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Everydata: The Misinformation Hidden in the Little Data You Consume Every Day

Everydata: The Misinformation Hidden in the Little Data You Consume Every Day

by John H. Johnson
Everydata: The Misinformation Hidden in the Little Data You Consume Every Day

Everydata: The Misinformation Hidden in the Little Data You Consume Every Day

by John H. Johnson


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While everyone is talking about "big data," the truth is that understanding the "little data"—the stats that underlie newspaper headlines, stock reports, weather forecasts, and so on—is what helps you make smarter decisions at work, at home, and in every aspect of your life. The average person consumes approximately 30 gigabytes of data every single day, but has no idea how to interpret it correctly. EVERYDATA explains, through the eyes of an expert economist and statistician, how to decipher the small bytes of data we consume in a day. EVERYDATA is filled with countless examples of people misconstruing data—with results that range from merely frustrating to catastrophic: The space shuttle Challenger exploded in part because the engineers were reviewing a limited sample set. Millions of women avoid caffeine during pregnancy because they interpret correlation as causation. Attorneys faced a $1 billion jury verdict because of outlier data. Each chapter highlights one commonly misunderstood data concept, using both realworld and hypothetical examples from a wide range of topics, including business, politics, advertising, law, engineering, retail, parenting, and more. You'll find the answer to the question—"Now what?"—along with concrete ways you can use this information to immediately start making smarter decisions, today and every day.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781629561011
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 05/05/2016
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Dr. John H. Johnson, IV is an expert witness who has testified and consulted in cases involving how one uses and interprets data in a wide range of settings. As CEO and co-founder of Edgeworth Economics—a leading consulting firm with offices in Washington, DC, San Francisco, and Pasadena—John heads a data-driven company that has been featured on NPR, the Washington Post, USA Today, and HuffPost Live.

As an economist and statistician, John specializes in teaching people how to be informed data consumers. He has spoken to audiences at the American Bar Association and the Federal Trade Commission, has taught at Georgetown University, and has been published in numerous books, journals, and magazines. His PhD in econometrics is from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Co-author Mike Gluck is an award-winning journalist/marketer who has written for leading organizations and newspapers nationwide. He has led the creation of multi-million dollar advertising campaigns, and has worked with Time Warner Cable, Fisher-Price, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Riverside Health System, among others.

As President of Gluckworks—a copywriting and marketing firm in Buffalo, NY—Mike’s expertise is making complex topics easy to understand. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Preface xi

1 Data, Data, Everywhere: An Introduction to Everydata 1

2 The Challenger Challenge: How Sampling Can Affect Results 9

3 Red State Blues: Averages and Aggregates-A Closer Look at Summary Statistics 27

4 Are You Smarter Than an iPhone-Using, Radiohead-Loving Republican?: Understanding Correlation Versus Causation 45

5 In Statistics We Trust: Is What You're Seeing True? 65

6 Shrinking Africa: Misrepresentation and Misinterpretation 83

7 Spoonfed Data: When Cherry Picking Goes Bananas 105

8 Predicting Disaster: Forecasting the Future 123

9 It's a Jungle Out There: Putting It All Together 143

Glossary 157

Notes 161

Index 193

Acknowledgments 203

About the Author 205

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