Articles onStatistics

Articles on statistics written for marketers, user experience specialists, and web analysists in mind. Digging deep into statistics for online experiments (a.k.a. online A/B tests) and the methodological issues and approaches for solving them.

Error Spending in Sequential Testing Explained

Sequential analysis of experimental data from A/B tests has been quite prominent in recent years due to the myriad of Bayesian solutions offered by big industry players. However, this type of sequential analysis is not sequential testing proper as these solutions have generally abandoned the idea of testing and therefore error control, substituting it for […] Read more…

Also posted in A/B testing, AGILE A/B testing |

Frequentist vs Bayesian Inference

In this article I’m revisiting* the topic of frequentist vs Bayesian inference with specific focus on online A/B testing as usual. The present discussion easily generalizes to any area where we need to measure uncertainty while using data to guide decision-making and/or business risk management. In particular, I will discuss each of the following five […] Read more…

Underpowered A/B Tests – Confusions, Myths, and Reality

In recent years a lot more CRO & A/B testing practitioners have started paying more attention to the statistical power of their online experiments, at least based on my observations. While this a positive development for which I hope I had contributed somewhat, it comes with the inevitable confusions and misunderstandings surrounding a complex concept […] Read more…

The Perils of Poor Data Visualization in CRO & A/B Testing

As any UX & CRO expert should now, the way we present information matters a lot both in terms of how well it is understood and in terms of the probability that it will lead to the desired action. A/B testing calculators and other tools of the trade are no exception and here I will […] Read more…

Does Your A/B Test Pass the Sample Ratio Mismatch Check?

Most, if not all successful online businesses nowadays rely on one or more systems for conducting A/B tests in order to inform business decisions ranging from simple website or advertising campaign interventions to complex product and business model changes. While testing might have become a prerequisite for releasing the tiniest of changes, one type of […] Read more…

Also posted in A/B testing |

Statistical Methods in Online A/B Testing – the book

The long wait is finally over! “Statistical Methods in Online A/B Testing” can now be found as a paperback and an e-book on your preferred Amazon store. The book is a comprehensive guide to statistics in online controlled experiments, a.k.a. A/B tests, and tackles the difficult matter of statistical inference in a way accessible to […] Read more…

Also posted in A/B testing, Conversion optimization |

A/B Testing with a Small Sample Size

The question “How to test if my website has a small number of users” comes up frequently when I chat to people about statistics in A/B testing, online and offline alike. There are different opinions on the topic ranging from altering the significance threshold, statistical power or the minimum effect of interest all the way […] Read more…

Also posted in A/B testing, Conversion optimization |

Online glossary of A/B testing terms and abbreviations

We are happy to present a brand new addition to our website: a comprehensive A/B testing glossary containing terms and abbreviations used testing as part of conversion rate optimization (CRO).  Definitions start from very basic things such as “A/B test“, “mean“, “conversion rate” and “revenue per user“, go through “hypothesis“, “null hypothesis“, “standard deviation“, “p-value” […] Read more…

Also posted in A/B testing, Conversion optimization |

The A/B Testing Guide to Surviving on a Deserted Island

The secluded and isolated deserted island setting has been used as the stage for many hypothetical explanations in economics and philosophy with the scarcity of things that can be developed as resources being a central feature. Scarcity and the need to keep risk low while aiming to improve one’s situation is what make it a […] Read more…

Designing successful A/B tests in Email Marketing

The process of A/B testing (a.k.a. online controlled experiments) is well-established in conversion rate optimization for all kinds of online properties and is widely used by e-commerce websites. On this blog I have already written in depth about the statistics involved as well as the ROI calculations in terms of balancing risk and reward for […] Read more…

Confidence Intervals & P-values for Percent Change / Relative Difference

In many controlled experiments, including online controlled experiments (a.k.a. A/B tests) the result of interest and hence the inference made is about the relative difference between the control and treatment group. In A/B testing as part of conversion rate optimization and in marketing experiments in general we use the term “percent lift” (“percentage lift”) while in […] Read more…

The Google Optimize Statistical Engine and Approach

Updated Sep 17, 2018: Minor spelling and language corrections, updates related to role of randomization and external validity / generalizability. Google Optimize is the latest attempt from Google to deliver an A/B testing product. Previously we had “Google Website Optimizer”, then we had “Content Experiments” within Google Analytics, and now we have the latest iteration: […] Read more…

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