19th-century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli is credited with saying “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” One problem is that data can be misleading if not presented in a clear and sound manner. How many times have you heard that you should stop eating something or start eating something to better your health? Ever wonder what data supports these claims? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to understand if something has significant enough impact to consider including in your life? This module provides you some of the tools needed to better understand data and what they really mean.
Let’s take a look at a real life, aviation example. The FAA has claimed that runway incursions, an incident when an aircraft or vehicle is on a runway when it is not supposed to be, have been decreasing over the past few years. During this period, the FAA has spent millions of dollars on different systems designed to help reduce these incursions, which the administration claims have been successful in mitigating. Read the FAA Runway Safety Report (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., with particular attention to page 24. Using what you have learned in the readings, discuss whether or not you believe the data indicates an actual or significant reduction in incursions. What would you recommend to augment the FAA report from a data analysis standpoint? Why do you believe this addition is relevant?