Archive for the ‘Correlation’ Category

Bizarre Big Data Correlations

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Chance News 99 reported the following story:

The online lender ZestFinance Inc. found that people who fill out their loan applications using all capital letters default more often than people who use all lowercase letters, and more often still than people who use uppercase and lowercase letters correctly.

ZestFinance Chief Executive Douglas Merrill says the company looks at tens of thousands of signals when making a loan, and it doesn’t consider the capital-letter factor as significant as some other factors—such as income when linked with expenses and the local cost of living.

So while it may take capital letters into consideration when evaluating an application, it hasn’t held a loan up because of it.

Submitted by Paul Alper

If it weren’t an “online lender,” ZestFinance could take into account applications signed in crayon. 😉

Chance News collects stories with a statistical or probability angle. Some of them can be quite amusing.

Nuts and Bolts of Data Mining: Correlation & Scatter Plots

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Nuts and Bolts of Data Mining: Correlation & Scatter Plots by Tim Graettinger.

From the post:

In this article, I continue the “Nuts and Bolts of Data Mining” series. We will tackle two, intertwined tools/topics this time: correlation and scatter plots. These tools are fundamental for gauging the relationship (if any) between pairs of data elements. For instance, you might want to view the relationship between the age and income of your customers as a scatter plot. Or, you might compute a number that is the correlation between these two customer demographics. As we’ll soon see, there are good, bad, and ugly things that can happen when you apply a purely computational method like correlation. My goal is to help you avoid the usual pitfalls, so that you can use correlation and scatter plots effectively in your own work.

You will smile at the examples but if the popular press is any indication, correlation is no laughing matter!

Tim’s post won’t turn the tide but short enough to forward to the local broadside folks.