Data Analysis

Fabulously Terrible

Years ago when I first worked at Mass General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, I had a really great boss, Dr. Dan Rosenthal. Like many smart people, he was also very funny. I especially loved his ability to use adjectives in … Continue reading

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Stop Hunting Unicorns and Start Building Teams

Guests in our home are often very generous with their compliments on my cooking skills. While I sincerely wish those compliments were deserved, the sad (and, okay, shocking) truth is that they are not. I’m not a great cook: rather, … Continue reading

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Best Available Incomplete Information (BAII)

When I was a teenager, I had one terrible habit that drove my mother over-the-edge crazy. (OK: I had more than one. But hey, “driving your mother crazy” is part of the official job description for “teen-age girl.” I looked … Continue reading

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Hospital Charge Data — More Than Meets the Eye

I have watched with great interest as the U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has made hospital charge data available to the public, and different groups have begun reporting on it. I imagine that many of you share … Continue reading

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Bubble Charts

I am grateful to newsletter reader Meic Goodyear, who was kind enough to share a very interesting project that he and his colleague Brian Coutinho have been working on. Here are Meic’s description of the project and the associated data … Continue reading

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The One Trait All Successful Data Analysts Must Possess

When people inquire about my career path, the words that most frequently tumble off my tongue are “unusual” and “fueled by curiosity.” Here’s what I mean. My undergraduate degree is in Business Management, and I quite literally fell into my … Continue reading

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Control Charts – What Are You Controlling?

I’m an enormous fan of W. Edwards Deming and his classic quality-management book, Out of the Crisis. In addition to referring to it several times a year, I also often present this book to young friends and family members graduating … Continue reading

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Mass Gatherings Medicine

In case you haven’t heard, the Red Sox won the World Series last week. Yes, my beloved team that “Reversed the Curse” in 2004 defied the odds yet again, going from “Worst to First” to win it all this season. … Continue reading

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Scary Movies and Scary Graphs

I am not a big fan of scary movies. The way I see it, life is frightening enough without handing over my hard-earned cash to have the bejesus scared out of me. What I particularly hate about horror flicks is … Continue reading

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Variation and Its Discontents

Funnel Plots for Fair Comparisons by Stephen Few and Katherine Rowell Central to quantitative data analysis is an understanding of variation. When we measure multiple occurrences of things to determine how and to what extent they differ, we’re examining variation. … Continue reading

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Posted in Communicating Data to the Public, Data Analysis, Design Basics, Editing Charts & Graphs, Graphs | 1 Comment