Statistics lesson on polling

Posted to Statistics  |  Tags: , ,  |  Nathan Yau

Nate Cohn for the Upshot provides a statistics lesson in the context of election forecasts and why they differ so much.

[P]ollsters make a series of decisions when designing their survey, from determining likely voters to adjusting their respondents to match the demographics of the electorate. These decisions are hard. They usually take place behind the scenes, and they can make a huge difference.

To make the point, the Upshot gave four pollers the same raw data to interpret. Results varied.

Favorites

Interactive: When Do Americans Leave For Work?

We don’t all start our work days at the same time, despite what morning rush hour might have you think.

Life expectancy changes

The data goes back to 1960 and up to the most current estimates for 2009. Each line represents a country.

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.

One Dataset, Visualized 25 Ways

“Let the data speak” they say. But what happens when the data rambles on and on?