Valentine’s Day: think about product seasonality and annual trends

Valentine’s Day provides an opportunity for me to suggest that your research should take into account some bigger picture factors. Whether or not you have a retail product or service, there are lessons to be learned from Valentine’s Day. What are the annual seasonal variations in your business and what are the trends over longer […]

Predicting Olympic Records

An article in the New York Times, “Which Records Get Shattered?“, analyzes the prospects for record-breaking at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Nate Silver returns to sports analysis – his old stomping ground before he started the FiveThirtyEight blog which covers election polling. Michael Phelps, 4x100m relay, Beijing 2008 Olympics John Nunn winning his […]

Why you should run statistical tests

A recent article in the Seattle Times covering a poll by Elway Research gives me an opportunity to discuss statistical testing. The description of the methodology indicates, as I’d expect, that the poll was conducted properly to achieve a representative sample: About the poll: Telephone interviews were conducted by live, professional interviewers with 405 voters […]

Time to cool it? (your tea that is)

As a tea-drinking Brit I was fascinated by a study about tea drinking in Northern Iran concluding that drinking very hot tea is strongly associated with higher risk of oesophageal cancer. Digging in further, I was struck by a number of points: The article I first noticed, by Karen Kaplan of the Los Angeles Times, […]

Statistics hero Nate Silver predicts Oscar results

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Nate Silver (statistics whizkid behind which did an outstanding job of predicting the results of the 2008 election) is turning his attention to matters other than politics.   After all, before he became a political pundit his forte was baseball statistics. If you want to read the published predictions […]

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