Data gathering for Fair Celebrations has started

Fair Celebrations bar chart 24-12-15

Following on from my initial blog post questioning whether or not there is a fair allocation of chocolates in a Celebration tub, the campaign for #FairCelebrations has started, and I’ve now for data from five tubs – but I need more data to get a statistically valid result.

A few quick summary points from the interim data which is in the bar chart above:

  • Average number of chocs in a tub is 82 but does vary from 81 to 84
  • There were more Mars Bars than any other choc in every tub so far
  • Galaxy, Galaxy Caramel and Twix consistently come out much lower, at less than half the number of Mars Bars

A couple of quick comments about the campaign for #FairCelebrations. The original blog post here has had over 1,800 page views so far, which is the highest for any page on this blog and very high for a niche vanity blog such as this.

I’ve had it reblogged by two bone fide professors of physics no less. Cosmologist Professor Peter Coles has reblogged it on his excellent In the Dark blog here. And atomic physicist Professor Philip Moriarty has reblogged it at his also excellent Symptoms of the Universe blog here. Interestingly Peter does the physics of the very large, and Philip does the physics of the very small.  And this humble citizen scientist is doing research of in the scale of the everyday.

Given such support from legitimate scientists like this, you should all want to take part in this vital research.

So, if you want to take part in do the following…

  1. Buy a tub of Celebrations
  2. Download the Word document that has the graph paper here. You will need need some scissors and tape to make the full continuous sheet. This whole step is optional but it will make things easier. Alternatively you could create a grid on the back of some wrapping paper. Or you can dispense with the grid completely.
  3. Empty the tub and count out each of the Celebrations.
  4. Then put them on the graph paper, but start on the left with the sweets that have the most and then move to the right in descending order. If you do it like this it makes the graph quicker an easier to read – check out the picture at the start of this post.
  5. Take a picture of it.
  6. The either tweet the picture or post it in the comments section below. When you tweet the picture please use the protocol below.
  7. Eat the tub of Celebrations
  8. Return to point 1 above and restart the whole process

The Twitter protocol…

When you tweet your picture please start it with “My #FairCelebrations data for @RaviSubbie” and then post your picture.

Are we being shortchanged in our Celebrations tubs?

20151220_132141-01.jpeg

My final, new improved bar chart with a different tub of Celebrations. Note the purpose made graph paper

Yesterday I posted a tongue-in-cheek picture on Facebook of a bar chart (not the one above) that I made up of sweets in a Celebrations tub. It was a riposte to a pie chart that Simon Brew had done here. As someone who likes good data visualisation I find pie charts nearly always to be worse than a bar chart – if you want to know why read Edward Tufte or this or this.

Below, on the left is Simon’s pie chart, and on the right is the bar chart I did with my own tub of Celebrations. My bar chart shows I’m clearly being short changed on the Malteasers (which I love) and there are far too many Bounty bars (who likes Bounty bars?!?).

pie_chart

Simon’s bar chart

12390885_10156263641790507_4443434368670656197_n

My initial alternative bar cahrt

 

 

 

 

 

As a trade unionist I believe in fairness and social justice. And in the case of sweets I believe in #FairCelebrations and this simple analysis throws up some serious questions about whether or not we are being short-changed.

Although Simon did an analysis of a few tubs of Celebrations (he did not say how many) it’s clear from his post it was not enough to be statistically valid. We need to get the right sample size to be absolutely sure of any assessment of whether or not we have #FairCelebrations in our tubs.

If, for the sake of argument, we assume there are 1 million single Celebrations sweets eaten this Christmas, how many tubs do we have to to check to ensure we are 95% certain (the confidence level) of the numbers of each type of sweet to within ±1 sweet (the confidence interval)?

This website allows you to plug in the numbers and it gives 9,513 sweets. Simon has determined from his analysis that there are 82.4 sweets in each tub, so this gives us 115 tubs we need to check.  Even though I’m a tubby guy with a sweet tooth this is too many tubs for me to eat. But I am hoping to gather some crowd sourced data from you and others dear reader.

I propose we start a citizen science project to analyse 115 tubs to check if we have #FairCelebrations. If we can get the data for 115 tubs we can be 95% certain of our findings. And if we find an unfair distribution then we have the evidence to take on manufacturer and demand #FairCelebrations for all.

I’ve actually improved the way the bar chart is constructed by creating some purpose made graph paper. Take a look at the picture at the top of this post and you will see the contents of a Celebrations tub placed neatly in the graph paper. I think this this looks far better than my first attempt.

So, to the crowd sourced Celebrations data…

  1. Buy a tub of Celebrations
  2. Download the Word document that has the graph paper here. You will need need some scissors and tape to make the full continuous sheet. This whole step is optional but it will make things easier. Alternatively you could create a grid on the back of some wrapping paper.
  3. Empty the tub and count out each of the Celebrations.
  4. Then put them on the graph paper, but start on the left with the sweets that have the most and then move to the right in descending order. If you do it like this it makes the graph quicker an easier to read – check out the picture at the start of this post.
  5. Take a picture of it.
  6. The either tweet the picture or post it in the comments section below. When you tweet the picture please use the protocol below.
  7. Eat the tub of Celebrations
  8. Return to point 1 above and restart the whole process

The Twitter protocol…

When you tweet your picture please start it with “My #FairCelebrations data for @RaviSubbie” and then post your picture.

I will have your data which will have been openly published which means we will be applying good open data principles that allows the data to be checked. I will put your data into a spreadsheet and publish the results on this blog. It will then be subject to the peer review of the hive mind of the internet.

This is important work. But someone has to do it.