The Wisdom of Crowds
This starts with a Podcast. RADIOLAB, to be specific. Link for those so inclined. One of the acts in the podcast focused on the Wisdom of the Crowd. From the oh-so reliable Wikipedia:
The wisdom of the crowd is the process of taking into account the collective opinion of a group of individuals rather than a single expert to answer a question. A large group's aggregated answers to questions involving quantity estimation … has generally been found to be as good as, and often better than, the answer given by any of the individuals within the group.
In brief, the podcast goes like this: Roger Galston, renowned for his research in statistics, amongst other sciences, attended the Plymouth County Fair in 1906. At the fair, there was an exhibit in which contestants could buy tickets and guess the weight of an ox. Nearly 800 tickets were sold to the crowd that day. Mr. Galston was able to obtain the tickets from the fair organizers after the contest and performed a statistical analysis of the guesses. His analysis and results were pretty remarkable. By averaging out all contestants votes, he determined that the average of the crowd was under by only one pound for an ox that weighed nearly 1,200 pounds. The collective average, or the collective wisdom, was the closest to the actual weight!
I immediately thought of this story after Aykis posted the 2013-14 Prediction Contest Kickoff I took the data that I thought could best be averaged out, collated it, and created an Excel document. I used the data from Wins-Losses, DeMarcus’ Double-Doubles, McLemore’s 3-PM and attendance. I stopped collecting data at 11:59 AM October, 29. I have 126 entries for W-L; 126 entries for DMC Double-Doubles; 126 entries for McLemore’s 3s; and 128 entries for attendance. The discrepancies in entries are due to people producing an incorrect W-L total, skipping questions and incorrectly entering data (435 Double-Doubles!) Let it be known, I’m not a data analyst. Far from it. But I do know how to determine averages, and hell, that’s really all Mr. Galston did. Granted, he had nearly 800 estimates, whereas I only have 128; so this just may be a trivial pursuit of pseudo-analytics. Now go get your salt shaker and grab a grain.
What does the wisdom of this hodgepodge collection of Kings Fanatics determine?
Wins – 35
Losses – 47
DeMarcus Double-Doubles – 47
McLemore made 3-pointers – 122
Attendance – 15,411