Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Buddy check ego check

At work my team analyzes data -- usually upon request.  These data requests involve people asking us things like the age breakdown or gender breakdown for certain offences, or the typical sentences (punishments) the courts give for certain offences -- or other more complicated things.

The practice in our team is to perform a ''buddy-check'' of all the results:  basically, a teammate tries to replicate the results.  If they match, then we send the client the results.

Usually the match on the first attempt; occasionally they don't match, but the reason is obvious. And -- if I may be so immodest -- I'm usually the one who's correct.

For some reason, though, I and two of my colleagues had an unusual amount of difficulty matching our results yesterday and today.  I was involved in two reasonably straightforward data requests, both of which had four components.  For each we had two points of contradiction.  And, for each of them, my co-worker made an error on one component, and I made an error on another:  so, equitable.

Even though I'm good at what I do, it's minor setbacks like these which keep me humble:  I'm apparently not infallable after all.


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