How Bad Data Analyses Can Sabotage Discrimination Cases

Law360, December 15, 2016

Documentary evidence of discriminatory practices is rarely available, so courts often rely on additional evidence, including statistical analyses, to evaluate whether the process or practice in question may have been discriminatory. However, the courts have been cautious in using statistical evidence to evaluate whether discrimination has in fact occurred, realizing that the statistical evidence itself may contain bias or yield misleading results.

In a recent Law360 article, “How Bad Data Analyses Can Sabotage Discrimination Cases,” Analysis Group Vice President Mike Nguyen discusses the importance of understanding both the strengths and the limitations of data analyses in discrimination cases. Providing examples from case law as well as from the sports world, Mr. Nguyen notes that, when utilized properly, statistics can be a highly effective tool in supporting a legal argument. Conversely, statistics that are misunderstood or misinterpreted can quickly sink a case.

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