The Stat Connection

Go to your Stats page and check your top 3-5 posts. Why do you think they’ve been successful? Find the connection between them, and write about it.

I pretty much did this post as my Year Review of 2015, so I decided to have a look at my top 5 posts of the year so far. They are:

  1. Naked With Black Socks.  I guess I now know my audience!
  2. Tattoo… You.  Still absolutely no idea why this one keeps getting found.
  3. Now You See Me.  Hmm, nothing really special there.
  4. Quote Me.  Just some random quotes I like.
  5. Can’t Stand Me. What I don’t like about myself.

So 3 out of 5 have “me” in the title which I should maybe take as compliment.  What else does Jetpack tell me?

Before this post I’ve written 532 that have been viewed 4440 times by 2035 visitors.  The most visitors I’ve had in one day was 306 on 14th June 2015, but I’m pretty sure that was a rogue bot.  The most popular time for people to visit my blog is 18.00 GMT on a Tuesday, so “Hello” to everyone reading this this evening!

Stats are all well and good but they need to be used correctly.  There is a concept doing the rounds called Big Data.  Big data itself is a bit of a moving target and doesn’t necessarily just allude to volumes and speed of collection; it also features the importance of the data after analysis.

The issue with large volumes of data is being able to make connections between two things that aren’t really connected.  For example, companies can track the phone signal of mobile phones in a city to indicate traffic flow and improve traffic light phasing.  This is a good use of the data.  But I’ve also seen an instance where a credit company found that people who fuel their cars on a Tuesday are more likely to spend $x on groceries on a Thursday.  Those are two statistics with a very tenuous link.

There is one quote I remember about statistics, and it’s this:

Statistics are like mini-skirts… They give you good ideas but hide the most important parts.

I knew this as being attributed to Aberdeen FC manager Ebbe Skovdahl in 2001 when hearing that Arild Stavrum had more shots on target than Henrik Larsson in a game with Celtic in 2001.  Stats are great, but you have to know how to use them.

The facts and the figures
They overwhelm and stifle
Everything that you thought you knew

The facts and the figures
They overwhelm and stifle
From the very first breath you drew

The facts and the figures
They overwhelm and stifle
And the petty decisions
That you think make a difference.

Embers by Just Jack

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