Economics
 

Title

Beware dodgy data analysis

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-8-2016

Publisher

IDG Communications, Inc.

Abstract

Data science is having its 15 minutes of fame.

Everyone from John Oliver of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” to famed election statistician Nate Silver of 538.com is getting on a soapbox about the perils of believing data-based findings that lead to seemingly crazy conclusions.

John Oliver noted one particularly dodgy finding that a glass of wine was as healthy as an hour at the gym. Another “study” supposedly proved the benefits of a chocolate diet for pregnant moms. And other studies have found that the number of suicides by hanging, strangulation and suffocation is highly correlated with U.S. spending on science, space and technology.