Evidence Soup
How to find, use, and explain evidence.

4 posts categorized "crime"

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Game theory for Jeopardy!, evidence for gun control, and causality.

This week's 5 links on evidence-based decision making.

1. Deep knowledge → Wagering strategy → Jeopardy! win
Some Jeopardy! contestants struggle with the strategic elements of the show. Rescuing us is Keith Williams (@TheFinalWager), with the definitive primer on Jeopardy! strategy, applying game theory to every episode and introducing "the fascinating world of determining the optimal approach to almost anything".

2. Gun controls → Less violence? → Less tragedy?
Does the evidence support new US gun control proposals? In the Pacific Standard, Francie Diep cites several supporting scientific studies.

3. New data sources → Transparent methods → Health evidence
Is 'real-world' health evidence closer to the truth than data from more traditional categories? FDA staff explain in What We Mean When We Talk About Data. Thanks to @MandiBPro.

4. Data model → Cause → Effect
In Why: A Guide to Finding and Using Causes, Samantha Kleinberg aims to explain why causality is often misunderstood and misused: What is it, why is it so hard to find, and how can we do better at interpreting it? The book excerpt explains that "Understanding when our inferences are likely to be wrong is particularly important for data science, where we’re often confronted with observational data that is large and messy (rather than well-curated for research)."

5. Empirical results → Verification → Scientific understanding
Independent verification is essential to scientific progress. But in academia, verifying empirical results is difficult and not rewarded. This is the reason for Curate Science, a tool making it easier for researchers to independently verify each other’s evidence and award credit for doing so. Follow @CurateScience.

Join me at the HEOR writing workshop March 17 in Philadelphia. I'm speaking about communicating data, and leading an interactive session on data visualization. Save $300 before Jan 15.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Evidence handbook for nonprofits, telling a value story, and Twitter makes you better.

This week's 5 links on evidence-based decision making.

1. Useful evidence → Nonprofit impact → Social good
For their upcoming handbook, the UK's Alliance for Useful Evidence (@A4UEvidence) is seeking "case studies of when, why, and how charities have used research evidence and what the impact was for them." Share your stories here.

2. Data story → Value story → Engaged audience
On Evidence Soup, Tracy Altman explains the importance of telling a value story, not a data story - and shares five steps to communicating a powerful message with data.

3. Sports analytics → Baseball preparedness → #Winning
Excellent performance Thursday night by baseball's big data-pitcher: Zach Greinke. (But there's also this: Cubs vs. Mets!)

4. Diverse network → More exposure → New ideas
"New research suggests that employees with a diverse Twitter network — one that exposes them to people and ideas they don’t already know — tend to generate better ideas." Parise et al. describe their analysis of social networks in the MIT Sloan Management magazine. (Thanks to @mluebbecke, who shared this with a reminder that 'correlation is not causation'. Amen.)

5. War on drugs → Less tax revenue → Cost to society
The Democratic debate was a reminder that the U.S. War on Drugs was a very unfortunate waste - and that many prison sentences for nonviolent drug crimes impose unacceptable costs on the convict and society. Consider this evidence from the Cato Institute (@CatoInstitute).

Tuesday, 08 September 2015

'What Works' toolkit, the insight-driven organization, and peer-review identity fraud.

This week's 5 links on evidence-based decision making.

1. Abundant evidence → Clever synthesis → Informed crime-prevention decisions The What Works Crime Toolkit beautifully synthesizes - on a single screen - the evidence on crime-prevention techniques. This project by the UK's @CollegeofPolice provides quick answers to what works (the car breathalyzer) and what doesn't (the infamous "Scared Straight" programs). Includes easy-to-use filters for evidence quality and type of crime. Just outstanding.

2. Insights → Strategic reuse → Data-driven decision making Tom Davenport explains why simply generating a bunch of insights is insufficient: "Perhaps the overarching challenge is that very few organizations think about insights as a process; they have been idiosyncratic and personal." A truly insight-driven organization must carefully frame, create, market, consume, and store insights for reuse. Via @DeloitteBA.

3. Sloppy science → Weak replication → Psychology myths Of 100 studies published in top-ranking journals in 2008, 75% of social psychology experiments and half of cognitive studies failed the replication test. @iansample delivers grim news in The Guardian: The psych research/publication process is seriously flawed. Thanks to @Rob_Briner.

4. Flawed policy → Ozone overreach → Burden on business Tony Cox writes in the Wall Street Journal that the U.S. EPA lacks causal evidence to support restrictions on ground-level ozone. The agency is connecting this pollutant to higher incidence of asthma, but Cox says new rules won't improve health outcomes, and will create substantial economic burden on business.

5. Opaque process → Peer-review fraud → Bad evidence More grim news for science publishing. Springer has retracted 64 papers from 10 journals after discovering the peer reviews were linked to fake email addresses. The Washington Post story explains that only nine months ago, BioMed Central - a Springer imprint - retracted 43 studies. @RetractionWatch says this wasn't even a thing before 2012.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Science of criminal sentencing, pharma formulary decisions, and real astrology?

This week's 5 links on evidence-based decision making.

1. Criminal patterns → Risk assessment → Science of sentencing The Marshall Project describes the new science of sentencing, where courts use statistically derived risk assessments to inform their decisions about which prisoners should be released on parole, and how bail should be set. (Thanks to Gregory Piatetsky, @kdnuggets.)

2. Clinical & cost effectiveness → Evidence base → Pharma formulary Express Scripts, a large U.S. pharmacy benefits manager, has released its 2016 formulary outlining which drugs will be covered, and which will not. @BioPharmaDive explains the decision process: An independent group of physicians reviews the evidence on clinical and cost effectiveness of each candidate. "Me-too" products aren't making the cut.

3. March birthday → Atrial fibrillation → Real astrology? The Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association has findings from a retrospective population study that systematically explored (with a phenome-wide method) the connection between birth month and disease risk for 1,688 conditions. Authors claim that for 55 diseases, "seasonally dependent early developmental mechanisms may play a role in increasing lifetime risk."

4. Data-driven → Fewer middle managers → Nimble decision processes Data-driven management processes need careful driving, says Ed Burns. Benefits include transparent and objective decisions, and more nimble ones when analytics can eliminate middle managers. However, some efforts have backfired. More in this podcast by @EdBurnsTT, What are your tips for putting in place data-driven management strategies?

5. Aggregated economic data → Positive trends → Data-driven optimism Economist Max Roser is an optimist. Jeff Rothfeder writes in @stratandbiz about Roser's analysis of disparate data covering "everything from African development to violent death rates", and his conclusions that evidence unambiguously shows a world evolving for the better.