Phys .org: American Statistical Association releases 2020 Census Quality Indicators, urges prompt action. “The American Statistical Association Board of Directors has endorsed the recommendations of the 2020 Census Quality Indicators report, written by a task force of census experts to shed light on the quality, accuracy, and coverage of the 2020 Census counts. The task force, co-chaired by former US Chief Statistician Nancy Potok and ASA President-elect Robert Santos, was formed in early September in response to concerns about 2020 Census data quality, including the lack of transparency and measures of quality traditionally provided by the US Census Bureau.”
ProPublica: How to Understand COVID-19 Numbers . “Viewed in isolation or presented without context, coronavirus numbers don’t always give an accurate picture of how the pandemic is being handled. Here, ProPublica journalists Caroline Chen and Ash Ngu offer insight on how to navigate the figures.”
BusinessWire: USAFacts Coronavirus Data Hub and Map Tracking the Daily Spread of the Virus in Every U.S. County Is Now Live (PRESS RELEASE). “USAFacts, a not-for-profit, nonpartisan civic initiative providing the most comprehensive and understandable single source of government data, today announced its USAFacts Coronavirus Hub and Map. This frequently updated resource tracks the daily spread of COVID-19 in every county across the United States, with a growing trove of information detailing the local effects of the virus.”
Information is Beautiful: COVID-19 #CoronaVirus Infographic Datapack. Regularly-updated information about COVID-19: rates of infection, media mentions, contagiousness, etc.
Route Fifty: How to Understand Your State’s Coronavirus Numbers. “The main thing to do is orient yourself, so you know where to find the numbers. It’s different for every state. Most post a table, some write them in text, still others generate a PDF, as Massachusetts does. We’re encouraging states to publish and update a table of data, and have seen promising changes from many states, including New Jersey, Louisiana, and Colorado.”
Lake County Record-Bee: As California launches preschool expansion, federal government seeks to limit data. “…the U.S. Department of Education is proposing to stop collecting a wide range of data, including information about young children, such as how many children have access to preschool and kindergarten, broken down by race, sex, disability and English learner status.”
ScienceDaily: Tool for nonstatisticians automatically generates models that glean insights from complex datasets . “MIT researchers are hoping to advance the democratization of data science with a new tool for nonstatisticians that automatically generates models for analyzing raw data. Democratizing data science is the notion that anyone, with little to no expertise, can do data science if provided ample data and user-friendly analytics tools. Supporting that idea, the new tool ingests datasets and generates sophisticated statistical models typically used by experts to analyze, interpret, and predict underlying patterns in data.”
Sunlight Foundation: In website reshuffle, federal committee makes reports on collecting sexual orientation and gender identity data inaccessible . “If you visit the website for the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology (FCSM), you’ll find that many of the links for reports lead to dead pages or PDFs that say, ‘this page is currently under construction.’ Among the inaccessible resources are statistical policy working papers, as well as reports pertaining to collecting data on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI), which were live on a previous version of the site. Also gone is the FedStats website, which currently redirects to the FCSM homepage. FedStats, which claimed to be ‘a trusted source for federal statistical information since 1997,’ was quietly sunset in February 2018, removing troves of aggregated links to statistical policy documents and statistics websites along with it.”
Canadian Running: Notable running statistician Ken Young dies . “Notable running statistician Ken Young died recently, Japan Running News reports. He was 76. Young co-founded the volunteer-run Association of Road Racing Statisticians, and, according to the website’s bio of Young, maintained the online database…of more than 400,000 runners. The database includes more than 1.2 million performances. The ARRS database is free to access.”
FiveThirtyEight: The FBI’s Explanation For Why It Released Less Crime Data Doesn’t Add Up. “Late last month, FiveThirtyEight published an article that noted that the FBI’s most recent accounting of crime data in the United States was missing almost 70 percent of the data tables that had been included in past editions. The FBI has since disputed that the removal of those tables was out of the ordinary. But closer scrutiny doesn’t seem to bear this claim out.”
National Academies: Report Offers Guidance to Federal Government on Creating a New Statistics Entity to Combine Data From Multiple Sources While Protecting Privacy. ” A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine offers detailed recommendations to guide federal statistical agencies in creating a new entity that would enable them to combine data from multiple sources in order to provide more relevant, timely, and detailed statistics – for example, on the unemployment rate or the rate of violent crime. The report reviews options for structuring the new entity, identifies approaches for protecting individuals’ privacy while linking multiple sources of information, and identifies areas where staff training is needed.”
Census Bureau: New American Community Survey Statistics for Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Available for States and Local Areas. “The U.S. Census Bureau today released its most detailed look at America’s people, places and economy with new statistics on income, poverty, health insurance and more than 40 other topics from the American Community Survey.”
Salon: Explosive growth in bulls**t studies! The latest academic frontier in the age of You Know Who. “‘There is so much bullshit!’ exclaims mathematical biologist Carl Bergstrom. ‘We’re drowning in it!’ So begins the first session of Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data, a class Bergstrom is teaching with data scientist Jevin West at the University of Washington. It might be comforting if bullshit were confined to the realms of politics, PR and advertising. But that’s bullshit.” Not as political as the headline would have you believe.
Techxplore: Researchers look to add statistical safeguards to data analysis and visualization software. “Modern data visualization software makes it easy for users to explore large datasets in search of interesting correlations and new discoveries. But that ease of use—the ability to ask question after question of a dataset with just a few mouse clicks—comes with a serious pitfall: it increases the likelihood of making false discoveries.”
The Globe and Mail: Statistics Canada’s excuse for database outage not adding up: former chief. “Statistics Canada’s online database crashed for the second time in two weeks, failing on one of the federal government’s most important days – the unveiling of the budget. The latest data outage started this Wednesday. The failure occurred just days after Statscan’s online database of economic and social information, also known as CANSIM, suffered from a week-long blackout.”