Tag: List


List of cities/states with open data - help me find more!

It’s the beginning of 2012 and statistics/data science has never been hotter. Some of the most important data is data collected about civic organizations. If you haven’t seen Bill Gate’s TED Talk about the importance of state budgets, you should watch it now. A major key to solving a lot of our economic problems lies in understanding and using data collected about cites and states. 

U.S. cities and states are jumping on this idea and our own Baltimore was one of the earliest adopters. I thought I’d make a list of all the cities that have made an effort to make civic data public. Here are a few I’ve found:

There are also open data sites for many states:

Civic organizations are realizing that opening their data through APIs or by hosting competitions can lead to greater transparency, good advertising, and new and useful applications. If I had one data-related wish for 2012, it would be that the critical mass of data/statistics knowledge being developed could be used with these data to help solve some of our most pressing problems. 

Update: Oh Canada! In the comments Ani Ruhil points to some Canadian cities/provinces with open data pages. 


Statisticians on Twitter...help me find more!

In honor of our blog finally dragging itself into the 21st century and jumping onto Twitter/Facebook, I have been compiling a list of statistical people on Twitter. I couldn’t figure out an easy way to find statisticians in one go (which could be because I don’t have Twitter skills). 

So here is my very informal list of statisticians I found in a half hour of searching. I know I missed a ton of people; let me know who I missed so I can update!

@leekgroup - Jeff Leek (What, you thought I’d list someone else first?)

@rdpeng - Roger Peng

@rafalab - Rafael Irizarry

@storeylab - John Storey

@bcaffo - Brian Caffo

@sherrirose - Sherri Rose

@raphg - Raphael Gottardo

@airoldilab - Edo Airoldi

@stat110 - Joe Blitzstein

@tylermccormick - Tyler McCormick

@statpumpkin - Chris Volinsky

@fivethirtyeight - Nate Silver

@flowingdata - Nathan Yau

@kinggary - Gary King

@StatModeling - Andrew Gelman

@AmstatNews - Amstat News

@hadleywickham - Hadley Wickham


The 5 Most Critical Statistical Concepts

It seems like everywhere we look, data is being generated - from politics, to biology, to publishing, to social networks. There are also diverse new computational tools, like GPGPU and cloud computing, that expand the statistical toolbox. Statistical theory is more advanced than its ever been, with exciting work in a range of areas. 

With all the excitement going on around statistics, there is also increasing diversity. It is increasingly hard to define “statistician” since the definition ranges from very mathematical to very applied. An obvious question is: what are the most critical skills needed by statisticians? 

So just for fun, I made up my list of the top 5 most critical skills for a statistician by my own definition. They are by necessity very general (I only gave myself 5). 

  1. The ability to manipulate/organize/work with data on computers - whether it is with excel, R, SAS, or Stata, to be a statistician you have to be able to work with data. 
  2. A knowledge of exploratory data analysis - how to make plots, how to discover patterns with visualizations, how to explore assumptions
  3. Scientific/contextual knowledge - at least enough to be able to abstract and formulate problems. This is what separates statisticians from mathematicians. 
  4. Skills to distinguish true from false patterns - whether with p-values, posterior probabilities, meaningful summary statistics, cross-validation or any other means. 
  5. The ability to communicate results to people without math skills - a key component of being a statistician is knowing how to explain math/plots/analyses.

What are your top 5? What order would you rank them in? Even though these are so general, I almost threw regression in there because of how often it pops up in various forms. 

Related Posts: Rafa on graduate education and What is a Statistician? Roger on “Do we really need applied statistics journals?”