Sunday, December 18, 2011

Panic Saturday

Leaving it til the last Minute

So yesterday was what the tabloids called Panic Saturday - the last Saturday before Christmas (excluding Christmas eve), and the day on which everyone goes batshit crazy 'cause they've just realised, it's a week to Christmas and they haven't finished their Christmas shopping yet!


So we go to our check-in data, and we can clearly see tha-

It's actually the least busy Saturday of the last four weeks..

Or Is It?

Okay, so professional analysts probably have better metrics for measuring crowd sizes than my armchair data collecting.

So what's going on?

One theory would be that Foursquare users, generally, got their Christmas shopping done relatively early. And it's a nice thought, to think that people who obsessively log where they've been are 'more organised' when it comes to shopping.

But the more likely explanation is this - if places were that busy, and if people were that panicked, maybe they were just to busy to bother stop and check-in to Foursquare.

That's what my money is on, anyway.

And as a final point of interest, here is the updated graph for Westfield London
Notice the massive spikes on weekdays, week 4, compared to previous weeks.

Did a load of people finish work/school at the end of week 3, and only just get started on their shopping? Is it just last minute panic? In light of the point of this post, can we even trust these numbers?!

Also notice that the numbers for this particular shopping centre are quite different from the averages.

So all this kinda puts a damper on the reliability and usefulness (if indeed there ever was any) of my data and results.

Oh well.


[Or the shops weren't nearly as busy as the papers claim.]

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