Correlation and Causation

Today’s email newsletter from Brent Ozar linked Flowing Data’s best of 2014 data visualization. Hidden among the bar charts and rose diagrams and the New York Times standard stunning collection of visualizations was Tyler Vigen’s Spurious Correlations. I am in awe, from the time that I found excuses not to correlate the population of wild asses and election results for a contest Tableau was sponsoring until I saw a graphic using Godzilla to compare military spending by country (guess who is Godzilla and who is a midsize high rise) I have been enamored by data visualization, and even more so when it is done to humorous effect. I particularly disturbed by possibility that someone might be particularly disturbed by the fact that for every billion dollars in sales at General Mills 2.3-2.5 women in California die by slipping and falling.

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