Blog Archives

Another example of misleading time-based correlation

December 15, 2014
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Another example of misleading time-based correlation

On my sister blog last week, I wrote about how to screw up a column chart. The chart designer apparently wanted to explore whether Rotten Tomato Scores are correlated with box office success, and whether the running time of a movie is correlated with box office success. In either case, the set of movies is a small one, those directed by Chris Nolan. Here is a better view of the…

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How students can improve their final grade without studying even more

December 15, 2014
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Cross-post on my two blogs Here is something different: I wrote a piece on exam-taking tips. It's on a new website, Cafe, which has lots of good (non-quant) reads. The motivation for the piece is my observation that most American students are not taught how to take exams. As a professor, I notice that many students get lower scores than they deserve because of this. In this article, I describe…

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How to take exams

December 14, 2014
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Here is something different: I wrote a piece on exam-taking tips. It's on a new website, Cafe, which has lots of good (non-quant) reads. The motivation for the piece is my observation that most American students are not taught how...

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Light entertainment: a pie from the sky

December 12, 2014
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Light entertainment: a pie from the sky

Long time reader Chris P. finds another one. Is there a point when these parodies become stale? Link

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Three axes or none

December 11, 2014
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Three axes or none

Catching up on some older submissions. Reader Nicholas S. saw this mind-boggling chart about Chris Nolan movies when Interstellar came out: This chart was part of an article by Vulture (link). It may be the first time I see not...

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How to face the mid-life crisis in A/B Testing

December 10, 2014
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There have been few updates as I was working on things for other people. One of these things showed up today. Here is an excerpt from the beginning of my new article on HBR: For over 10 years and at three companies, I set up and ran A/B testing programs, in which we test a new offer with half a sample against a control group which doesn’t get a new…

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Where a scatter plot fails

December 3, 2014
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Where a scatter plot fails

Found this chart in the magazine that Charles Schwab sends to customers: When there are two variables, and their correlation is of interest, a scatter plot is usually recommended. But not here! The text labels completely dominate this chart and...

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Light entertainment: fruits in space

December 1, 2014
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Light entertainment: fruits in space

Amusing. Another example of multiple scales, discussed here. (via Gelman)

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An uninformative end state

November 25, 2014
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An uninformative end state

This chart cited by ZeroHedge feels like a parody. It's a bar chart that doesn't utilize the length of bars. It's a dot plot that doesn't utilize the position of dots. The range of commute times (between city centers and...

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Three good charts

November 21, 2014
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Alberto Cairo, Stephen McDaniel and I were asked about our "favorite" data visualization at the Qlik Conference this week. Stephen wrote up our answers here.

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