Data

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So often, just one number is not only not enough, it’s positively misleading. We often see statistics quoted that, say, the average number of children per family is 1.8. First off, what sort of average? Mean, median or mode?  It makes a difference. But really, the problem is that a mean (or median or mode) […] Read more

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One result of the unrelenting increase in computing power is that the amount of data is now huge. Earlier this year, it was estimated that 295 exabytes of data was being stored around the world in 2007. An exabyte is a billion gigabytes. That’s a lot of data, though admittedly it’s not a yottabyte yet (a million exabytes). […] Read more

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I love the Guardian’s datablog. It consistently presents large quantities of data in interesting interactive ways. Yesterday it took data from the annual survey of hours and earnings, and presented it in three different ways: Choose a salary, and see how earnings for different jobs compare Choose a job, and see what the earnings are […] Read more

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Game Theory, the Economist sports blog (a fairly loose description) has had a series of articles recently on how technology is affecting sport. Telemetry (including GPS tracking) is being used in Formula 1, sailing, rugby and football, and looks likely to spread to others. Technology has been a huge influence in tennis, but it looks as […] Read more

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Data is the new modelling. That is, it’s where all the sexy stuff is going to be over the next few years. Over the last few years, in the insurance industry at least, modelling has been where its at. Driven largely by Solvency II, a huge amount of effort has gone into building and, now, […] Read more

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Well, some of it, anyway. There’s been quite a lot of coverage in on the web recently about Benford’s law and the Greek debt crisis. As I’m sure you remember, Benford’s law says that in lists of numbers from many real life sources of data, the leading digit isn’t uniformly distributed. In fact, around 30% […] Read more

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What is Google about? Is it about search? or advertising? Actually, it’s probably about data. I’ve been reminded of this by a couple of recent articles I’ve read. The Economist’s Babbage blog has a good piece on the Google Internet bus – a free, mobile cybercafe that operates in India. “It has covered over 43,000km […] Read more

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