Data Analysis

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

Did You Answer the Question?

My husband Bret and I had a lively exchange the other morning about the previous night’s Red Sox game. I’d gone to bed while he stayed up late watching the last few innings, so when I woke up, the first … Continue reading

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Posted in Communicating Data to the Public, Data Analysis, Newsletters | 1 Comment

A Profoundly Moving Data Display

This past Memorial Day I was greatly moved by news stories about the courage and sacrifice of so many in service to our country. It was also a quiet time for me to reflect on the memorials erected to commemorate … Continue reading

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Posted in Communicating Data to the Public, Data Analysis, Design Basics, Etcetera, Know Your Audience, Newsletters, Point of View, Tables | Leave a comment

How Do You Rate?

We have a saying at home and around the office that we invoke whenever we learn something new: “You don’t know what you don’t know until you don’t know it.” And surely it is true that you can’t possibly know … Continue reading

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Cupcakes and Cognitive Overload

I don’t know what was going on last week but people (well, me) were overwhelmed and weary. You know the signs: you call your kid by the dog’s name (repeatedly), miss all of your appointments because you think it is … Continue reading

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Code Breaker

Well, it’s tax season again. You know: the time of year that makes sticking needles in your eyes seem like a real blast by comparison. Of course there are some folks who love tax season — crazy people better known … Continue reading

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A Revealing Look at Re-admission Rates

I was whining apologetically to my friend Cindy the other day about being stuck in New Orleans because of Hurricane Sandy. You know — it was the type of whining that’s immediately followed by an apology if you’re hedging your … Continue reading

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Pumpkin Wars and Hospital Ratings

Last weekend my husband, Bret, and I traveled to Keene, New Hampshire, to visit our daughter, Annie, who is serving with AmeriCorps|Vista at a school near the town, and to participate in Keene’s Annual Pumpkin Fest. I was looking forward … Continue reading

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Confidence Intervals Required

Here’s what’s driving me crazy today: healthcare outcome and performance reports — especially those that display statistics such as Observed versus Expected (O/E) Mortality Ratios without showing the relevant (and utterly crucial) Confidence Intervals (CI’s). This omission should make you … Continue reading

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Posted in Best Practices, Dashboards, Data Analysis, Decision Support, Graphs, Know Your Audience, Newsletters, Risk Adjustment, Statistics (is not a dirty word) | 2 Comments

Mere Mortals and Mortality Data

Many, many moons ago when I was a dating girl, I discovered that there were basically two categories of bad dates. There was the date that I hoped might lead to something more, but that ended with “I’m not ready … Continue reading

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Posted in Best Practices, Communicating Data to the Public, Data Analysis, Know Your Audience, Newsletters, Point of View, Risk Adjustment, Statistics (is not a dirty word) | Leave a comment