Blog Archives

Friday quote: what is the question to which this number is the answer?

August 26, 2011
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Friday quote: what is the question to which this number is the answer?

John Kay muses on interpreting statistical data: Always ask of such data “what is the question to which this number is the answer?”. “Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation on a like-for-like basis before allowance for exceptional restructuring costs” is the answer to the question “what is the highest profit number we can present without attracting...

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Friday quote: what is the question to which this number is the answer?

August 26, 2011
By
Friday quote: what is the question to which this number is the answer?

John Kay muses on interpreting statistical data:Always ask of such data “what is the question to which this number is the answer?”. “Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation on a like-for-like basis before allowance for exceptional restructuring costs” is the answer to the question “what is the highest profit number we can present without attracting flat disbelief?”.

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A warning on the R save format

August 23, 2011
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A warning on the R save format

The save() function in the R platform for statistical computing is very convenient and I suspect many of us use it a lot. But I was recently bitten by a “feature” of the format which meant I could not recover my data. I recommend that you save data in a data format (e.g. CSV or CDF), not using...

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A warning on the R save format

August 23, 2011
By
A warning on the R save format

The save() function in the R platform for statistical computing is very convenient and I suspect many of us use it a lot. But I was recently bitten by a “feature” of the format which meant I could not recover my data. I recommend that you save data in a data format (e.g. CSV or CDF), not using...

Read more »

Friday quote: the handmaiden and the whore

August 19, 2011
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Friday quote: the handmaiden and the whore

Because it is Friday and because we collect quotes: If mathematics is the handmaiden of science, statistics is the whore: all that scientists are looking for is a quick fix without the encumbrance of a meaningful relationship. Statisticians are second-class mathematicians, third-rate scientists and fourth-rate thinkers. They are the hyenas, jackals and vultures of the scientific ecology: picking...

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Friday quote: the handmaiden and the whore

August 19, 2011
By
Friday quote: the handmaiden and the whore

Because it is Friday and because we collect quotes:If mathematics is the handmaiden of science, statistics is the whore: all that scientists are looking for is a quick fix without the encumbrance of a meaningful relationship. Statisticians are second-class mathematicians, third-rate scientists and fourth-rate thinkers. They are the hyenas, jackals and vultures of the scientific...

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Spreadsheet errors

April 20, 2011
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Spreadsheet errors

For my sins, I have done more than my fair share of analysis in Excel. I am quite capable of building and maintaining 130Mb spreadsheets (I had a dozen of them for one client). Excel is pretty much installed everywhere, so it is sometimes the only way to get started getting commercial value of the data in the...

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Spreadsheet errors

April 20, 2011
By
Spreadsheet errors

For my sins, I have done more than my fair share of analysis in Excel. I am quite capable of building and maintaining 130Mb spreadsheets (I had a dozen of them for one client). Excel is pretty much installed everywhere, so it is sometimes the only way...

Read more »

Spreadsheet errors

April 20, 2011
By
Spreadsheet errors

For my sins, I have done more than my fair share of analysis in Excel. I am quite capable of building and maintaining 130Mb spreadsheets (I had a dozen of them for one client). Excel is pretty much installed everywhere, so it is sometimes the only way...

Read more »

Getting started with the Heritage Health Price competition

April 8, 2011
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Getting started with the Heritage Health Price competition

The US$ 3 million Heritage Health Price competition is on so we take a look at how to get started using the R statistical computing and analysis platform.

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