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Statistics

Big data, same statistical challenges

Tim Harford for Financial Times on big data and how the same problems for small data still apply: The multiple-comparisons problem arises when a researcher looks at many possible patterns.…

Bike share data in New York, animated

Citi Bike, also known as NYC Bike Share, is releasing monthly data dumps for station check-outs and check-ins, which gives you a sense of where and when people move about…

Dead links on the Million Dollar Homepage

Remember the Million Dollar Homepage from 2005? It sold ad space to anyone who was interested for one dollar per pixel, and there were one million pixels available. All spots…

Gambling data as a proxy for excitement in sports

After he noticed gambling odds fluctuate wildly at the end of a football game, Todd Schneider realized a correlation between betting odds and game excitement. The Gambletron 2000 is a…

Where time comes from

The Atlantic interviewed Dr. Demetrios Matsakis, Chief Scientist for Time Services at the US Naval Observatory about where time comes from, the precision required and how they obtain it, and…

How people really read and share online

Tony Haile discusses how we read and share online, based on actual data. It's not as click- and pageview-based as you might think. A widespread assumption is that the more…

The important parts of data analysis

There's plenty of software to muck around with data, but to gain the skills to really get something out of it, that takes time and experience. Mikio Braun, a post…

Statistical concepts explained through dance

Forget bell curves, jellybeans, and coin flips to explain statistical concepts. Dancing Statistics is a video series that demonstrates variance, correlation, and sampling through coreographed movements. The dance below explains…

ProPublica opened a data store

One of the main challenges of any data project is getting the data. It seems obvious, but the effort to get the right data to answer a question seems to…

Game theory to win game shows

I like how a little bit of game theory has crept into Jeopardy! with contestant Arthur Chu. He bounces around the board in search of Daily Doubles and bets to…

A visual explanation of conditional probability

Victor Powell, who has visualized the Central Limit Theorem and Simpson's Paradox, most recently provided a visual explainer for conditional probability. Two bars, one blue and one red, represent two…

Basketball analytics

Kirk Goldsberry talks the rise of analytics usage in the NBA. With cameras above every court recording player movements, there's a higher granularity analysis that is now possible, beyond the…

Texting data to save lives

Remember that TED talk from a couple of years ago on texting patterns to a crisis hotline? The TED talker Nancy Lublin proposed the analysis of these text messages to…

How R came to be

Statistician John Chambers, the creator of S and a core member of R, talks about how R came to be in the short video below. Warning: Super nerdy waters ahead.…

Facebook debunks Princeton study

Researchers at Princeton released a study that said that Facebook was on the way out, based primarily on Google search data. Naturally, Facebook didn't appreciate it much and followed up…

Using data to find a girlfriend

Remember when Amy Webb created a bunch of fake male profiles to scrape data from two dating sites and analyze it to find a husband? Mathematician Chris McKinlay took a…

Disney MagicBands track your theme park activities

You can now wear a MagicBand when you enter Disneyland to get a more personalized experience, and in return, the park gets to know what their customers are up to.…

How Netflix creates movie micro-genres

Alexis Madrigal and Ian Bogost for The Atlantic reverse engineered the Netflix genre generator, analyzed the data, and then made their own. Then they talked to Todd Yellin, the guy…

Clusters of single malt Scotch whiskies

Luba Gloukhov of Revolution Analytics used k-means clustering to find groups of single malt Scotch whiskies. Because you know, New Year's morning is when whisky is on everyone's mind. The…

Statistics Done Wrong, a guide to common analysis mistakes

Alex Reinhart, a PhD statistics student at Carnegie Mellon University, covers some of the common analysis mistakes in Statistics Done Wrong. Statistics Done Wrong is a guide to the most…

Iron Maiden uses piracy data for tour locations

When you hear "piracy data" and "music" in the same sentence, it usually ends with exorbitant fines. Iron Maiden took a different route. In the case of Iron Maiden, still…

Data scientist surpasses statistician on Google Trends

The relative interest in data scientist surpassed statistician this month. It was also higher in April and September of this year, so it's not new, but it does seem like…