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FiveThirtyEight Searches for America’s Best Burrito

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FiveThirtyEight is using data and analytics to find America’s best burrito. They’re launching a national “Burrito Bracket” consisted of 64 restaurants from across the country. Restaurants were carefully selected based on metrics using data from Yelp. They’ve formed a committee of burrito experts and hired award-winning journalist, Anna Maria Barry-Jester to sample and document her experiences while visiting each burrito establishment.

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Excerpt from the article:

The Yelp data was the starting point for FiveThirtyEight’s Burrito Bracket, which will officially launch early next week and whose solemn (but not sole) mission is to find America’s best burrito. There are three major phases in the project, each of which I’ve already hinted at:

Step 1: Data mining. Analyze the Yelp data to create an overall rating called Value Over Replacement Burrito (VORB) and provide guidance for the next stages of the project. (This step is already done, and I’ll be describing the process in some detail in this article.)
Step 2: Burrito Selection Committee. Convene a group of burrito experts from around the country, who will use the VORB scores and other resources to scout for the nation’s best burritos and vote the most promising candidates into a 64-restaurant bracket — 16 contenders in each of four regions: California, West, South and Northeast. (The committee has already met, and we’ll reveal the 64 entrants in a series of articles later this week and this weekend.)
Step 3: Taste test. Have Anna visit each of the 64 competitors, eat their burritos, rate and document her experiences, and eventually choose one winner in a multi-round tournament. (Anna will be posting her first reviews early next week. She’s worked as a documentary photographer and multimedia journalist, and as a producer at ABC News and Univision, where she’s spent years reporting on Hispanic-American culture.1)

The full article can be found here.

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