Statistics

30 posts
Using statistics for basketball efficiency

Ivana Seric is a data scientist for the Philadelphia 76ers who tries to improve player effectiveness by analyzing tracking data. Aki Ito for Bloomberg: I really want to see the relationship of winning and teams who more deeply follow statistics. Is it at a place yet where this actually helps or is still more about gut and heart? Tags: basketball, Bloomberg

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Seeking simplicity in complex data: Bloomberg’s dataviz on UK gender pay gap

Bloomberg featured a thought-provoking dataviz that illustrates the pay gap by gender in the U.K. The dataset underlying this effort is complex, and the designers did a good job simplifying the data for ease of comprehension. U.K. companies are required to submit data on salaries and bonuses by gender, and by pay quartiles. The dataset is incomplete, since some companies are slow to report, and the analyst decided not to...

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How the 2020 Census will be different

Ted Mellnik and Reuben Fischer-Baum for The Washington Post describe the changes to the 2020 Census, which will lean more heavily on technology: The coming census also will break with history with a controversial restoration of a citizenship question, as well as with the adoption of new technologies that change how the count is performed The census will move away from paper as the primary way to collect data, for...

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How many Skittles packs before finding identical ones?

A note on a pack of Skittles reads, “No two rainbows are the same. Neither are two packs of Skittles. Enjoy an odd mix.” Of course that can’t possibly be right, because there are a finite number of color combinations and there are many packs of Skittles in the world. That led possiblywrong down a path of wondering how many packs it’d take before getting two identical ones. The answer...

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Game of Thrones death predictor

Monica Ramirez tried her hand with modeling deaths on Game of Thrones and trying to predict the next ones: Since the series is so famous for killing principal characters (It’s true! Yu can’t have a favourite character because he/she wouls die, and slowly, other characters take the lead… and would probably die too), I decided to make a Classification Model in Python, to try to find any rule or pattern...

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Form and function: when academia takes on weed

I have a longer article on the sister blog about the research design of a study claiming 420 "cannabis" Day caused more road accident fatalities (link). The blog also has a discussion of the graphics used to present the analysis, which I'm excerpting here for dataviz fans. The original chart looks like this: The question being asked is whether April 20 is a special day when viewed against the backdrop...

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Playing the odds for record-breaking Jeopardy! wins

James Holzhauer is the new hotness on Jeopardy! with Daily Double hunting, big wagers, lightning clicks, and all-around trivia skills. For FiveThirtyEight, Oliver Roeder looks at how Holzhauer dominates: Holzhauer has played this game like no one has ever played it before — large bets coupled with expert navigation of the game board. He has now played 14 games with his total winnings sitting above $1,000,000 and counting, and he...

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When bad data leads to a disappearing neighborhood

Caitlin Dewey for OneZero describes the case of the Fruit Belt neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, or “Medical Park” as it was incorrectly named in Google Maps: Lott learned that the issue had been festering for years, and she wanted answers. The 2,300 residents in the Fruit Belt didn’t refer to the community as “Medical Park,” but Google Maps had done so since the late 2000s. Community members argued the...

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Does the first to 100 points usually win in the NBA?

Los Angeles Clippers commentator Ralph Lawler has a saying: “First to 100 wins. It’s the law.” The Los Angeles Times checked the numbers to see how true the statement is. It’s been true for over 90 percent of games over the years, but has become less true as pace and the three-point shot has changed dramatically in recent years. Now it’s more like first to 114. Tags: basketball, Los Angeles...

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Explore generative models and latent space with a simple spreadsheet interface

Generative models can seem like a magic box where you plug in observed data, turn some dials, and see what the computer spits out. SpaceSheet is a simple spreadsheet interface to explore and experiment for a clearer view of the spaces between. Even if you’re not into this research area, it’s fun to click and drag things around to see what happens. Tags: generative models, images, latent space

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