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## VITAL STATSUsing true statistics to tell less than true stories

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

#### We will explore some *creative* ways of displaying true information

• Levels and percentages
• Correlation and causation
• Sample selection
• Axis powers

### First, a few examples...

Murders per 100,000 people in 2010

#### Or, equivalently, 0.015% of all people

“Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help. 1,714 shootings in Chicago this year!” - President Trump

Is 1,714 shootings in a year significant? Is it substantial in a population of over 2.7 million?

### GLOBAL COOLING?

Not when we look at the statistics presented differently
Levels and Percentages

### Levels and Percentages

Suppose we have data on student academic performance and....

• 300 more students passed their state tests last year than the prior year
• 10% less students passed their state tests last year than the prior year

#### Could both be true?

Sure, if the amount of students taking the test increased by more than the amount passing.

• There were 966 traffic fatalities in New York last year (no wonder they take the subway!)
• There were only 190 traffic fatalities in Wyoming last year

#### Where is it safer to drive?

Turns out you are 7 times more likely to die in a car crash in Wyoming (!)

But that's misleading, too. You only have a 0.0316% chance of getting in a deadly car wreck in Wyoming.

#### From the OK Board of Health's State of the State report:

• In 2012, approximately 2,300 Oklahomans died from an unintentional injury
• Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of premature death; males are more likely to die from an unintentional injury than females (some things you don't need stats for)
Correlation and Causation

### Correlation and Causation

"Where there's smoke..."
"...there's smoke."

Sample Selection

### Sample Selection

Graduates from the University of North Carolina Geography program earn over $100,000 a year on average. So, why wouldn't everyone major in geography? Outliers can skew the average The "true" average salary for UNC Geography majors is *much* lower "Our average starting salary is$80,000"

### A new, troublesome, statistic...

The incidence of autism has steadily increased. Why?

### So, does it work?

Maybe. But there is an "endogeneity" issue because the type of person that wants to join Match.com is already looking for a relationship. We refer to this as a self-selection bias.

Axis Powers

### Axis Powers

"A picture is worth a thousand words"

First, a note of caution....

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee

Most clear representation? 12.85% increase in abortions, 53.4% decrease in screenings

### Using Excel to tell real fake stories

Credits:

Created with images by NS Newsflash - "Newspapers B&W (5)" • wuestenigel - "Fake News" • jodylehigh - "crash accident collision automobiles smashup transportation vehicles" • kirahoffmann - "glass broken fragmented hole crack disc window" • conner395 - "Orlando Police FL USA - Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor" • Gellinger - "polar bear polar bears predator iceberg cold" • jodylehigh - "climate change drought climate dry environment nature" • kaboompics - "calculator scientific numbers finance statistics calculate maths" • Santi Vedrí - "untitled image" • jakob.montrasio.net - "Traffic." • qimono - "speed car vehicle" • skeeze - "runners silhouette athletes fitness men military marathon" • tookapic - "notes notepad document notebook business office paper" • katexic - "sample from Spurious Correlations" • Hugo Jehanne - "Smoke" • silviarita - "ice ice cream milk ice cream" • adonyig - "dry mag wallpaper" • Hans-Peter Gauster - "Puzzle" • PixArc - "tattoo hand i love you" • 422737 - "bike velo wheel" • janetmck - "DATA"

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