Posts Tagged ‘ Medicine ’

Relevance, to you or me: a response to Cairo

September 15, 2014
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Relevance, to you or me: a response to Cairo

Alberto Cairo discussed a graphic by the New York Times on the slowing growth of Medicare spending (link). The chart on the top is published, depicting the quite dramatic flattening of the growth in average spending over the last years--average...

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A small step for interactivity

July 9, 2014
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A small step for interactivity

Alberto links to a nice Propublica chart on average annual spend per dialysis patient on ambulances by state. (link to chart and article) It's a nice small-multiples setup with two tabs, one showing the states in order of descending spend...

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Light entertainment: famous people, sleep, publication bias

June 26, 2014
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Light entertainment: famous people, sleep, publication bias

Bernard L. tipped us about this "infographic": The chart is missing a title. The arcs present "sleep schedules" for the named people. The "data" comes from a book. I wonder about the accuracy of such data. Also note the inherent...

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How to read Big Data studies

June 25, 2014
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This is part 3 of my response to Gelman's post about the DST/heart attacks study. The previous parts are here and here. One of the keys of vetting any Big Data/OCCAM study is taking note of the decisions made by the researchers in conducting the analysis. Most of these decisions involve subjective adjustments or unverifiable assumptions. Not that either of those things are inherently bad - indeed, any analysis one…

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Binge Reading Gelman

June 23, 2014
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Binge Reading Gelman

As others binge watch Netflix TV, I binge read Gelman posts, while riding a train with no wifi and a dying laptop battery. (This entry was written two weeks ago.) Andrew Gelman is statistics’ most prolific blogger. Gelman-binging has become a necessity since I have not managed to keep up with his accelerated posting schedule. Earlier this year, he began publishing previews of future posts, one week in advance, and…

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What the DST researchers actually found

June 16, 2014
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What the DST researchers actually found

To add to my prior post, having now read the published paper on the effect of DST on heart attacks, I can confirm that I disagree with the way the publicist hired by the journal messaged the research conclusion. And some of the fault lies with the researchers themselves who appear to have encouraged the exaggerated claim. Here is the summary of the research as written up by the researchers…

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Another PR effort to scare you into clicking

June 11, 2014
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Another PR effort to scare you into clicking

From Andrew Gelman's blog, I learned about a paper that makes the claim that daylight savings time could kill you. (Andrew links to this abstract, which is from a poster presentation at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology, and later published as a supplement in the ACC Journal; one of his readers found the published paper.) There is also a press release sponsored by the Journal with the…

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The Numbers Guy went on vacation

April 29, 2014
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The Numbers Guy went on vacation

Carl Bialik used to be the Numbers Guy at Wall Street Journal - he's now with FiveThirtyEight. Apparently, he left a huge void. John Eppley sent me to this set of charts via Twitter. This chart about Citibike is very...

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Round-up of coverage of the Big Miss of Big Data

April 9, 2014
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There is now some serious soul-searching in the mainstream media about their (previously) breath-taking coverage of the Big Data revolution. I am collecting some useful links here for those interested in learning more. Here's my Harvard Business Review article in which I discussed the Science paper disclosing that Google Flu Trends, that key exhibit of the Big Data lobby, has systematically over-estimated flu activity for 100 out of the last…

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Toward a more useful definition of Big Data

March 17, 2014
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Toward a more useful definition of Big Data

The article (link) in Science about the failure of Google Flu Trends is important for many reasons. One is the inexplicable silence in the Big Data community about this little big problem: it's not as if this is breaking news -- it was known as early as 2009 that Flu Trends completely missed the swine flu pandemic (link), underestimating it by 50%, and then in 2013, Nature reported that Flu…

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