Dear Statistician: The Shop Around the Corner Fox Books


Dear Statistician:

We here at The Shop Around the Corner have been selling books for nearly 50 years, when a few years ago Fox Books moved in down the block. They sell the same books as us, and even at the same price, but for some reason they are getting more customers. Recently we sent our best spy, Meg, into Fox

Books and stole the following memo:

Memo to Fox Books statistician:

Dear statperson. You have done satisfactorily at helping us to better predict the number of customers we will have each day. Our ability to predict the number of customers is giving us the edge on our competition - that stupid corner bookstore whatever it is. As per your request we have gotten “more data” (it seems like that’s the only thing you ever say). This had better quell your complaining because this was hard data to get and you won’t be getting anything else. Tell us how to predict the number of customers, and what we can do to get more customers, and maybe we’ll allow you to keep working for us.

The data shows:

1) The number of customers recorded for 365 days of a year. Unfortunately the days got all randomized (you like random, don’t you), so they’re not in any order.

In fact they may not all be days from the same year.

2) The temperature recorded that day. The temperature is in Fahrenheit, and was recorded by the cashier whenever they got around to it (during business hours)

3) The humidity recorded that day. The cashier was told to look up the humidity on at the same time as they did the temperature for that day.

4) The number of advertisements per hour paid for that day. Most of the time we were running no ads, sometimes we had an ad each hour (TV, radio, or Hulu) and sometimes we actually paid for 3 ads every two hours.

5) Whether there was “Childrens” hour held at the bookstore. That’s when a volunteer comes to read to the children. It doesn’t happen all that often, but you said it was one of the things you wanted to investigate.

6) The cashier was also examined for the two characteristics you mentioned.

Whether he/she was “patient” or “mean”, as well as whether they were “Fast” or

“slow”. I must say this caused quite a stir among our employees to rate them in this way, three of them quit because of this, and quite frankly if you ask us to judge our employees in such a way again we will fire you for harassment.


Now, having stolen this memo, and gotten the data file called foxbooks.txt we would like to ask you to get a jump on this data and predict the number of customers as well as Fox Books does so that we can be competitive and keep our business. Every edge we can get in this business could mean the difference between wealth and bankruptcy.