Forget the Math — For Good Sampling You Need Equality, Inclusion, and Representation.

Forget the Math — For Good Sampling You Need Equality, Inclusion, and Representation

In basic stats class, all of us learned about the importance of random sampling. It provides the foundation for the iron-clad mathematics of estimation, statistical significance, and margins of error. But the problem in social science, market research, and opinion polling is that random sampling (sometimes referred to as probability sampling) almost never exists. So…

Data Geniuses Who Predict the Past

Data Geniuses Who Predict the Past

If there is one thing I hope you remember from your college statistics class, it’s this: Correlation does not imply causation. This is especially important to remember in our world of big data. Any large dataset will have hundreds of thousands of correlations, but most of those correlations will reflect purely random occurrences that mean…

Six Things to Know about P-Values

Six Things to Know about P-Values

Whenever I write a research report, I feel strongly ambivalent about flagging data as “statistically significant.” If possible, I try to avoid it altogether. Why? Because p-values and concepts of statistical significance are often misunderstood, misused, and misleading. Indeed, the problem is so prevalent that one well-respected scientific journal in social psychology (Basic and Applied…

New Resource for Tons of Great Data

New Resource for Tons of Great Data

Every professional in market research should know about and use the amazing, public, free data resources provided by the U.S. government—data that includes essential information about our demographics, communities, businesses, commerce, roads, health, education…the list goes on. Now, a small group of consultants, data scientists, and programmers are trying to make that easier with a…