Statistics (is not a dirty word)

What’s The Damn Denominator?

Here’s what’s making me crazy today: denominators. Specifically, reports and dashboards where the metrics displayed are utterly baffling (and useless) because the denominator is the wrong one for the information to be communicated, or/and the labels that should identify the … Continue reading

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Is an Average of Averages Accurate? (Hint: NO!)

Today a client asked me to add an “average of averages” figure to some of his performance reports. I freely admit that a nervous and audible groan escaped my lips as I felt myself at risk of tumbling helplessly into … Continue reading

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Posted in Newsletters, Statistics (is not a dirty word) | 10 Comments

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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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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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

Is My Dog Stoned?

I think my dog Juno got stoned at the park — again. On at least two previous occasions and again just the other day, Juno started to stagger around, and for added effect fall down after chewing a considerable number … Continue reading

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When is a World Record Not?

When is a world record marathon time not a world record marathon time? When there are hills involved. On April 18th a 29-year old Kenyan named Geoffrey Mutai completed the Boston Marathon nearly one entire minute faster than the recognized … Continue reading

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