Juice TESTING in Competitive Sports

Posted to Mistaken Data  |  Nathan Yau

It's easy to see how Statistics got this bad wrap because it's so easy to lie with data, charts, and graphs. Sometimes it's on purpose -- someone might try to present "good" results that actually suck. Sometimes it's accidental -- someone might have misread or didn't read the documentation that came with the data. In the case of Swivel's most recently featured graph, it was the latter. A case of mistaken identity so to speak.

The data about doping tests in sports came from here. Now the graph on Swivel would have you believe that the data represent the number of doping cases found in each sports; however, according to the USADA report, the data is actually the number of tests the association conducted inside and outside competition during the first quarter of this year. The report contains no data on the USADA's findings.

What We Learn

What can we learn from this? It's great to visualize data, but you have to be careful. Read the documentation. Find out what the data is about, because without context, the visualization or any findings are practically useless. Statistics isn't to lie. In fact, it's the exact opposite. Statistics came about and exists today to reveal the truth.


The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2014

It’s always tough to pick my favorite visualization projects. Nevertheless, I gave it a go.

Real Chart Rules to Follow

There are rules—usually for specific chart types meant to be read in a specific way—that you shouldn’t break. When they are, everyone loses. This is that small handful.

Watching the growth of Walmart – now with 100% more Sam’s Club

The ever so popular Walmart growth map gets an update, and yes, it still looks like a wildfire. Sam’s Club follows soon after, although not nearly as vigorously.

Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data

Due to budget cuts, there is no plan for an updated atlas. So I recreated the original 1870 Atlas using today’s publicly available data.