<% appTitle="Ridecamp Archives" %> Ridecamp: [RC] [Guest] Pull Codes/Data Collection

[Archives Index]   [Date Index]   [Thread Index]   [Author Index]   [Subject Index]
Current to Wed Jul 23 17:39:28 GMT 2003
  • Next by Date: [RC] Pull codes
  • - Randy and Cheryl Winter
  • Prev by Date: Re: [RC] [RC] Wintec- G.P. v. Close contact
  • - Lysane Cree

    [RC] [Guest] Pull Codes/Data Collection - Ridecamp Guest

    K S SWIGART katswig@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Roy Drinnan said
    >> My profession and expertise is that of a 25 year computer systems
    consultant and software
      developer.  I can assure you that you can never go wrong by collecting
    data.  The worst you have
      done is waste a little paper.  <<
    And he is mistaken.  Bad data IS worse than no data.  If you have
    no data, then you know you have no information and know that you are
    making an uninformed choice and that your decision is a shot
    in the dark.
    If you have bad data but don't know it is bad data, you will think
    that you are making an informed decision when you are not...or...
    even worse, having the wrong informaion will lead you to the
    WRONG choice.
    Personally, I am glad that they started publishing pull codes,
    because they have been collecting this information all along,
    but it wasn't until they started publishing it that it became
    apparant that they were collecting bad data.
    In this particular instance, it didn't matter that the AERC was
    collecting bad data, because nobody tried to do anything with
    the data anyway.  The first time they did do something with it (i.e.
    publish the raw data) it didn't take long for it to become
    apparent how inaccurate it was.  However, had somebody tried
    to draw specific conclusions from a statistical analysis of the
    data before they started publishing it and its inadequacy brought
    to light, these specific conclusions may very well have been
    wrong conclusions.
    And the fact that the pull codes (if used accurately) made no
    distinction between
    the horse that is consistently ridden with a mild lameness
    that for five out of ten starts gets pulled because it is
    so obviously lame that the vets cannot miss it and disqualify
    the rider despite his/her willingness to go on, and the horse
    with a rider who was so cautious that they pulled their own
    horse half the time because they were worried that it might
    go lame is extremely relevant, and anybody who can't see
    that needs their head examined.
    The only even marginally valid inferences that might be made from
    the data that the AERC currently has is:  "It appears as though
    most horses that get pulled from endurance rides get pulled
    because they are showing some degree of lameness to somebody."
    And since most people who spend any time at all at endurance
    rides could make that inference without looking at any of the
    AERC's data at all, the AERC's current pull code data comes
    pretty close to being under the heading of totally useless.
    Now that they have been publishing it, this has become apparent
    and hopefully they will make sufficient changes so that data
    collected in the future won't be.
    Unfortunately, in the mean time, there appear to be lots of
    people (even, apparently, people who collect data and perform statistical
    analyses professionally) who don't seem to know that bad data
    is worse than no data and are actually attempting to draw
    conclusions from the AERC's current data (or are worried that
    other people will try to draw conclusions from the AERC's data).
    Although, I won't say that the AERC's current pull code data is
    TOTALLY useless, if for no other reason than that it demonstrates
    that collecting good data is not as easy as it might seem. Sort
    of like the old saw that says "Nobody's life is totally useless.
    All people have some worth even if only to serve as a bad
    Orange County, Calif.
    p.s.  It is a lot easier to collect useful data if you at least
    have some idea of what it is you intend to use it for before
    you start collecting it. And, in retrospect, maybe the AERC's
    data is good for what they intended to use it for...the ability
    to point at it in the event that somebody asked and say, "See
    we do collect and keep data.
    "ummmmmmm...just don't look at it too closely or actually try
    to analyze it." :)
    But if that is the case, the publishing it was a mistake, because
    if you publish it, it would be foolish not to expect people to
    try to use it....for something (even if they are trying to use
    it for something that it was never intended to be used for).
     Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net.
     Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp
     Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp
     If you are an AERC member - PLEASE VOTE in the Director at Large 
     and By Laws Elections.