On Small Sample Sizes And Analysts With Way Too Much Free Time

from the people-pay-for-this-research? dept

It's really amazing of the ridiculous claims that come out of supposedly reputable analyst firms. It makes you wonder who actually pays them for their reports, and whether or not they get any actual value out of them. Take, for example, the latest report from analyst firm NPD Group, where someone actually bothered to realize that all of the winners of American Idol happened to be southerners. Yes, the south is now 5 for 5 in providing singing sensations beloved by the voting public. Based on this ridiculously small sample size, and not much else it seems, the NPD Group is claiming this amazing coincidence is actually because Cingular sponsors the show, and Cingular is (conspiracy theory alert!) based in the south! Of course, there's one huge problem in this theory. Beyond the fact that Cingular is (yes, you remember now, don't you?) a nationwide carrier with customers all over the country, the only reason they're sponsoring the event at all is because they ended up with the contract after buying AT&T Wireless a few years back. The first two seasons of the show were actually sponsored by AT&T Wireless -- and Cingular simply inherited the sponsorship deal with the merger. Of course, AT&T Wireless is also a nationwide carrier... but its headquarters were based in Washington. So, if this bizarre theory had any merit, the first two winners should have come from the Pacific Northwest.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Dom, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 12:17am


    That's a complete joke. These people get paid to spout this nonsense?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Sohrab, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 1:09am

    Member, we also never went on the moon! If was all a pack of lies!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Dam, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 2:48am

    Too Many Analysts, Too Many Lawyers

    It's the same with lawyers, there's too many of them all chasing the same cases. The result - idiotic product liability litigation that does little but line the pockets of the lawyers at the expense of everyone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 5:25am

    Arent Cingular/AT&T the ones that admitted to a voting error in the American Idol contest that just ended? So they rigged it so a Southerner would win and then they could put out this analysis report! I knew!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Joe Schmoe, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 7:31am

    there's an incestuous southerners joke in here somewhere

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Tin Ear, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 9:10am

    What is American Idol?

    I knew there was a reason that I never felt inclined to watch the show... All of my idols came from the British Invasion! ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 9:21am

    American Idol sucks anyway

    Seriously, what is the hype surrounding this show? The only episodes worth watching are the auditions and that is for the pure humor content anyway. After that, it's just a bunch of wannabe singers and some ridiculously rude british guy that thinks he's funny, when in fact he looks like a complete moron. In any other professional job, the guy would get fired for that kind of attitude.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 11:25am

    What would they would find

    if they looked at where the voters were coming from or where the rest of the singers came from?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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