Data Makes Reasonable Decision-making Possible

Feb 6, 2008

What is data?This guest post is by Andrew Gelman from Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science. He answers the question – “What is data and why should we care about it?”

Good data are better than bad data, but worst of all are data whose quality you can’t assess. Beyond this, we want to use statistical methods that allow us to combine data from many sources. I’m comfortable with regression and multilevel models, but other methods are out there too. In any case, we have to care about our data because inferences and decisions are just about always data-based, implicitly if not explicitly. Being the person in the room with the hard data gives you authority, as well it should.


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.

Unemployment in America, Mapped Over Time

Watch the regional changes across the country from 1990 to 2016.

How to Spot Visualization Lies

Many charts don’t tell the truth. This is a simple guide to spotting them.

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.