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STATISTICA News and Blogs

Amanda Shankle-Knowlton
Your data are speaking. Are you listening? A graph can help you find hidden patterns, and may also be able to tell a story better than a whole paper full of words. Please join me as I explore the world using pictures.

Visualizing Medical Data

by ashankle on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 7:33 AM

blood pressure I love my friends. When they see a nerdy graph or a fun data set, sometimes they’ll share it with me as blog-spiration. 

This is how I became the proud owner of some real-life blood pressure data, as my friend has been requested by their doctor to record this information several times a day. As with any new dataset, I tried out several types of graphs to see which type provided the most useful information. I looked for outliers in the data so that we could investigate and explain them. I also looked for ways to categorize the information in the data set that might help me tease out patterns that are hidden within overall trends. 


Which NFL Team has lost Super Bowls in Four States?

by ashankle on Friday, January 27, 2012 8:42 AM

Next Sunday, February 5, the New York Giants and the New England Patriots will play in Super Bowl XLVI. I’m not a huge American football fan, but I do typically watch the Super Bowl, just so I can keep up with pop culture and to hear what kind of music the kids are listening to these days.

I took a trip through Super Bowls past on Wikipedia. I played with the data in several ways, but these Categorized Pie Charts were my favorite. I had hoped to make a prediction of who would win the game based on the location of the game, but unfortunately the Super Bowl has never been played in Indiana before.  

Is there a relationship between the percentage of female elected officials and gender wage equality?

by ashankle on Friday, December 02, 2011 8:51 AM
women in parliamentDo you ever wake up and say “I want to find some interesting data today”? 

Rather than acknowledge the fact that I might be the only geek here, I’ll just assume the answer is yes.

I knew the monthly jobs report was due out today, but I’ve already written about how “good” job report news isn’t always as positive as it seems on the surface.  

So I looked elsewhere and ended up at the World Bank. I drilled down to the Gender Statistics database and selected all the countries that were available in the list. Two of the interesting items were “Proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments” and “Wage equality between...

Ethics of Making Graphs, Part 2 - Income Trends

by ashankle on Thursday, November 03, 2011 10:14 AM

 As a result of the Occupy Wall Street Movement bringing concerns about income inequality to the news cycle, my goal was to find data related to this topic. I didn’t have an agenda, really – I just wanted to be able to confirm or deny whether their claims are legitimate. 

Of course, the data were easy to get. It’s found here at the Census Bureau’s website. It shows mean income for each Fifth of households on an annual basis from 1967 to 2010. All values are shown in 2010 dollars, which adjusts for changes in purchasing power over time. 

Trends in Baby Name Popularity

by ashankle on Thursday, October 13, 2011 10:01 AM
 baby toesI can definitely relate to the last blog post from my colleague Jennifer Thompson, for I too have a common name for people in my age cohort. I was so tired of having to clarify which Amanda I was that I so desperately wanted to coin the nickname “Shank” for myself. It didn’t catch on for some reason.

You can check out for yourself using Social Security Administration data how common your first name was for US babies born the same year you were. There are 2010 data available as well as yearly data going back to 1880.  Name Voyager is also a fun one to look at for expectant parents and narcissists alike. 


Histogram or Bar Graph?

by ashankle on Thursday, September 29, 2011 4:49 AM

french fry bar chartI took an Intro to Statistics course in the Psychology Department at the University of Oklahoma. I am so happy I took this class, both because it helped me start out on the somewhat squiggly path to working at StatSoft and because it was a great foundation for understanding experimental research, probability, statistical significance, correlation vs. causation, and other concepts that are generally useful for a functioning adult to know.

We did old-school pencil and paper graphing in that class. Not only because the printer that the department used for printing out statistical output was the next building over and the size of an office, but because it helped us get some hands-on understanding of what types of graphs are used when.

bar graph

Republican Presidential Debate Transcript: Which words were said most?

by ashankle on Thursday, September 08, 2011 2:08 PM
white houseI love election time. The Tuesday after the first Monday in November in even-numbered years is like Super Bowl Sunday for me. Yes, I do order pizza. Yet, I didn’t watch the Republican Presidential Primary Debate last night. I feel ashamed by this.

In order to redeem myself as a political junkie, I thought I’d post about the debate anyway. I grabbed the transcript from The New York Times, and ran it through a simple STATISTICA Text Miner analysis.  What we’re left with is a visualized gist of what was said last night during the debate.


Data Visualization – Popularity of Girl Scout Cookies

by ashankle on Thursday, September 01, 2011 9:25 AM

As a former Girl Scout and lover of creative graphs, I wholeheartedly approve of this. You know what else I wholeheartedly approve of? Thin Mints.

via I Love Charts, original source Wired Magazine


Make Every Day the First Day of School

by ashankle on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 9:28 AM

 It’s back-to-school week for many of us. My daughter started a new school.  She loves it, though I’m pretty sure the love is highly correlated with the new playground and her new pink backpack and lunch bag at this point. The world she is growing up in is so much different than the one that anyone in their 20s or older grew up in. Education today is less about going to school or the library and stuffing your head full of information, and more about knowing that the information is out there and ready to be found and used.  

Is your career sector growing or shrinking?

by ashankle on Wednesday, August 03, 2011 11:27 AM

musical chairsAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Non-Farm employment is down almost 1% from April 2001 to April 2011. Not un-employment.  Employment. This sounds far worse when you consider that the US Census Bureau estimates that our population increases by one net person every 12 seconds. It’s like a game of musical chairs, except that more players are entering the game as time goes by. 

Are you going to be able to find a chair the next time the music stops?


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