Tag Archives: surveys

Polls Apart

Election season is fast approaching so you can be sure a plethora of polls will soon be adding to the mayhem. Polls educate us in two ways. They tell us what we, or at least the population being polled, think. … Continue reading

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The Data Dozen

Data can take a variety of forms. Some are readily amenable to statistical analysis and some are better suited to other methods of analysis. When you’re trying to solve some problem or research question, though, you need to use whatever … Continue reading

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Six Misconceptions about Statistics You May Get From Stats 101

When you learn new things, you can develop misconceptions. Maybe it’s the result of something you didn’t understand correctly. Maybe it’s the way the instructor explains something. Or maybe, it’s something unspoken, something you assume or infer from what was … Continue reading

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Dealing with Dilemmas

A decade or so ago, I always feared and was the frequent victim of hardware and software problems. It was a logical consequence of a craftsman routinely pushing his tools way beyond the limits of their capabilities. But the software … Continue reading

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You Can Lead a Boss to Data but You Can’t Make Him Think

The most carefully planned data analysis may not survive the intervention of a boss (or a client or other reviewer), whether well intentioned or not. Your aim may be to generate sound data and conduct a thorough and valid analysis, … Continue reading

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Ten Fatal Flaws in Data Analysis

1. Where’s the Beef? In a way, the worst flaw a data analysis can have is no analysis at all. Instead, you get data lists, sorts and queries, and maybe some simple descriptive statistics but nothing that addresses objectives, answers … Continue reading

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Tales of the Unprojected

We have a habit in writing articles published in scientific journals to make the work as finished as possible, to cover up all the tracks, to not worry about the blind alleys or describe how you had the wrong idea … Continue reading

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The Heart and Soul of Variance Control

You can’t understand data without controlling the variance. You can’t control variance without understanding the data. Variance Doesn’t Go Away By Ignoring It In an ideal universe, your dataset would contain no bias and only the natural variability you want … Continue reading

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Purrfect Resolution

No matter what their area of expertise, statisticians are asked certain questions with such predictability that it borders on the deterministic. No question is asked more often than: How many samples do I need? Most statisticians wish they could answer … Continue reading

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Reality Statistics

During the 1970s, statistical analyses were done on mainframe computers that were as big as elephants. They were sequestered in their own climate-controlled quarters, waited on command and reboot by a priesthood of system operators. Conducting a 1970s era statistical … Continue reading

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