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.