I'm always on the lookout for interesting data. So, when I saw that PNC Wealth Management posted the annual PNC Christmas Price Index, I had to check it out.
PNC tabulates the total current cost of a true love's gifts as enumerated in the carol The Twelve Days of Christmas. This year PNC also provides a handy Excel spreadsheet with all of the historical data back to 1984.
I, of course, didn't use Excel to examine it. A quick look at the data in Graph Builder reveals that the seven swans-a-swimming are the most volatile item in the index.
In fact, in the early years they were the most expensive too! PNC recognizes that the volatility may interfere with the index as well so they compute a "Core" index without the swans. Using the Data Filter I left the swans out of Graph Builder as well.
That makes it easier to see that the nine ladies dancing are the most expensive part of Christmas this year. Note to all school-age girls: Learn to dance. It pays much better than milking cows, and it's more fun too.
Lastly, as much as I like snowballs, I think that the lines in Graph Builder do a much better job of visualizing this data than the snowballs that PNC uses.
They might look pretty but they don't stand a snowball's chance of being used by serious analysts.
Update: Douglas Okamoto took the PNC data and did some inflationary adjustment and time series analysis. His results are available in the JMP File Exchange.
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