Social Media Age Groups

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Another example of an infographic, the Social Biz Buzz presents the findings of social media users and their uses and age groups as gathered by a social media moderator, Community 102. The infographic creatively draws a picture for businesses looking to optimize their social media sites as to which age groups use which sites and what they do while on those sites. This would be interesting information, but I felt that the statistics reported were generally common knowledge, such as the fact that was reported that younger users swear a lot more often in their social media usage than older users.

What would have made this infographic presentation of statistics even better, would have been to see a true, significant insight into the social media users. To do this, as Martin Horn, DDB describes in his article, "Research With Legs," the researchers should have started with a more defined question and worked backwards through their research in order to achieve a true insight into their participants. Once this insight was gained, then I think that the creative presentation through an infographic would have been really valuable to the businesses going to Community 102 and the Social Biz Buzz in order to improve their social media usage. While the intention of this infographic was good, the reality is that the statistics reported were not groundbreaking and therefore not useful.

Vegetarian Vitality

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This was a website that really emphasized that having "a vegetarian diet [was] significantly healthier than one which includes meat" and used multiple global studies to track people's diets over years at a time and measuring how healthy vegetarians were versus meat eaters. The emphasis on the diet being "significant" was interesting because despite the research to back up this claim, the public opinion was still that a vegetarian diet was either lacking in protein or hard to follow. Based on this public opinion, I feel that this article was a result of some public relations environmental monitoring and possibly a public opinion tracking survey. Seeing as this article is only reporting on public opinion findings, I think that the next step would be reversing this public opinion through an educational campaign to get the public thinking about the truths and myths about being vegetarian.

Government Survey Tracking

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On the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, they had an overview of their ongoing Current Population Survey (CPS). This survey is something that they gather and report from each month to stay up to date on employment rates and demographics. Then they report the most important findings on their own government website in graphs, statistical lists, and PDF files. As a clarifying point, this is a monthly survey, not a census because this is not the government collecting data from every U.S. citizen. One of the nice features of this website is that it keeps track of all of its historical data and then labels those statistics with a little dinosaur. A good addition to this website would be a dictionary. Since this is the government providing information to its people, it is important that the people understand what all the terms mean. It would be a friendly gesture that the government wishes to keep the public educated and not keep all of the knowledge to itself, especially since it is already reporting the data for the public use.

Tea Treats You Well

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An ongoing study on the health effects of drinking tea is very fascinating. This article speaks about the good attributes of tea drinking including lowering cholesterol, lowering the risk of cancer, lowering stress, and improving thinking. What all of these studies on tea are trying to prove is that there is a causal relationship between starting to drink tea and noticing small improvements in one's health. In these studies, the independent variable is drinking tea and the dependent variable is having an improvement in one's health because better health depends on whether or not the participants drinks tea or not.

Video of Statistics

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This entry is about an online video that states a series of facts and statistics about how quickly the mobile industry is growing. Some of the statistics are really fascinating, like how they project that more people will be accessing the Internet through their phones than through their desktop computers within the next year or so. Although this video says that it was produced by A4Magic, a research company, I still wonder where all the facts came from. I cannot tell if the company did the research themselves and this was their way of presenting the results or if this was just a compilation of interesting facts that the company gathered. Either way, this company would do well to promote their video more since only 44 people had seen it before me and many of the presented statistics would be very helpful to businesses around the world trying to boost their consumers.

Studying How You Study

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This was an abstract about a qualitative study that looked at the relationship between doing well in school and feeling good about oneself. This study used a two-tailed hypothesis that if students who were failing their classes used certain study methods, they could better their grades. Bettering their grades would therefore better their self esteem. To support and prove this hypothesis, the researcher kept track of the students' grades before and after learning the new studying techniques, and also kept track of the students' self esteem levels based on how they felt. Then the researchers go on to state that this technique can be applied in general to anyone, whether they are students or not. I think that to prove their point better, they should have tried out the techniques on adults who were not in college in order to prove that this actually could be applied to all people and that they were not just making an educated guess.

What's Your Favorite Candy?

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This article came from Bloomberg Businessweek and features data from Information Resources Inc. (IRI), a consumer-market research vendor. They gathered their data from various kinds of stores that carried candy for one year and kept track of sales. This was a very quantitative research study and I think that it would have been nice to add a more regional theme. For example, the study told the reader that M&Ms are the most popular candy in America, but it did not tell the reader which part of America. If M&Ms were to only be popular in the south, then this would be helpful information for marketers to have.

A CNN Report on Pinterest

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CNN did a news report on some research data gathered by Experian Marketing Services earlier this year on the number of site visitors to Pinterest. The report argued that based on this research, which I believe was probably a trend study based on the fact that they have month to month data on site visitors, Pinterest could be labeled as the third most visited site in the U.S. At the end of the report, the author also asserts that data points to the fact that women in the middle of the U.S. use Pinterest the most.

While this research seems relevant to Internet usage in general, I would hesitate to call it valid. The report says that the data does not take into account the mobile users of Pinterest which I believe could skew the data in a different direction considering how many people do have smartphones now with constant Internet access. If Experian can find a way to continue their trend study while including mobile users, I think that they will have a much more valid case on Pinterest use.

Eurostat Evaluation

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The above is a link to the European Commission Eurostat statistics vendor. Eurostat collects and publishes data from the European Union (EU) to provide important statistics to other countries and continents. One of their main goals is to stay up to date on societal information related to the economy, the environment, the job market, and more. They believe that by providing the statistical data on these important issues, countries will be able to understand each other better and therefore be able to communicate on more effective and peaceful terms.

I like how they are very open and clear about everything that they do as a service. For example, they list the specific research goals that they hold as a company and the research methods that they use. Another great example of their progressive style is that they have PDF files in clear view on their webpage that list their goals more specifically and access to a legal notice about using their services. If more companies were as transparent as Eurostat, the public would have a better trust in big businesses than it currently does.

Politico's Presidential Polls

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The Politico website tracks statistics on political issues and polls that have been done by other research groups. For this specific webpage, Politico listed the predictive polls at the national level and then by state for presidential candidates in the 2012 election. I thought that it was good that Politico collected polls from so many different organizations, but at the same time I thought that it would have been a lot more interesting if they would have focused on a trend study or time series analysis for the year leading up to the elections. A trend study would have allowed Politico to track the voting intention swings of the general public and possibly connect the results to the timing of political ads, debates, and speeches.

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