Ten posts from 2016 that deserve a second look

Last week I wrote about the 10 most popular articles from The DO Loop in 2016. The popular articles tend to be about elementary topics that appeal to a wide range of SAS programmers. Today I present an "editor's choice" list of technical articles that describe more advanced statistical methods […]
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Is "La Quinta" Spanish for "Next to Denny's"?

“La Quinta” is Spanish for “next to Denny’s.”      -- Mitch Hedberg, comedian Mitch Hedberg's joke resonates with travelers who drive on the US interstate system because many highway exits feature both a La Quinta Inn™ and a Denny's® restaurant within a short distance of each other. But does a […]
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The top 10 posts from The DO Loop in 2016

I wrote 105 posts for The DO Loop blog in 2016. My most popular articles were about data analysis, SAS programming tips, and elementary statistics. Without further ado, here are the most popular articles from 2016. Data Analysis and Visualization Start with a juicy set of data and an interesting […]
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Discover power laws by log-transforming data

A recent issue of Astronomy magazine mentioned Kepler's third law of planetary motion, which states "the square of a planet's orbital period is proportional to the cube of its average distance from the Sun" (Astronomy, Dec 2016, p. 17). The article included a graph (shown at the right) that shows […]
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Visualize the ages of US presidents

Who was the oldest person elected president of the United States? How about the youngest? Who was the oldest when he left office? Let's look at some data. Wikipedia has a page that presents a table of the presidents of the US by age. It lists the dates for which […]
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Sometimes you need to reverse the data before you fit a distribution

Occasionally on a discussion forum, a statistical programmer will ask a question like the following: I am trying to fit a parametric distribution to my data. The sample has a long tail, so I have tried the lognormal, Weibull, and gamma distributions, but nothing seems to fit. Please help!! In […]
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Counting observations for which two events occur

Every year near Halloween I write an article in which I demonstrate a simple programming trick that is a real treat to use. This year's trick (which features the CMISS function and the crossproducts matrix in SAS/IML) enables you to count the number of observations that are missing for pairs […]
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Loess regression in SAS/IML

A previous post discusses how the loess regression algorithm is implemented in SAS. The LOESS procedure in SAS/STAT software provides the data analyst with options to control the loess algorithm and fit nonparametric smoothing curves through points in a scatter plot. Although PROC LOESS satisfies 99.99% of SAS users who […]
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What is loess regression?

Loess regression is a nonparametric technique that uses local weighted regression to fit a smooth curve through points in a scatter plot. Loess curves are can reveal trends and cycles in data that might be difficult to model with a parametric curve. Loess regression is one of several algorithms in […]
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The empty-space distance plot

How far away is the nearest hospital? How far is the nearest restaurant? The nearest gas station? These are commonly asked questions whose answers depend on the location of the person asking the question. Recently I showed an algorithm that enables you to find the distance between a set of […]
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