I want to start a discussion on how we can analyze "big data" to get at some of the statistics that we should know but don't. For example here are a few topics -
1. What is the number of divorced person in the US? (percent of population that are divorced)
2. What is the number of illegal immigrants in the US? (and what percent have committed felonies)
3. What is the total actual unemployment rate in the US? (percent of people out of the work force)
4. What is the number of people who are illegal drug users? (what percent are Marijuana users)
5. What is the number of illiterate people with a high school education?
It seems to me, we should have these numbers at our finger tips but yet we don't.
What will it take to analyze existing data to come up with these statistics?
It would be difficult to quantify the number of people who do things illegally - drug users, immigrants, etc., because they aren't going to be reporting themselves and will try to stay away from the spotlight as much as possible. The unemployment rate and divorce stats are available, but even those aren't perfect because some people may just stop looking for work, may find ways to work under the table, or stop collecting unemployment. Likewise with the divorce stats - some people may not bother to divorce legally and just abandon their spouse or decide together that they don't want to live together anymore. I also know several couples who divorced, but still live together.
Jack - the government doesn't want some statistics available as it demonstrates just how big they've failed (illegal immigration comes to mind), big Pharma doesn't want you to know how many people are using marijuana to self medicate (it cuts into profits), the actual unemployment number is a political hot button (only done using a sample anyway), and so on....you already knew the answer - whomever wants to steer a narrative selectively uses or hides data
Jack, there's more data out there than can be made sense of. Anyone who thinks there aren't stats just isn't looking
2) http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/ … ted-states
Then again, if you have a statistical method for getting illegal perpetrators to let you count them, do tell.
I realize there are information out there that seems to quantify various information. The problem I have is how reliable they are. We all know the current official unemployment rate put out by the Department of Labor is totally off base. The same goes for inflation rate...
It seems to me with all the available databases both public and private, there should be a way to intelligently analyze them independently to verify the official numbers.
The current divorce rate in US is a prime example. We are told the myth that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. That is not quite true by some analysis. Some have estimated the actual number is closer to 40%, a huge difference. Why the vast difference? Should our government have an exact number of who got married and who got divorced since it is one of the main government functions and many of our policies are related such as taxes and benefits and estates and a slew of other matters. I am willing to bet that Amazon and Google have a better stats on all our activities than our government.
Well, if you want to invent a process to ensure accountability and accuracy in government, nothing's stopping you.
As anybody will tell you who has ever used statistics regularly as part of their career, it's one thing to get the numbers, it's another to interpret them and nobody every knows how truly representative they are.
There's a lot of bad policy made on the back of bad statistics - because people didn't ask the right question of the right people
The stats that make me smile every time are the elections ones where they do everything electronically and forget that the people who actually go and vote tend to be a lot older and can't be doing with the newfangled internet nonsense! Custard pies all round time....
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