Useful (and fun!) Statistics Resources
The International Year of Statistics was a year-long event created to increase public awareness of the power and impact of statistics on all aspects of society, nurture statistics as a profession, and promote creativity and development in the field of statistics. To that end, the website includes a lot of very useful resources. In particular, the What Is Statistics? section of the website highlights the usefulness, ubiquity, and significance of statistics in society through interesting articles profiling the way that statistics are used internationally, including an interesting statistic every day. Many of the resources on the website are links to publications that continue to be updated beyond 2013.
The Government of Canada website is one of the best (and trustworthy) resources for Canadian Statistics. In addition to raw data, the website also includes The Daily, which highlights Canadian statistics in the daily news, as well as Statistics: Power from Data! which is an overview of high school-level concepts in statistics that is broken up by category and includes exercises and answer keys. This can be a great way to remind yourself of concepts and check your comprehension before moving forward in your learning.
The Statistical Society of Canada website offers many useful links, including a brief summary of the steps towards accreditation to become a professional statistician, and the Canadian Code of Ethical Statistical Practice, which provides an ethical guideline for accredited statisticians to abide by in their professional life, in order to act responsibly towards employers and clients, other statisticians, and the Canadian public. The SSC also has a job board where you can browse available positions in the field of statistics.
getstats is a campaign by the Royal Statistical Society of the UK to improve how numbers are handled in daily life, business, and public policy. The articles are about interesting developments in data collection, (mis)representation, and the importance of understanding what, exactly, is being said with numbers.
StatProb is a wiki (user-generated, hyperlinked content) that, unlike other wikis, is edited by an international editorial board. This ensures that all content is correct and authoritative. The encyclopedia entries can be accessed by search, or by browsing by subject, popularity, or latest added. Each entry includes a list of references as well as an example of proper citation for the entry, and any discussion about the entry, if applicable.
The Real Time Statistics Project is managed by international independent developers with the goal of making world statistics available in a thought-provoking and time-relevant format. The Worldometers website has several real time world statistics displayed side-by-side, allowing for an informative representation of worldwide statistics on population, economics, media, the environment, food, water, energy, and health. Each statistic has a link to its source. Some (such as world population, and military spending) can also be clicked on for more information on sources and methods for the statistic being displayed.
Graphic detail is a blog run by the magazine The Economist, which is published in the UK but provides international coverage. The Graphic Detail blog includes the Daily Chart , which provides a new chart or map every working day, as well as interactive-data features and links to interesting sources of data around the web. The charts provided in Graphic Detail often show inspiring ingenuity in the visual representation of data, and also often highlight how the visual representation of statistics can affect the way in which they are understood.
Similar to Graphic Detail above, but with much more in-depth analysis, The Why Axis regularly updates with case studies, interviews, and analysis/commentary in order to comment on and enrich the discussion surrounding contemporary visualization practices. The site is operated by Bryan Connor, a designer and developer from Baltimore, but often has guest authors, and posts approximately once per month. Useful if you would like to take a deeper look into the thinking that goes behind graph design.
The International Association for Statistical Education, part of the International Statistical Institute, runs this website as part of its mandate to promote statistical literacy around the world. To that end, the website includes a list of resources including a wiki of Internet sites that link to statistically related newspaper articles.
Simply Statistics is a regularly-updated blog maintained by three biostatistics professors excited about the future of statistics and science. The blog covers any and everything interesting to someone interested in the importance, effects, and practice of statistics, including the way statistics are used in popular media/major corporations, roundups of exciting developments in the field, recommended applications, models and widgets, and examples of well-executed statistics.
This website, the personal project of Dr. Eric Roehm, an American physician working to improve the use and application of statistics in medical literature, and in the ways that conclusions (mis)represent data reported in clinical trials. The website lists “misadventures” in medical statistics, giving details of the misrepresentation, the consequences of this error, and suggestions for what can be done to avoid this in the future. Last updated in 2012.
The Bad Science section of The Guardian (another UK publication) is no longer updated, but while it was being published it did an excellent job of dissecting and criticizing misrepresentations of science and statistical analysis in the media. Focusing on not just misleading representations of results, but also on methods and techniques, as well as poorly-executed or biased research, the articles illustrate how the collection and representation of data can easily be skewed in misleading ways that can have an effect on public opinion as well as public policy. While the Guardian website has not been updated since November 2011, the archives are online, and the author, Ben Goldacre, continues his work on his website, which also has links to videos of the author speaking at events such as TED (Technology, Education, and Design conference), if you would rather hear him speak than read what he has written.
Hans Rosling, a Swedish statistician, shows how statistical representation can give a more balanced perspective, specifically on poverty, at a TED (Technology, Education, Design) talk in 2005. He is using the then-new UNdata (described further on the Dataset Resources page) as a source for his datasets.
This website, by George Mason University in the United States, advocates scientific and statistical methods as the best way of analyzing and solving society’s problems. The website includes links to articles in various media (Newsweek, Forbes, etc.) that address the issue of misrepresented data. It also includes a blog (accessible via the horizontal navigation bar at the top of the page) updated periodically with original commentary on statistics-related issues being covered in the media.