Posts Tagged ‘ Education ’

Sorting out the data, and creating the head-shake manual

December 1, 2016
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Sorting out the data, and creating the head-shake manual

Yesterday's post attracted a few good comments. Several readers don't like the data used in the NAEP score chart. The authors labeled the metric "gain in NAEP scale scores" which I interpreted to be "gain scores," a popular way of...

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Involuntary head-shaking is probably not an intended consequence of data visualization

November 30, 2016
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Involuntary head-shaking is probably not an intended consequence of data visualization

This chart is in the Sept/Oct edition of Harvard Magazine: Pretty standard fare. It even is Tufte-sque in the sparing use of axes, labels, and other non-data-ink. Does it bug you how much work you need to do to understand...

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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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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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An example of terrible analytics report design

June 1, 2016
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In the business analytics universe, the discipline of "business intelligence" is often frowned upon. Business intelligence is primarily generating reports on business metrics, tracking them over time, and producing ad-hoc analyses explaining these trends. People often complain that such work is not challenging and not sexy. There is a stigma that BI work is data dumping. In reality, good BI work is rare and extremely valuable. Horrible BI work is…

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Myths of Data Science and Analytics

April 11, 2016
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Last week, I gave some brief remarks at the INFORMS New York Metro Student-Practitioner Forum (link), attended by a large group of enthusiastic students eager to enter the field of data science and analytics. (By the way, if you are at the INFORMS Analytics Conference in Orlando, come and find me. I am speaking on Ethics on Tuesday morning.) I told the students that it is not too early to…

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Statistics report raises mixed emotions

November 2, 2015
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Statistics report raises mixed emotions

It's gratifying to live through the incredible rise of statistics as a discipline. In a recent report by the American Statistical Association (ASA), we learned that enrollment at all levels (bachelor, master and doctorate) has exploded in the last 5-10...

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The analytics talent gap: a hiring manager’s perspective

October 20, 2015
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We all know that data science/business analytics is booming. Lots of companies are creating lots of jobs. However, the barriers to entry into this field are substantial. In an article for rSQUAREedge, I summarized my own experience as a hiring manager. A data analyst needs intuition about data, which requires practical experience. Certain skills, like web analytics and A/B testing, are not academic research areas, and are not unusually taught…

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A data visualization that is invariant to the data

October 8, 2015
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A data visualization that is invariant to the data

This map appeared in Princeton Alumni Weekly: Here is another map I created: If you think they look basically the same, you got the point. Now look at the data on the maps. The original map displays the proportion of...

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Making stuff up to get published in NYTimes

September 21, 2015
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Making stuff up to get published in NYTimes

Reader/friend Tom B. knows about my interest in grade "deflation" policies, and proceeds to ruin my breakfast by sending me a link to this ludicrous "letter to the editor" by a high-school counsellor (link). It starts with a made-up assertion: As the new academic term starts, I’m rooting for this to be the year when students start getting the grades they rightfully earn without high schools and colleges manipulating numbers…

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