This month has a strange data vibe to it. I’ve spoken about Google Sheets and Google Forms to collect and sort data and living in New York we just had our primaries and these fantastic charts of visual data are in NYTimes and other websites. I think we can all agree that data is important on some level – it helps us make decisions and tells a story. One of my new found favorite “data stories” sites is Tweetping which shows in really time the number of Tweets being sent – visually. Another great website for data visualization is Neil Silver’s FiveThirtyEight which writes on multiple topics, showing that data can tell multiple stories.
April 22nd – FiveThirtyEight
FiveThirtyEight (538) became a blog in 2008 to calculate political polls, aggregating information with models to predict voting winners refers to the number of votes (538) in the electoral college. The website (and personal blog) uses a variation of baseball’s sabermetrics to analyze data to tell a story. As any AP Stats student can tell you, data tells multiple stories – some that are good, some that are bad, and some that just aren’t true. 538 has been successful, and moved from Daily Kos to NYTimes and finally (so far) landing on ESPN.com (a ABC and Disney company).
Right about now you should be asking yourself “What does this have to do with education?” Spend 5 minutes on the website and search around, look up your interest and how data and statistics are used to tell a story and bring it to life, even though it’s “just numbers”. As we continue to grow as a society, information and statistics will be at our fingertips, we need to work on our analyzation skills to find what data is useful, fivethirtyeight.com might be a good place to start.