Statistics

83 posts
Increased case counts not just from increased testing

Some attribute increased Covid-19 case counts to increased testing. While that is certainly part of the reason, it doesn’t explain it all when you compare testing rates against the increase in positives. Charles Ornstein and Ash Ngu for ProPublica: In other states, including Arizona, Texas and Florida, which did not see a wave of early cases and deaths, the increase in positive results has far surpassed testing growth. In Florida,...

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Designs of two variables: map, dot plot, line chart, table

The New York Times found evidence that the richest segments of New Yorkers, presumably those with second or multiple homes, have exited the Big Apple during the early months of the pandemic. The article (link) is amply assisted by a variety of data graphics. The first few charts represent different attempts to express the headline message. Their appearance in the same article allows us to assess the relative merits of...

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Consumption patterns during the pandemic

The impact of Covid-19 on the economy is sharp and sudden, which makes for some dramatic data visualization. I enjoy reading the set of charts showing consumer spending in different categories in the U.S., courtesy of Visual Capitalist. The designer did a nice job cleaning up the data and building a sequential story line. The spending are grouped by categories such as restaurants and travel, and then sub-categories such as...

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Based on poll, a lot of people think Bill Gates is plotting to inject a tracker via coronavirus vaccine?

A Yahoo News/YouGov poll recently showed this: Only 40% of American adults are like, “No way. This is false.” But then there are 32% who are like, “Well… maybe? I don’t know.” Then there are over a quarter who are like, “Yeah, he’s trying to track us.” Really? Please tell me there is some study that shows internet-based polls are crazy. My brain is having trouble processing these results. Tags:...

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Machine learning to make a dictionary of words that do not exist

Thomas Dimson trained a model to generate words that don’t exist in real life and definitions for said imaginary words. If you didn’t tell me the words were machine-generated, I’d believe a lot of them were actual parts of the English dictionary. Tags: machine learning, Thomas Dimson, words

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Hope and reality in one Georgia chart

Over the weekend, Georgia's State Health Department agitated a lot of people when it published the following chart: (This might have appeared a week ago as the last date on the chart is May 9 and the title refers to "past 15 days".) They could have avoided the embarrassment if they had read my article at DataJournalism.com (link). In that article, I lay out a set of the "unspoken conventions,"...

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The missing 100 million: how the pandemic reveals the fallacy of not in labor force

Last Friday, the U.S. published the long-feared employment situation report. It should come as no surprise to anyone since U.S. businesses were quick to lay off employees since much of the economy was shut down to abate the spread of the coronavirus. I've been following employment statistics for a while. Chapter 6 of Numbersense (link) addresses the statistical aspects of how the unemployment rate is computed. The title of the...

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How Covid-19 deaths sneaked into Florida’s statistics

Like many others, some Floridians are questioning their state's Covid statistics. It's clear there are numerous "degrees of freedom" for politicians to manipulate the numbers. What's not clear is who's influencing these decisions. Are they public-health experts, donors, voters, or whom? A Twitter follower sent in the following chart, embedded in an informative article in Sun-Sentinel: I like the visual design. It's clean, and conveys a moderately complex concept effectively....

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Comparing Covid-19 models

FiveThirtyEight compared six Covid-19 models for a sense of where we might be headed. With different assumptions and varying math, the trajectories vary, but they at least provide clues so that policymakers can make educated decisions. If you’re interested in the data behind these models, check out the COVID-19 Forecast Hub maintained by the Reich Lab at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. They helped with the FiveThirtyEight comparisons and are...

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Looking for generational gaps in music

Inspired by the genre of YouTube videos where younger people listen to older music, The Pudding is running a project to find the generational music gaps. Enter your age, songs play, and you say if you know the song or not. The aggregate results are shown as more people listen. For example, the above shows the percentage of people in a given age group who did not recognize the listed...

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