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Opinion Piece

A list of nice statistical things

When Stats4SD started its blog, I was pleased – here at last was an easy way for me to tell the world of all the important statistical things I had been thinking about. Of course, that is sort of what I had been doing since I started out in the business - a very long time ago. But this was mostly to the few people that I met and worked with; not the wider world of people engaged in statistics for sustainable development.

The scientist’s conventional way of getting a message out to many people, potentially everyone to whom it might be useful (if they took the effort to find and read it), is the scientific journal article. But writing these is such hard work, and maybe what I have to say is not original enough to be published there. Blogging has been possible for about 20 years, but there were a few steps to getting started that I was not prepared to take. Stats4SD has now made it so easy: I have no excuse!

Then I noticed that every blog piece I wrote, and many others that have been written, all say: “Look at this! So many people make this statistical mistake. Why can’t they all be statistically smart and savvy like us? Let me enlighten them and make the world a better place.”

So, inspired by an irrelevant but charming article I read this morning[1], I thought a bit of statistical appreciation is in order. Here are some of the ‘nice’ statistical things I have noticed recently:



‘All the nice statistical things’ – image courtesy of Nicolas Greliche @Stats4SD


I could go on with the list of nice statistical things in the bigger picture of statistics and sustainable development, but wanted to also list a few of the more personal nice things that I have noticed recently. Without going into detail, I include here:


I could go on, but I hope the point is clear: we, the data people, aren’t only engaged in finding fault with others’ work.

Does anyone else have nice statistical things they would like to highlight? I’d be keen to hear ?