Statistics

2 posts
Statistical uncertainty as certainty

Mark Rober, who is having a good run of science and engineering videos on YouTube, posted a short note on how he embraces statistical uncertainty: As humans we are really good at using hindsight bias to convince ourselves we are more in control of things than we really are. For example, if you give 1024 people a coin and give them 10 tries to get as many tails as possible,...

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Announcement: Advancing your data skills, Fall 2019

Interrupting the flow of dataviz with the following announcement. If you're looking to shore up your data skills, modernize your skill set, or know someone looking for hands-on, high-touch instruction in Machine Learning, R, Cloud Computing, Data Quality, Digital Analytics,  A/B Testing and Financial Analysis, Principal Analytics Prep is offering evening classes this Fall. Click here to learn about our courses.  Our instructors are industry veterans with 10+ years of...

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Choosing between individuals and aggregates

Friend/reader Thomas B. alerted me to this paper that describes some of the key chart forms used by cancer researchers. It strikes me that many of the "new" charts plot granular data at the individual level. This heatmap showing gene expressions show one column per patient: This so-called swimmer plot shows one bar per patient: This spider plot shows the progression of individual patients over time. Key events are marked...

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Useful and not so useful Statistics

Hannah Fry, for The New Yorker, describes the puzzle of Statistics to analyze general patterns used to make decisions for individuals: There is so much that, on an individual level, we don’t know: why some people can smoke and avoid lung cancer; why one identical twin will remain healthy while the other develops a disease like A.L.S.; why some otherwise similar children flourish at school while others flounder. Despite the...

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As Dorian confounds meteorologists, we keep our minds clear on hurricane graphics, and discover correlation as our friend

As Hurricane Dorian threatens the southeastern coast of the U.S., forecasters are fretting about the lack of consensus among various predictive models used to predict the storm’s trajectory. The uncertainty of these models, as reflected in graphical displays, has been a controversial issue in the visualization community for some time. Let’s start by reviewing a visual design that has captured meteorologists in recent years, something known as the cone map....

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Where salaries stretch the farthest

Salaries are higher in big cities, but it also cost to live more in such places. So, Indeed adjusted salaries for cost of living to find where you get the most for your buck: When we adjust for cost of living, the highest-salary metros look totally different. Among the 185 US metropolitan areas with at least 250,000 people, adjusted salaries are highest in Brownsville-Harlingen, TX, Fort Smith, AR-OK, and Huntington-Ashland,...

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Optimizing a Pokémon team with simulation

Emily Robinson recently took up Pokémon on Nintendo Switch: I recently started playing Pokémon again – “Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee” on the Nintendo Switch to be specific. In the classic Pokémon games, you have a team of 6 Pokémon that you use to battle against other trainers. In battles, type match-ups are very important, as some types of moves are “super effective” against other types. For example, fire moves are...

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People who answer “don’t know” to obvious questions

In survey data, there is usually an open-ended category for “not applicable” or “don’t know”. For Wired, Amit Katwala noticed an interesting subset of YouGov respondents who “didn’t know” to things they should probably know: But the thing that caught my eye when I came across the results on Twitter, and which quickly became an obsession, was the fourth option. Three per cent of Brits ‘don’t know’ whether they’ve tried...

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Fantasy football draft rankings, with weekly projections

Football season is starting soon, which means many will participate in the age-old tradition of the fantasy football draft. For the Washington Post, Neil Greenberg and Reuben Fischer-Baum have your back: Your fantasy football draft sets a season-long foundation for your team, but its ultimate result will be based on the weekly performance of your roster. That’s why The Washington Post is adding weekly point projections (using PPR scoring) to...

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Machine learning to erase penis drawings

Working from the Quick, Draw! dataset, Moniker dares people to not draw a penis: In 2018 Google open-sourced the Quickdraw data set. “The world’s largest doodling data set”. The set consists of 345 categories and over 15 million drawings. For obvious reasons the data set was missing a few specific categories that people enjoy drawing. This made us at Moniker think about the moral reality big tech companies are imposing...

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