Building our understanding by following the News

NZ Herald Digipoll
New Zealand Herald Digipolls are reported on heaps in their News, but are they valid?
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Polling terminology By Thomas Lumley
We’ve commented before on the annoying tendency of newspapers to claim that self-selected website polls actually mean something. The media usually refers to the results as coming from “an unscientific poll”, but a better term would be “a bogus poll”. In the interests of openness, democracy, and giving you something to do over summer, we are conducting a bogus poll ourselves, to find out which terminology is better.

SGI's Big Brain Computer Powers the Global Twitter Heartbeat
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Happy little tweeps external image election_sm.jpgBy Thomas Lumley
Via Stuff, Twitter heat maps composed by SGI, showing positive and negative sentiment on Twitter on particular topics.
This one is from the US election, and it shows the good and bad aspects of the heatmap. Since the information is in the colour scale, you don’t have the problem we saw earlier this week
On the other hand, you do have the problem that high population density regions are the ones that show up — giving a perhaps-misleading impression in this image that there was overwhelmingly more positive sentiment than negative about the US election results.

Check out lots more expert opinion at

Some great statistical graphs here

= Keeping up to date with Statistics in the News =
New Zealand Herald - Statistics NZ
  • Kiwi products suffering from 'shrinkflation' Yesterday
    If your products don't seem to be going the distance they used to, it could be because they have shrunk in size. Statistics New Zealand said a number of consumer items, ranging from orange juice to toilet paper, have become smaller...
  • Household Incomes Report reveals high cost of housing and low incomes Yesterday
    Cold, damp and mouldy homes are a major problem for up to 140,000 Kiwi children and housing costs eat up over half the pay cheques of the nation's poorest. These are some of the revelations reported in the latest Household Incomes...
  • Whanganui fast becoming tourist destination of choice Jul 19, 2017
    All signs show Whanganui is now a desirable destination for a growing number of tourists. The number of nights visitors spent in the city has risen for the fourth month in a row, and New Zealanders are increasingly seeing it as a...
  • NZ guest nights rise in May as tourism continues unabated Jul 11, 2017
    New Zealand national guest nights rose in May as the strong influx of tourists continued and as domestic stays also pushed higher. Total guest nights climbed 7.3 per cent to 2.5 million in April compared with the same month a year...

================================================================================== - Infographics
  • Where every All Black was born (+interactive graphic) Jun 19, 2014
    The All Blacks continuing avoidance of Samoa in their travel plans might be New Zealand Rugby's most festering embarrassment, but what of the claim that the All Blacks have pillaged the islands for talent? The answer to that question...

================================================================================== - Education
New Zealand Herald - Education Review Office
  • Statutory manager steps into Kelston Deaf Education Centre Jul 20, 2017
    A school that looks after about 1200 deaf students across the upper North Island has been placed under limited statutory management. Ministry of Education deputy secretary Katrina Casey said Christchurch-based human resources consultant...