to find the solar system model for most of his life. While Tycho was struggling with his problem, Johannes Kepler came to apprentice for Tycho. Kepler was eventually able to use Tycho's data to decode the model of our solar system.* Before meeting Tycho, Kepler unsuccessfully searched for the laws governing the solar system for many years. Only after getting access to Tycho's data, was he able to come up with his 3 laws of planetary motion. Kepler gets all the glory for the discovery, but it was Tycho's data that gave Kepler the context to construct the laws and the evidence to support his findings.

Unfortunately for Tycho, his solar system model was wrong, but his methods for gathering data and testing hypotheses against the empirical data were the most advanced the world had seen. The lesson we take from Tycho Brahe is that data is the key. Track your data and you can throw ideas at it in the future. You can create models and test them against the data. As the data continues to flow in you can continuously test and improve your models.

There is a whole lot more to Tycho's story. He was a facinating person in general; he was exciled from Denmark and his nose was chopped off in a sword duel. If you are interested, I highly recommend Tycho's Wikipedia page and the episode on him and Kepler from the original Cosmos series.

* Abbreviated for the sake of this short narative.