The Cardinal Sin of data science, and cognitive bias in 5 easy steps.
Academic clickbait, FCC doesn’t use economics, and tobacco surcharges don’t work.
1. Confusing correlation with causation is not the Cardinal Sin of data science, say Gregory Piatetsky (@kdnuggets) and Anmol Rajpurohit (@hey_anmol): It’s overfitting. Oftentimes, researchers “test numerous hypotheses without proper statistical control, until they happen to find something interesting and report it. Not surprisingly, next time the effect, which was (at least partly) due to […]
Brain training isn’t smart, physician peer pressure, and #AskforEvidence.
1. Academics use crazy tricks for clickbait. Turn to @TheWinnower for an insightful analysis of academic article titles, and how their authors sometimes mimic techniques used for clickbait. Positively framed titles (those stating a specific finding) fare better than vague ones: For example, ‘smoking causes lung cancer’ vs. ‘the relationship between smoking and lung cancer’. […]
Open innovation, the value of pharmaceuticals, and liberal-vs-conservative stalemates.
1. Spending $ on brain training isn’t so smart. It seems impossible to listen to NPR without hearing from their sponsor, Lumosity, the brain-training company. The target demo is spot on: NPR will be the first to tell you its listeners are the “nation’s best and brightest”. And bright people don’t want to slow down. […]
Magical thinking about ev-gen, your TA is a bot, and Foursquare predicts stuff really well.
1. Open Innovation can up your game. Open Innovation → Better Evidence. Scientists with an agricultural company tell a fascinating story about open innovation success. Improving Analytics Capabilities Through Crowdsourcing (Sloan Review) describes a years-long effort to tap into expertise outside the organization. Over eight years, Syngenta used open-innovation platforms to develop a dozen data-analytics […]
Masters of self-deception, rapid systematic reviews, and Gauss v. Legendre.
1. Magical thinking about ev-gen. Rachel E. Sherman, M.D., M.P.H., and Robert M. Califf, M.D. of the US FDA have described what is needed to develop an evidence generation system – and must be playing a really long game. “The result? Researchers will be able to distill the data into actionable evidence that can ultimately […]
Analytics of presentations, Game of Thrones graph theory, and decision quality.
1. Human fallibility → Debiasing techniques → Better science Don’t miss Regina Nuzzo’s fantastic analysis in Nature: How scientists trick themselves, and how they can stop. @ReginaNuzzo explains why people are masters of self-deception, and how cognitive biases interfere with rigorous findings. Making things worse are a flawed science publishing process and “performance enhancing” statistical […]
NBA heat maps, FICO vs Facebook, and peer review.
1. Edges, dragons, and imps. Network analysis reveals that Tyrion is the true protagonist of Game of Thrones. Fans already knew, but it’s cool that the graph confirms it. This Math Horizons article is a nice introduction to graph theory: edges, betweeness, and other concepts. 2. Teach your team to make high-quality decisions. Few of […]
1. Resistance is futile. You must watch Steph Curry. The Golden State Warriors grow more irresistible every year, in large part because of Curry’s shooting. With sports data analytics from Basketball-Reference.com, these heat maps illustrate his shift to 3-pointers (and leave no doubt why Curry was called the Babyfaced Assassin; now of course he’s simply […]