Top of the managers league: is it simply a game of averages?

Written by Rob Mastrodomenico on . Posted in Features

In the BBC Sport website article ‘Managerial league table 2012-13: Who leads the way?’ each manager in the top 4 divisions is ranked using an approach based on the points per game record they have obtained this season.
Top of the league is Sir Alex Ferguson (his team, Manchester United is at the top of the Premier League table). Whilst it would be hard to argue that Sir Alex is not the best manager in the business, can we argue the approach used is best to rank managers?

Big revision in estimates of what doctors and nurses are producing

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in Features

Though the government has promised to maintain real-terms spending on the NHS, healthcare managers are under severe pressure to find savings, in order to find room to cope with growing demands for care and the costs of the massive reorganisation the government has pushed through.
Attention turns to ‘productivity’. Sir David Nicholson, chief executive of the NHS Commissioning Board, has demanded NHS trusts in England find £20billion worth of productivity gains. They do more, keeping costs the same or cut costs while doing the same.

Do not insult our intelligence

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in Features

So bad that comments are unnecessary …
The story in brief: a 16-year-old girl has scored 161 on the Mensa IQ test.
Einstein never took an IQ test as none of the modern intelligence tests existed during the course of his life, but experts believe he had an IQ of around 160.
And a ‘helpful’ gloss: the IQ test is designed to test a range of abilities to determine the level of intelligence of the student – in the UK the average score is 100.
goodStats (communicating the information in numbers)
Some great and some not-so-great stats and thoughts on how bad stats can be made good
Neil Sheldon has taught at The Manchester Grammar School for 40 years. He is a Chartered Statistician and Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. He has been an RSS Guy Lecturer since 2007.  He is also course leader for the Certificate in Teaching Statistics offered by the RSS Centre for Statistical Education

Can we really model society? Scientists think we can

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in Features

“We understand the universe much better than we understand our own societies” said Professor Helbing, Chair of Sociology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, at this year’s annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Dirk Helbing was speaking at a session entitled “Predictability: from physical to data sciences”. This was an opportunity for participating scientists to share ways in which they have applied statistical methodologies they usually use in the physical sciences to issues which are more ‘societal’ in nature. Examples stretched from use of Twitter data to accurately predict where a person is at any moment of each day, to use of social network data in identifying the tipping point at which opinions held by a minority of committed individuals influence the majority view (essentially looking at how new social movements develop) through to reducing travel time across an entire road system by analysing mobile phone and GIS (Geographical Information Systems) data.

Tax, football and number-puzzled radio callers

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in Features

“New figures tell us that the richest 4,000 taxpayers in the UK, the total number of UK income taxpayers who earn more than £2million a year, pay 4.5 % of the UK’s income tax. Discuss.”
At the end of last month, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) released data on Income Tax Liability Statistics and shortly after, discussion around a headline statistic from the report kicked off ‘heated debate’ on a late night London’s Biggest Conversation call-in radio show.

How many telegrams, Maam?

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in Features

In 1917, the first year for which there are records, King George V sent birthday cards to 24 British centenarians to congratulate them on turning 100. Since the beginning of her reign Elizabeth II has sent over 110,000 100th birthday telegrams/cards to delighted recipients.
In passing, a recent article in The Independent noted the expected number of Britons aged 100 or more would be 100,000 in 25 years time and calculated that our then monarch will be congratulating centenarians “at a rate of 250 a day”.

Intimate secrets revealed, blame the stats

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in Features

The Guardian reports Facebook users are ‘unwittingly revealing intimate secrets – including their sexual orientation, drug use and political beliefs’.
What a writer  calls ‘algorithmic detective work’  — the use of common Big Data techniques – could allow Facebook and similar operations to work out that if you like certain films or express certain views you are more likely to have this or that sexual orientation or religious beliefs.

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