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McCarville, D (2021)

A data transformation process for using Benford’s Law with bounded data

Preprint [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review], Emerald Open Research 3(29).

ISSN/ISBN: Not available at this time. DOI: 10.35241/emeraldopenres.14374.1

Abstract: Benford’s Law is an empirical observation about the frequency of digits in a variety of naturally occurring data sets. Auditors and forensic scientists have used Benford’s Law to detect erroneous data in accounting and legal usage. One well-known limitation is that Benford’s Law fails when data have clear minimum and maximum values. Many kinds of education data, including assessment scores, typically include hard maximums and therefore do not meet the parametric assumptions of Benford’s Law. This paper implements a transformation procedure which allows for assessment data to be compared to Benford’s Law. As a case study, a data quality assessment of oral language scores from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten (ECLS-K) study is used and higher risk data segments detected. The same method could be used to evaluate other concerns, such as test fraud, or other bounded datasets.

@article{, AUTHOR = { McCarville, Daniel}, TITLE = {A data transformation process for using Benford's Law with bounded data [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review] }, JOURNAL = {Emerald Open Research}, VOLUME = {3}, YEAR = {2021}, NUMBER = {29}, DOI = {10.35241/emeraldopenres.14374.1} }

Reference Type: Preprint

Subject Area(s): Social Sciences, Statistics