Blog

Jan
2020

Capturing the Decade in a Statistic

With the start of 2020 and the end of a decade, the RSS released their Statistics of the Decade. These are stand-out statistics that the judging panel felt captured the spirit of some of the biggest issues of the last ten years.

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Dec
2019

2019 Statistics of the Year: 58% and 72.6 years

The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) has just announced the 2019 winners of its annual Statistics of the Year competition. One of the key goals of the RSS is for statistics to be used effectively in the public interest, providing evidence for the good of society. It is great to see bona fide statistics generating interest and debate.

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Nov
2019

Do School Performance Tables Really Measure School Performance?

Research published recently by the University of Bristol shows that analysis of school performance results change when pupils' background characteristics are taken into account. Commenting on the study, the Northern Powerhouse says that "league tables punish and reward the wrong schools". This study supports our findings from a previous blog, but also illustrates the importance of carefully considering what is included in a statistical model.

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Oct
2019

Approaches to Model Validation

Part of the expertise involved in a useful piece of analysis is the ability to perform model validation. Model validation gives us a way to tell how useful our model is. Can we can trust what it tells us in terms of its predictions and its interpretation?

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Sep
2019

Assessing Questionnaire Validity

Questionnaire surveys are measurement instruments. While scientific measurement instruments measure physical properties like velocity or weight, questionnaire surveys often measure respondents' self-reported attitudes, opinions or behaviours. As with scientific measurement instruments, two important qualities of surveys are consistency and accuracy. These are assessed by considering the survey’s reliability and validity - in this blog we consider validity.

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Aug
2019

Embracing Uncertainty

There is currently much debate amongst professional statisticians on the topic of ‘statistical significance’ and the use of p-values. In this blog we discuss the risks in the over-use of and over-reliance on statistical significance testing, and the benefits in embracing uncertainty.

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