How to Fix Our Math Education

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Sol Garfunkel and David Mumford think they know How to Fix Our Math Education (NYT, 8/24 Op Ed): “The truth is that different sets of math skills are useful for different careers, and our math education should be changed to reflect this fact.” I think they miss half the point. Here’s the other half: jobs. Even with… Read more »

Buried Under Data

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  There are times in my life when my “to-do” list trumps my “done” list so completely that being “overwhelmed” doesn’t begin to describe the situation. I’m forced to explore other options: Find a twin to split the duties? Consider cloning? Wave a white flag, and take a nap? So far I’ve opted to simply… Read more »

Data-Driven Companies are More Profitable

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  The more detailed data you have to draw from, the more informed your business decisions can be, and the more profitable your business can become. Old news, I know, but sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that analytics are relevant– vital even, to the success of commerce. A recent article in The New York Times claims… Read more »

Snowstorms, Snowshoes and Anecdotal Evidence

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Becky, snowshoe racing in Wisconsin. Note the hat: it’s Packer spirit wear; she’ll be cheering Greenbay during Sunday’s Superbowl. Well, it’s here — the Snowstorm of the Century has hit Chicago. I’m not quite sure how significant that is in a century that’s only 11 years old, but we’ve definitely got accumulation, with some serious… Read more »

Having the Data is Not Enough

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For people in our industry, numbers have a life of their own. We get excited when data show us new trends, patterns and possibilities. But most of the world does not view this information in the same way. In fact, believe it or not, most people think of statistical data as dry, unfathomable, even boring…. Read more »

Statisticians Leading NBA Teams to Victory

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While centers and point guards may still get all the glory, for half the teams in the NBA, the hottest player may just be the team statistician. According to a March 12 article in the Wall Street Journal, writer David Biderman outlines how the winningest teams in basketball have “all invested heavily in statistics” and… Read more »

Kicking SAS?

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Kicking SAS? Not if James Goodnight, statistician and CEO of the SAS Institute, has any say in the matter. Recently, the New York Times reported that the venerable software giant that created the statistical tool of choice for countless business statisticians for over three decades is under siege. New competition is threatening SAS’s longstanding, comfortable… Read more »

You’ve got a Sexy Job!

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I just got back from vacationing in Morocco with my family. Morocco is a beautiful country with fabulous people and wonderful food – but I have to say, it wasn’t cool. A heat wave hit Marrakesh just as we did, and temperatures ranged from 110 –120°F every day — definitely not cool. And though my… Read more »

R, the Magic Language!

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As I have reported previously, the use of R as the statistical tool of choice has grown dramatically in the past couple of years. The program is free and is in an open-source format allowing users to modify the tool specifically to their situation. In case you missed it, the New York Times had an… Read more »