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Opinion

The pinstickers’ guide to data analysis

One of the joys of modern data analysis is that you can test long-held beliefs.

Among them is: Australia comes to a stop during the Melbourne Cup horse race.

You know what? It’s true. Commonwealth Bank of Australia has released a chart showing all credit and debit transactions on November 1, the date of the race. At 3pm – the start time – transactions dropped almost instantly by 33%, before starting to rally up again at 3.06pm, with the race concluded. 

Elsewhere, Macquarie devised a complex formula to identify the most undervalued horse, analyzing 40,000 runners in 4,000 races. It named the three horses most likely to win (none of which won) and another three that represented the best value (one of which came second-last).

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