What is the real unemployment rate? Or, how cherry-picking data is dishonest.

This video by the vlogbrothers does a great job at breaking down what the unemployment rate in America really means, but also exemplifies how reporting data improperly can cause issues.  There are six main ways(probably more) to measure unemployment!  Mixing measurement types or presenting one out of context can distort what is happening in reality.

Keep those critical thinking skills sharp, folks.  We’re gonna need them.

– Kiefer


Shiny Example – NHL Players

Here’s a little visualization app I made a couple of months back which explores hockey players in the NHL during the 2015 – 2016 season.  As we get closer to the end of the regular season this year I’ll take  a look at 2017’s players.

See the app here.

See the code behind it here.

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Raleigh New Builds

Over the past ten years, Raleigh and the outlying areas have been growing at a breakneck pace.  The availability of jobs and the awesome local amenities have made the Oak City one of the most desirable places in the country to live.  Where are all these people living?  Some of them get lucky in the hot resale market, but many are choosing to build new.  In this graph, I used data from Raleigh Open Data and plot_ly in R to display the builders who completed the most new builds in 2016.  Click the picture for an interactive version!


Initial Node

Stories are an integral part of the human experience.  They don’t have to be true, but there is something that about seeing “based on a true story” that grabs our attention.  Fiction is entertaining and can be instructive, but a true story we can really connect with.  A true story takes place in our universe – a place where we know the rules.

Finding truth has become increasingly difficult, a problem that became well-known during the 2016 election season.  My goal with this blog (and in life) is to tell interesting stories that are based in fact, based on data.  While no science is infallible, I feel that a story based on numbers is as close to “based on a true story” as we can get.

I mainly use R for data processing and analysis, but I’m slowly learning Python.  These will be my tools for telling stories.  If you have a burning question or find some interesting data, I’d be happy to dig into it.  As this blog progresses I hope to improve my data science skills and hopefully get better at writing blog posts.

– Kiefer