Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dogs: data vs. popularity...

Dogs: data vs. popularity...  Dog owners are irrationally attached to their favorite breeds, and we're no exception: we love our Field Spaniels, a breed that very few people in the U.S. have ever even heard of, much less seen.  The chart at right (more detail here) attempts to visualize the popularity of dog breeds versus an objective assessment of the reasons why a breed might be popular.  We could debate the parameters they chose until the cows come home, but give the authors this: it's a reasonable stab at it.  Furthermore, the chart passes the sniff test – some of the breeds in the upper left (the “Inexplicably overrated”) clearly belong there, and some of the breeds in the lower right (the “Overlooked treasures”) just as clearly belong there.  Our beloved Field Spaniels are too small a breed to even show up on this chart, but if they did, they'd probably be down in the lower right, alongside the Welsh Springer Spaniels (a close relative).

Wanna start an entertaining fight?  Follow these steps:
  1. Gather a number of dog lovers in a room
  2. Shut the doors
  3. Toss a copy of this chart into the room
  4. Run


  1. Speaking of "fighting words" - did you see the unlabeled cat in the upper right quadrant?

  2. No! I missed that completely! That makes my idea even MORE entertaining!!