Blog Archives

Even more incompetence in reporting survey results: Washington Post on the hotseat

June 20, 2017
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Previously, we looked at the claim that 7 percent of American adults believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows. The media, including mainstream outlets such as the Washington Post, demonstrated incompetence in reading survey results. That was before I investigated the other survey covered by the Washington Post in that article about brown cows (link). The Post should immediately apologize for their horrible reporting. For this study, the data…

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How to read survey results: chocolate milk edition

June 19, 2017
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Apparently, the Washington Post decided to assist the dairy industry in its latest advertising campaign by publishing a weird survey result, which claims that some adults believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows. (link) Just start by thinking about the survey design. In order for people to express this opinion, the survey had to contain a choice of "brown cows." If they had done an open-ended survey, the result…

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Some like it packed, some like it piled, and some like it wrapped

June 16, 2017
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Some like it packed, some like it piled, and some like it wrapped

Kaiser Fung, founder of Principal Analytics Prep and Junk Charts, discusses chart innovations by Stephen Few and the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Maryland.

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Unintentional deception of area expansion #bigdata #piechart

June 14, 2017
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Unintentional deception of area expansion #bigdata #piechart

Kaiser Fung, founder of Principal Analytics Prep, deconstructs a visualization of Big Data adoption in industry

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Data bite back: a Harvard lesson

June 7, 2017
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New York Times reports that Harvard rescinded admission offers to 10 students (link). These kids allegedly engaged in horrible behavior on "private" chatrooms online. Not reported is how Harvard admission officers got a hold of such information. Is it possible there are jealous classmates? I am not condoning the bad behavior - I put this link up to remind people: (a) no data are private, not even "deleted" data (b)…

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What do we think of the "packed" bar chart?

June 7, 2017
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What do we think of the "packed" bar chart?

Xan Gregg - my partner in the #onelesspie campaign to replace terrible Wikipedia pie charts one at a time - has come up with a new chart form that he calls "packed bars". It's a combination of bar charts and...

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Why Tesla owners pay more for insurance

June 6, 2017
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A nice article in Zerohedge about the recent rate hike for Tesla owners (link). Of course, Tesla is crying foul. The gist of the story is that Tesla owners tend to get into more crashes and the repair cost is higher than for other brands. The former is a matter of statistics - but also self-selection: in my limited encounters, the first things Tesla owners tell me about their cars…

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The art of contaminating data

June 5, 2017
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The art of contaminating data

Kaiser Fung, founder of Junk Charts and Principal Analytics Prep, looks at how art can contaminate data in a data visualization.

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Announcing a new venture

June 1, 2017
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Announcing a new venture

Kaiser Fung introduces Principal Analytics Prep

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Making people jump over hoops

May 30, 2017
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Making people jump over hoops

Kaiser Fung, founder of Principal Analytics Prep and Junk Charts, comments on a WSJ chart about how banks pay their brokers

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