Monday, June 15, 2015

Experiences with my alpha and beta by Tushar

A 3 hour camp was organized for students in classes 6th to 8th with the objective of introducing them to the science of data analysis and to teach them how they to play with data to derive meaningful information and use then to make statistically driven decisions.

As a member of the Aspiring Minds data team, I was assigned the task of mentoring two participants and helping them through the exercise designed for this camp. The exercise required the students to use spreadsheets
-          to study the distribution of data,
-          derive inferences on various parameters of information captured,
-          differentiate the stronger patterns from the weaker ones.


The data set was about a person's, let's call him alpha, rating on how likely he will befriend someone on the basis of that person’s gender, favourite (outdoor/indoor) activity and name(new or old type).
I observed that the students were extremely enthusiastic to start with the exercise.
They were able to not only segregate data on various parameters but also find errors in the data and make necessary corrections before moving forward. They were able to use basic spreadsheet features like sort, filter, and make graphs with ease.
They were able to comprehend the output graphs made on the basis of the data and choose the stronger predictors/patterns.

Below are examples of the bar charts and inferences made by the students

Example 1:
Inference: As per this chart alpha can definitely make friends with 31.25% of the people shown to him.
Example 2:

Inference: As per this chart alpha makes more outdoor friends than indoor friends.
Example 3:

Inference: As per this chart alpha makes more male friends though there is not much difference between males and females

After the exercise, the students spoke about where they can use the learnings from today’s data camp. One of them mentioned that he could use this to choose which movies to watch by conducting a survey to get ratings from people in his circle.

Overall a fun filled day where budding students in schools yet to decide their future career paths were introduced to ways of working with data.
Tushar Saxena

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