Author of Code Complete and More Effective Agile, Contributor to CDC Covid19 Forecasting, CEO at Construx, Dog Walker, Motorcyclist, Cinephile, DIYer, Rotarian.

Facebook and Twitter treat their users like children who need parental control software to protect them from scary content on the Internet. There’s a better solution.

Like most Americans, I am appalled by the hate speech, extremist messages, foreign disinformation, and fake news posted on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites. The proliferation of false and dangerous content is a huge problem.

But the responses from Twitter, Facebook, and other social media companies have been…

Covid data has been underreported every holiday so far. Thanksgiving week’s underreporting will make for sensational (and misleading) headlines next week.

The chart below shows the CovidComplete forecasts submitted to the CDC’s Ensemble model for the two week period ending today. The forecasts were tracking perfectly through Wednesday, then strongly diverged on Thursday through Saturday (11/26 to 11/28).

If CovidComplete had really overestimated the death count for those days, that would…

Each American state and European country was presented with its own unique pandemic challenge. How well did each area respond?

Photo by Chris Karidis on Unsplash

An underappreciated aspect of the pandemic is the point at which each state and country started. Some areas began with low infection rates and relatively small problems to solve; other areas started with astronomical infection rates that implied once-in-a-lifetime challenges. …

Democrats hope an unrelenting focus on Covid-19 will propel Joe Biden to the presidency. Covid-19 data from battleground states says otherwise.

Photo by Little Tree on Unsplash

Democratic strategists believe an unrelenting focus on the pandemic will propel Joe Biden to the presidency. Polls of swing state voters are released daily that favor Biden, but nagging doubts about voters’ real intentions remain because of the near-universal failure of polls to predict Donald Trump’s victory in 2016.

Real…

Much of Covid-19's data analysis is based on flawed smoothing techniques

You might think that raw data is more accurate than smoothed data. But in the case of the Covid-19 pandemic, smoothed data reduces reporting anomalies and is a more accurate representation of timing than the raw data is. But only if the smoothing is done correctly.

Wrong Way #1: Not Using Smoothed Data to Expose Trends

Raw state-level data is…

The right graphs can be tremendously revealing — if you know what to look for

As one of the contributors to the CDC’s Covid-19 “Ensemble” forecast model, I update a set of state and national graphs several times a week on my Covid-19 Spin Free Data Center. I include the charts that I personally find useful in understanding the status and trends of the pandemic.

National Graphs

The presence or absence of comorbidities is not just a big deal. It’s a Godzilla-eating-a-major-city size deal. Why hasn’t anyone quantified how it affects risk to individuals?

Note from the editors: Towards Data Science is a Medium publication primarily based on the study of data science and machine learning. We are not health professionals or epidemiologists, and the opinions of this article should not be interpreted as professional advice. …

Steve McConnell

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