Thursday 11 August 2011

Bad stats

Bad journalistic use of stats has been a recurring theme here on Offsetting. Apparently folks in the Stats department up at Auckland are annoyed too. They've started a contest.

Each week, we would like to invite readers of Stats Chat to submit nominations for ourStat of the Week competition and be in with the chance to win an iTunes voucher.
Here’s how it works:
  • Anyone may add a comment on this post to nominate their Stat of the Week candidate before midday Friday August 12 2011.
  • Statistics can be bad, exemplary or fascinating.
  • The statistic must be in the NZ media during the period of August 6-12 2011 inclusive.
  • Quote the statistic, when and where it was published and tell us why it should be our Stat of the Week.
Next Monday at midday we’ll announce the winner of this week’s Stat of the Week competition, and start a new one.
The fine print:
  • Judging will be conducted by the blog moderator in liaison with staff at the Department of Statistics, The University of Auckland.
  • The judges’ decision will be final.
  • The judges can decide not to award a prize if they do not believe a suitable statistic has been posted in the preceeding week.
  • Only the first nomination of any individual example of a statistic used in the NZ media will qualify for the competition.
  • Employees (other than student employees) of the Statistics department at the University of Auckland are not eligible to win.
  • The person posting the winning entry will receive a $20 iTunes voucher.
  • The blog moderator will contact the winner via their notified email address and advise the details of the $20 iTunes voucher to that same email address.
  • The competition will commence Monday 8 August 2011 and continue until cancellation is notified on the blog.
I suppose I just have to watch to see if anybody cites one of my favourite bogus stats so I can submit it!

HT: Ed Directions; Peter McCaffrey

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