Happy World Statistics Day!

October 19, 2010
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(This article was first published on Research tips » R, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

The United Nations has declared today “World Statistics Day”. I’ve no idea what that means, or why we need a WSD. Perhaps it is because the date is 20.10.2010 (except in North America where it is 10.20.2010). But then, what happens from 2013 to 2099? And do we just forget the whole idea after 3112?

In any case, if we are going to have a WSD, let’s use it to do something useful. Patrick Burns has some ideas over at Portfolio Probe. Here are some of my own:

  • Learn R. The time has come when it is not really possible to be a well-informed applied statistician if you are not a regular R user.
  • Get involved on Stats.StackExchange.com. It’s only 3 months old, but we already have over 1600 users and it has quickly become the best place to ask and answer questions about statistics, data mining, data visualization and everything else to do with analysing data.
  • If you’re in London, head to the RSS getstats launch, held appropriately at 20:10 on 20.10.2010.
  • Learn some new statistical techniques. If you have never used the bootstrap, EM algorithm, mixed models or the Kalman filter, now is a great day to start.
  • Stop using hypothesis tests and p-values! Instead, use confidence intervals and the AIC.

Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments … unless you’re too busy celebrating this auspicious occasion.

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