Statistics: collecting, organizing, and interpreting numerical data; a mathematical-based science rather than a branch of mathematics.
Many statistical projects involve collecting data about a sample group, then analyzing and manipulating the data in order to make projections or forecasts about a whole population. Other projects look at data in different ways in order to best understand what's happening.
Today I will be provide some data about my blog visitors, using different types of display formats that we might use with our students. From looking at several sets of data I learn that I've had around 35,000 unique visitors from 170 countries.
NOTE: You can check the counters along the left margin of the blog window to see what they indicate as you are reading this.
|Visitors (blue) and Page Views (green) by month|
|New visitors by day over the past month|
A more detailed look at a month's data shows that the visitor count dips on the weekends.
|Distribution of visitors by time zone|
This chart shows a time zone map, with bars at the bottom indicating the percentage of visitors that come from each time zone. We have 10% visitors from UTC 0 (the UK), 10% from +1 (Europe) and 55% total from -5 to -8 (North America). Other data, not shown here, tells me that less than 1% of my visitors come from South America.
|Distribution of visitors by distance in miles|
Here's a circle with a 4000 mile radius laid on top of a global map. We can see there aren't that many people living 3500-4500 miles from San Diego. Only a few in the Andes, Brazilian Rain Forests, and perhaps a few Alaskans.
Here's a pie chart showing the distribution of our recent visitors. Now that we have discovered where our visitors come from, do we know anything else?
We can see 60% of our visitors use MS Explorer, 32% use Firefox, and 8% use Safari. The operating system data reveals that about 25% use Macs, and 60% use Windows PCs.
If I look even closer, I can see that yesterday we had several visitors using their Blackberries. This morning I looked at the blog with my iPhone just to see if I could see myself. And I could.
Ok, enough statistics for today.