Graphs 101 – By Seth Godin

My good friend Seth Godin, OK so he doesn’t know I exist but I digress, recently took note of his Google History data. He said the data shows he does a lot more searching on Tuesday. He went on to say that this was completely coincidence. He wrote:

“Your brain looks for coincidences wherever it can find them. That’s how we make sense of things. Even though the chart seems to be clearly non-random, I can guarantee that there are no external factors at work here. It’s a coincidence. Short version: just because a graph looks good doesn’t mean it’s true.”

I will grant Seth this… his last sentence about a graph looking good doesn’t mean it’s true is so spot on.

The only thing I would say to Seth (again if he knew I existed) is that there may be more to this Tuesday thing than he realizes. For example, I was recently looking at my site statistics and noticed that Tuesday gets the most hits and page views than any other day. I am not sure why this is but week after week this trend remains. A Pareto Chart shows the trend of page views by day. Tuesday is at the top which interestingly enough is similar to Seth’s situation.

It would be interesting to see Seth track this trend for a few months to see if remains or goes away. After all, this is why we often collect data – to reject or fail to reject a hypothesis.

3 Comments

  1. sethgodin

    April 26, 2007 - 5:47 am

    Hi Ron. Remind me in a few months and we’ll check again

  2. Jon Miller

    April 26, 2007 - 12:04 pm

    It’s probably the day Google sends out all of its robots to crawl the web and index new pages.

  3. Ron Pereira

    April 26, 2007 - 8:38 pm

    Hi Seth,
    I will add it to my calendar! By the way I will add you to my Blogroll if you add me to yours. You know that would be fair! Ha! Just kidding. Seriously, thanks for stopping by my little blog. Keep up the great work. I really enjoy your blog.