By Paulin Shek
Today is World Statistics Day . In celebration of this, here are my top 5 examples of fun applications of statistics.
1. The British Medical Journal publishes a Christmas edition every year. My favourite article dates back to 2005, but addresses a problem that is very relevant to daily life in the Mango office- missing teaspoons! Check out the article here.
2. Google’s Project Oxygen set out to answer the question “Do Managers Matter?” using a mix of qualitative and quantitative sources. This involved data-mining from performance appraisals, employee surveys and nominations for top manager awards as well as conducting a series of interviews.
3. In Amy Webb’s famous TED talk titled “How I Hacked Online Dating” she explains how she collected and analysed profiles from online dating sites so that she could in turn make an ultimate profile for herself.
4. Datakind is an organisation that links data scientists and charities together, through events called “Data Dives” so that charities can get insight from their data and turn it into positive actions. They work with a range of charities, over many diverse projects which involve visualisation, text-mining and modelling amongst other skills and statistical techniques. One particularly interesting project involved aggregating data from multiple sources to help arts and cultural organisations get the funding they need. Read more about the project here.
5. Continuing with the charities theme, UNICEF are also very data-oriented, with their own dedicated data portal. I think the following quote from their website sums up my personal motivation for data science very well: “Problems that go unmeasured often go unsolved”.