The Digital Den

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Did Nate Silver Use Data to Predict This Blog?

I’d like to think that statistics-fu grandmaster Nate Silver used data to predict writing this blog, but I doubt it was the case. But then again, he’s shown an amazing sense of accuracy in some of his predictions ranging from sports events to the 2008 election. Yet given the fact he was one of the speakers at SXSW this year, it is safe to say he may have predicted some degree of publicity from his attendance.

For those of you just tuning in, Nate Silver is a journalist for the New York Times’ political blog, Five Thirty Eight.

With his recent book, The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail – but Some Don’t, he gives an insightful look on how data impacts our lives and how we can use that knowledge to get a better understanding of the world and how forecasters leverage this data to make their proclamations.  Don’t expect this book to help you win the lottery, but it’s good information to explain why people make the predictions they make, and how accurate they are…or aren’t.

You can easily find highlights of Nate Silvers keynote over the Internet, (this piece on Gigaom is my fav. thanks, Eliza) but what gets me giddy is showcasing another example of the importance of data and it’s part in our digital ecosystem.

People will always use data in clever, interesting ways – how are you using it?

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