Category Archives: DataNerd

Captain Obvious and the ABCs

Just to make sure, when I say the ABCs I am talking about Attendance, Behavior, and Course Performance.  Something I’ve talked about many times, and is in many ways the purpose of this website (aside from providing me a place to feel smart and important).

The above is like the video below.

I have given many presentations on the ABCs, and the most common reaction is, “Duh.”  I normally give these presentations to teachers, administrators, counselors, and other educators.  Of course showing up, acting appropriately, and doing their work will predict students are successful and who drop out.

The purpose of the ABCs is to provide an early warning indicator (EWI).  To give you a chance to DO SOMETHING about it.  When the engine thermometer in your car goes into the red, you don’t think, “Of course an over heated engine is bad, why are you telling me this?”  The purpose of the gauge is to warn you that something worse is about to happen.

The same with the EWIs.

Dear Data,

I love postcards and I love data.  This is awesome.  As a semi-professional data nerd I have to comment on this blog.


The purpose of this blog is for two professional data experts to share and connect with each other each week.  As well as to up the public understand of how data doesn’t have to be all numbers, charts, and columns.

Anyway.  Two Thumbs Up.

Middle Child in the Middle Generation

I know my family is going to find it funny that I am a part of the “middle” generation.

From Generation X: America’s Neglected ‘Middle Child’, an article from the Pew Research Center

When compared to the generation before (baby boomers) and the generation after (millennials), my generation, the Gen Xers are more pessimistic about their futures (see the graph to the left).

However, we are more “savvy, skeptical and self-reliant; they’re not into preening or pampering, and they just might not give much of a hoot what others think of them. Or whether others think of them at all.”

Not sure how many of those traits I have, but as a Gen Xer I am supposed to say that I don’t care.

Time Management

Its not about spending more time working or more time playing.  Its about spending the right amount, and by right I mean whats right for you, doing the right things.

How to Spend Your Time

Undergarments Before the Fall

There is a simple indicator for a poor economy.  Better than the unemployment rate.  Better than the housing market.  Simply put, when was the last time you bought underwear?  When times are tough, the last thing you are going to spend money on is a new pair of boxers.  That simple question leads to a simple answer.  The fewer boxers/briefs being sold, the worse off the economy.

Underwear Index

There are also simple indicators of a student’s likelihood of finishing school or dropping out.  Instead of one simple question, there are three.

  1. Does that student show up on a regular basis?
  2. Do they stay out of trouble when they are in school?
  3. How are their grades in Math and ELA?

By asking those simple questions we can tell as early as the 6th grade when a student is going to drop out of school.  The real question for those of us asking those questions are, what are we going to do about it?