Statistics

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Australia’s census covers a wide range of topics, including some that are very infrequently covered by other surveys. AAP/Dean Lewins

The census matters – making it less frequent is a risky idea

If reports are to be believed, both the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the federal government are strongly considering moving from a five-year to a ten-year census cycle. This move has been…
Adjusted data from Australian weather stations has been peer-reviewed before. But the government’s new technical panel could still offer useful advice. Bidgee/Wikimedia Commons

Bureau’s weather records to be reviewed again – sure, why not?

The federal government’s new “Technical Advisory Forum” on weather data, announced by parliamentary environment secretary Bob Baldwin last week, will “review and provide advice on Australia’s official…
Oh no – not that mistake again. Flickr/Alex Proimos

The 10 stuff-ups we all make when interpreting research

UNDERSTANDING RESEARCH: What do we actually mean by research and how does it help inform our understanding of things? Understanding what’s being said in any new research can be challenging and there are…
An example of unidirectional cause and effect: bad weather means umbrella sales rise, but buying umbrellas won’t make it rain. Mariusz Olszewski/Flickr

Clearing up confusion between correlation and causation

UNDERSTANDING RESEARCH: What do we actually mean by research and how does it help inform our understanding of things? Today we look at the dangers of making a link between unrelated results. Here’s an…
Harder, faster, better, stronger. Jose Coelho/EPA

Do winning teams at the World Cup run further and faster?

Tracking technology using video or GPS chips have transformed the ability of coaches in elite team sports to monitor the physical contributions of players in games. This type of data is usually highly…
Spain took home the 2010 World Cup trophy – can they do it again this year? EPA/Peter Klaunzer

World Cup 2014 predictions: who will take the title?

It doesn’t matter if you’re a hard-core football nut, a once-every-four-years fan or even a psychic animal – most of us speculate on the winner of the World Cup. The 2014 competition is held in Brazil…
Sorry Rick – you should’ve been left behind about three decades ago (along with some algorithms). Claudio Poblete/Flickr

Some stats methods are like Rick Astley – best left in the 1980s

It’s an exciting time to be doing statistics. You heard me – statistics: exciting. It often gets a bad rap, but stats is after all at the business end of the research process. When I’ve collaborated on…

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