Happy World Statistics Day!

The United Nations has declared today “World Sta­tis­tics Day”. I’ve no idea what that means, or why we need a WSD. Per­haps it is because the date is 20.10.2010 (except in North Amer­ica where it is 10.20.2010). But then, what hap­pens from 2013 to 2099? And do we just for­get the whole idea after 3112?

In any case, if we are going to have a WSD, let’s use it to do some­thing use­ful. Patrick Burns has some ideas over at Port­fo­lio Probe. Here are some of my own:

  • Learn R. The time has come when it is not really pos­si­ble to be a well-​​informed applied sta­tis­ti­cian if you are not a reg­u­lar R user.
  • Get involved on Stats​.Stack​Ex​change​.com. It’s only 3 months old, but we already have over 1600 users and it has quickly become the best place to ask and answer ques­tions about sta­tis­tics, data min­ing, data visu­al­iza­tion and every­thing else to do with analysing data.
  • If you’re in Lon­don, head to the RSS get­stats launch, held appro­pri­ately at 20:10 on 20.10.2010.
  • Learn some new sta­tis­ti­cal tech­niques. If you have never used the boot­strap, EM algo­rithm, mixed mod­els or the Kalman fil­ter, now is a great day to start.
  • Stop using hypoth­e­sis tests and p-​​values! Instead, use con­fi­dence inter­vals and the AIC.

Feel free to add your own ideas in the com­ments … unless you’re too busy cel­e­brat­ing this aus­pi­cious occa­sion.

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  • http://robjhyndman.com Rob J Hyndman

    They take the WSD very seri­ously in PNG. Check out the “pop jin­gle” writ­ten to cel­e­brate the occa­sion at http://​unstats​.un​.org/​u​n​s​d​/​w​s​d​/​N​e​w​s​1​8​.aspx

  • theel­ic­i­tor

    Hi All,

  • theel­ic­i­tor

    Just to say I’m quiet new to data min­ing and stats, but have decided to take up a career in this excit­ing field try­ing to derive value from inter­val data. I have just started learn­ing R as well, so it seems to me Rob, that I have heeded your advice and taken the plung into the deep void of sta­tis­tics and data min­ing. I hope I can learn from all of your experience.