Posts Tagged ‘ Business ’

Lines that delight, lines that blight

January 23, 2017
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Lines that delight, lines that blight

This WSJ graphic caught my eye. The accompanying article is here. The article (judging from the sub-header) makes two separate points, one about the total amount of money raised in IPOs in a year, and the change in market value...

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ASA President meets OCCAM data

December 27, 2016
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Just leaving this quote from ASA President Jessica Utts here (Source: Amstat News Dec 2016): A few days ago, I was in Vietnam and took a four-hour bus ride from Ha Long Bay to Hanoi. When I arrived, my fitness tracker had given me credit for taking 9,124 steps and climbing 81 flights of stairs during those four hours, even though I only left my seat once during a short…

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Is this chart rotten?

December 19, 2016
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Is this chart rotten?

Some students pointed me to a FiveThirtyEight article about Rotten Tomatoes scores that contain the following chart: (link to original) This is a chart that makes my head spin. Too much is going on, and all the variables in the...

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Inspired by water leaks

December 19, 2016
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Inspired by water leaks

For me, 2016 is a year of water leaks. I was forced to move apartments during the summer. (Blame my old landlord for the lower frequency of posts this year!) That old apartment was overrun by water issues. In the past four years, there were two big leaks in addition to annual visible "seepage" in the ceiling. The first big leak ruined my first night back from Hurricane Sandy-induced evacuation.…

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Story within story, bar within bar

December 14, 2016
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Story within story, bar within bar

This Wall Street Journal offering caught my eye. It's the unusual way of displaying proportions. Your first impression is to interpret the graphic as a bar chart. But it really is a bar within a bar: the crux of the...

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Round things, square things

December 9, 2016
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Round things, square things

The following chart traces the flow of funds into AI (artificial intelligence) startups. I found it on this webpage and it is attributed to Financial Times. Here, I apply the self-sufficiency test to show that the semicircles are playing no...

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The idol worship of objective data is damaging our discipline

October 28, 2016
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In class last week, I discussed this New York Times article with the students. One of the claims in the article is that the U.S. News ranking of colleges is under threat by newcomers whose rankings are more relevant because they more directly measure outcomes such as earnings of graduates. This specific claim in the article makes me head hurt: "If nothing else, earnings are objective and, as the database…

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Denver outspends everyone on this

October 24, 2016
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Denver outspends everyone on this

Someone at the Wall Street Journal noticed that Denver's transit agency has outspent other top transit agencies, after accounting for number of rides -- and by a huge margin. But the accompanying graphic conspires against the journalist. For one thing,...

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Why are GMAT scores going up?

October 11, 2016
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In Chapter 1 of Numbersense (link), I went through an extensive list of shenanigans that can be used to trick the rankings of colleges and graduate schools. One of them is to allow students to submit the maximum of repeated sittings of GREs, LSATs, GMATs, etc. This tactic is unabashedly headlined in a recent Wall Street Journal article, "Test Redos Give GMAT Scores a Lift." (link) In the print edition,…

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Data is the next frontier of equal rights

October 3, 2016
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When I rented my first apartment in the U.S., there were two things about American society that left an impression. It was super easy to get credit. My parents had the foresight of making sure we build up a credit history while in college, which helped. But, from setting up cable TV to signing a rental lease, these businesses showed a lot of trust to someone who was earning a…

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