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How Much Data Do You Need?

Introduction A common question in analytics, statistics, and data science projects is: how much data do you need? This question actually has very specific and clear answers! A first good answer is “it is good to have a lot.” Let’s dig deeper and get some additional more detailed quantitative answers. […]

Thinking About Linear Regression

Introduction I want to spend some time thinking out loud about linear regression. As a data science consultant and teacher I spend a lot of time using linear regression and teaching linear regression. I have found each of these pursuits can degenerate into mere doctrine or instructions. “do this,” “expect […]

Link Functions versus Data Transforms

In the linear regression section of our book Practical Data Science in R, we use the example of predicting income from a number of demographic variables (age, sex, education and employment type). In the text, we choose to regress against log10(income) rather than directly against income. One obvious reason for […]

Can we try to make an adjustment?

In most of our data science teaching (including our book Practical Data Science with R) we emphasize the deliberately easy problem of “exchangeable prediction.” We define exchangeable prediction as: given a series of observations with two distinguished classes of variables/observations denoted “x”s (denoting control variables, independent variables, experimental variables, or […]

Reading the Gauss-Markov theorem

What is the Gauss-Markov theorem? From “The Cambridge Dictionary of Statistics” B. S. Everitt, 2nd Edition: A theorem that proves that if the error terms in a multiple regression have the same variance and are uncorrelated, then the estimators of the parameters in the model produced by least squares estimation […]

What is meant by regression modeling?

What is meant by regression modeling? Linear Regression is one of the most common statistical modeling techniques. It is very powerful, important, and (at first glance) easy to teach. However, because it is such a broad topic it can be a minefield for teaching and discussion. It is common for […]