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.

Favorites

The Most Unisex Names in US History

Moving on from the most trendy names in US history, let’s look at the most unisex ones. Some names have …

Divorce Rates for Different Groups

We know when people usually get married. We know who never marries. Finally, it’s time to look at the other side: divorce and remarriage.

Think Like a Statistician – Without the Math

I call myself a statistician, because, well, I’m a statistics graduate student. However, the most important things I’ve learned are less formal, but have proven extremely useful when working/playing with data.

Graphical perception – learn the fundamentals first

Before you dive into the advanced stuff – like just about everything in your life – you have to learn the fundamentals before you know when you can break the rules.