Dismiss Notice
We're bringing our Belgian Beer Fest back to Boston June 22nd & 23rd!

Learn More

Site New BA Score, Histograms & More Updates (Part Two)

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by Todd, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,456) Aug 23, 1996 California

    On September 19th we made some significant updates to the rating system. I won't rehash the thread, but rather let you know that @Mike and I purposely refrained from replying to allow everyone to provide their uninterrupted feedback and discussions amongst other users.

    Your Feedback Was Heard
    After a follow-up call this morning, Mike and I have applied the following updates:

    BA Score
    It's now simply the beer, brewer, or place's 1-5 average across all ratings. No points, percentiles, or letter grades. Just the raw average, like it was back in the old-school BA days.

    A BA Score (average) is given to anything with more than one rating to provide more data, however, the threshold and algorithm for our top lists remains unchanged.

    Liked Is Gone
    As is any redundant data under beer or place stats except for the number of ratings that appears under the BA Score for quick reference. It's much cleaner now.

    As for the percentage of users who rated the item with a 3.75 or higher, we realized that that was basically us still trying to force a threshold of what's good. Instead, we're going to present the raw data, tell a more complete story, and allow you to decide if a beer or place is something that you might like or not.

    Have been added to all beer and place pages. You can now geek out over the rating distribution for the dataset and get a much better overview of where ratings land and your rating lands in comparison. It's something we've always wanted to do, and your feedback pushed us to do it now. Big props for Mike for banging this out like a ninja! They're not perfect, and we'll be working on improving them.

    That's it for now, and you can learn more about our ratings here: https://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/beeradvocate-ratings-explained.184726/

    Thanks again to everyone who gave us their constructive feedback to work with. Seriously. You're all awesome. And we hope that you're as stoked as we are about these updates.

  2. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,251) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Thanks for listening to the feedback and taking it into account! Definitely like the changes made and the histogram is really interesting. Looking forward to perusing through this more later.
  3. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (4,735) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Upon quick review, this is much better, thanks for listening to the feedback!
  4. cjgiant

    cjgiant Poo-Bah (3,819) Jul 13, 2013 District of Columbia
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Niice!! There's more slicing and dicing for individuals that I would like, but that's a different thread. I didn't mind the %age, but I also like this update and will thoroughly geek out on the histograms at some point, I am sure.
    Mike and Todd like this.
  5. tzieser

    tzieser Champion (899) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I definitely prefer this update over the last one. Good stuff. Hopefully there will be a feature to expand/minimize the histogram for better page viewing.
    NickSMpls, Mike, wes008 and 3 others like this.
  6. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (1,940) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I'll join the chorus: this is a lot more useful. Cheers!
    Lucular, Mike, tzieser and 2 others like this.
  7. ovaltine

    ovaltine Poo-Bah (1,906) Apr 6, 2010 Indiana
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I will admit, I got wood - on a plane - when I saw the "Beer Stats" portion (especially the ranking) and the histogram.
    HopsAreDaMan, Mike and Todd like this.
  8. wes008

    wes008 Initiate (126) Mar 1, 2017 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I appreciate the score change! The weighted out of 100 score that was originally in place was slightly misleading, and the percentage score of recent times was also not a good metric, since that percentage did not indicate a beer's overall ranking (A beer that had 4s across the board could earn a 100%, while a beer that had lots of 5s but a few bad scores would slip out of that tier).
    Todd and Mike like this.
  9. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Site Editor (6,711) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Thanks for listening to the feedback and I'm quite pleased with the changes/additions (so far)... Only small piece of feedback is that I would love to see the histogram be a bit smaller/not take up as much screen real estate with the ability to open it larger in a popup/new window for more detail.
    cjgiant, Lucular, SLeffler27 and 11 others like this.
  10. Lone_Freighter

    Lone_Freighter Poo-Bah (5,382) Jun 4, 2017 Vermont

    Oh wow! Those histograms! Wow and a half! My mouth has dropped to the floor on this! I'm not even sure by saying "fantastic job" would be deserving enough. That is some fine work there at the Bros and Mike. :beers:
    Lucular, meefmoff, VABA and 4 others like this.
  11. cryptichead

    cryptichead Champion (848) Jul 3, 2014 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Really appreciate Beer Advocate asking, listening, and following through on our feedback! You guys make us feel like real stakeholders in the site.

    These are great changes! Looking forward to more data-centric updates with 4.0!
    Lucular, Ranbot, meefmoff and 7 others like this.
  12. bobhits

    bobhits Meyvn (1,168) Oct 31, 2006 Kentucky

    Can I just say I love and I mean LOVE the histogram. It is perfect for giving a user a feeling about a beer, and even better instantly lets you know if it is a polarizing beer that you may love or hate. I'll have to check out some beers and get a better feel, but the overall changes are outstanding.

    I tend to be neutral or somewhat negative on the rating changes. I think you've gotten a few changes right and a few were rather well not so great (the 3.75), but I think you've really done a great job here.

    So thank you from all of us BA's. I'm sure there's room to improve and I'm sure there might be a step back before a step forward, but I think this is a big win for the community.
    Mikexw, Todd, Mike and 1 other person like this.
  13. Phoodcritic

    Phoodcritic Devotee (407) Jul 3, 2014 Michigan

    I like the revisions and the histograms! I'd just like to clarify: the values displayed in the histograms are the low ends of each bar's range, not the midpoint, right? In other words, the bar representing a score of 4, for example, is the count of scores for the range 4.0 to 4.24 and not 3.875 to 4.125. It's more common to use midpoints in histograms, I believe.
    Todd, FBarber and Mike like this.
  14. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor Poo-Bah (1,584) Mar 7, 2013 Quebec (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Good work guys, it is looking pretty slick from what I've looked at so far.
    VABA, Todd, Mike and 1 other person like this.
  15. johnInLA

    johnInLA Crusader (743) Jun 12, 2005 California
    Premium Member

    Wow! Much Better! :slight_smile:
    Lone_Freighter, Todd and Mike like this.
  16. Sheppard

    Sheppard Champion (872) Mar 16, 2013 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    The Histograms are really cool to look at and examine.
    woodchipper, Mike, Todd and 2 others like this.
  17. impending

    impending Meyvn (1,096) Mar 12, 2010 California

    the histogram told me in a split second 12 people rated Westvleteren 12 a 1
    so I had to know and now I do
    15 people rated Rochefort 10 a 1
  18. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (5,640) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Constant changing and evolving. To me, that's a sign of a thriving community. Keep it up!
    meefmoff, Mike and Todd like this.
  19. guzzleacoldone

    guzzleacoldone Disciple (322) Feb 3, 2007 Ohio

    Bravo, I was liking the percentage of users who rated 3.75 or higher but can understand why it's now gone.

    Love the histogram.

    Well done.
    Mike, Todd and Lone_Freighter like this.
  20. Zorro

    Zorro Poo-Bah (4,222) Dec 25, 2003 California

    The Histograms are the best new feature.
    Lucular, Mike, Sheppard and 1 other person like this.
  21. The-Adjunct-Hippie

    The-Adjunct-Hippie Poo-Bah (2,830) May 12, 2014 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    I like this much better.
  22. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (297) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico
    Beer Trader

    I love the histogram. Thanks for listening. And for the %BA liked going away.

    However, I still found the __/100 more useful than a straight BA score, which doesnt seem to account for review #s. When looking at ranking lists, there is some weighted numbers and rankings involved. But a straight shot BA score is kind of taking it too far back in time.

    What I mean by that is, on the rankings page, a 4.4 low reviewed IPA may come in at 99 out of 100. Meanwhile a IPA with 10 times the amount of ratings at say 4.23 is ranked higher. The Beer Ranking # on the beer page does account for this in some way. But what exactly does Beer rank #850 mean in comparison to #1,100.

    I know there's a top 100 beer list by style. But I would love to see the Beer ranking expanded a bit on the beer profile page. What does #800 mean? Is it out of 801 beers? Or 10,000? And is it an overall beer rank, or one by style? It would be awesome to see what some of these beers rank.

    For the beers beyond the top 100, a 4.20 rated IPA with 10 ratings may be perceived the same as a 4.20 rated IPA with 250 ratings. Yet with the old system, the 250 ratings IPA would be 1-2 points higher (out of the 30-100 scale). I loved the weight you guys added to ratings #s for the overall score. I guess I just never really saw any flaws in that.

    Basically I loved the old system, if we could just get a histogram in place.
  23. Jeffo

    Jeffo Poo-Bah (2,738) Sep 7, 2008 Netherlands

    Looks good, guys. Thanks for putting in the hard work!

    Mike and Todd like this.
  24. meanmutt

    meanmutt Meyvn (1,001) Feb 6, 2012 Ohio
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I love this!

    Never understood the need to convert a 4.5 rating into a 95 (or whatever the equivalent rating would be).

    The histograms are cool too!
    Mike and Todd like this.
  25. jvgoor3786

    jvgoor3786 Meyvn (1,451) May 28, 2015 Arkansas
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    This is great. I always tended to just look at the average score and number of ratings anyway, so this is perfect for me.
    Lucular, Mike, thebeers and 1 other person like this.
  26. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Meyvn (1,366) Aug 17, 2013 Germany
    Beer Trader

    THIS is fantastic. Simple, and the data is nicely displayed. Great job!
  27. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (297) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico
    Beer Trader

    I liked the 4.5 into 95 type conversion because they did the leg work for us (they still do for the beer rankings list. But for those beyond the top 100 or 250, its a touch trickier). I think it quickly tried to show you a beers total piece of work. But it also had flaws with lower rated beer styles.

    One example.

    4.34 beer with 1333 ratings. It converted into a 96 beer. Your 4.37 beer with just 300 ratings converted to a 94. And a 4.32 beer with 1500 ratings would also convert to a 94.
    One could argue that with the new system the lower # of ratings 94 beer is now perceived as the better example if one only looks at the ba score (4.37 vs 4.32), which most tend to do.

    They do list the total # below the ba score so we can judge it ourselves now. But I definitely liked how they placed both of the 94 beers on equal footing because of the # of ratings on one vs. the other. That was the greatest attribute of the 4.5 into 95 conversion that they used to do for us.

    The top 100 list is cool to see. One that stands out is #99 out of 100 for IPAs. 4.41 with just 91 ratings. It's sitting among the 4.23 to 4.30 beers because of its low rating total. But other than that top list, its hard to compare what a 4.41 means in the scheme of things. Thats when the beer ranking list has some play. But the # out of # needs to be there imho.

    I will say that for some styles, a top rated product may only be a 91 or 92 so there could have been some confusion. I remember some arguing that each beer style should be graded on its own scale aka a top rated 92 should be perceived as a 100.

    But now it's up to us to decide what we do with the numbers. I can live with that.

    Btw seeing the place histograms really brings it all into perspective. I love this new addition.

    Sorry for the ramble. I do appreciate the efforts to improve.
    #27 Oktoberfiesta, Sep 30, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
    DonicBoom, TongoRad, FBarber and 3 others like this.
  28. meanmutt

    meanmutt Meyvn (1,001) Feb 6, 2012 Ohio
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I appreciate the examples you gave to express your opinion. I'm just not that much of a stickler for the exact numbers I guess.
  29. Tripel_Threat

    Tripel_Threat Poo-Bah (1,951) Jun 29, 2014 Michigan
    Premium Member

    Thanks for the updates! I love logging in and finding new toys to play with, especially the larger font, 1-5 based BA score and histogram. It's so much more info and still keeps a beer profile clean looking.

    For features down the road, I would suggest being able to choose which view someone sees by default for a brewer's lineup (I prefer the list to table myself), and maybe a toggle on the histogram that shows the avg score per month since a beer was added to the site. I'd be curious to see how people's perception of a beer changes (or not) over time.

    cryptichead and Mike like this.
  30. Mike

    Mike Senior Web Developer (751) Nov 17, 2010 New Hampshire
    Staff Beer Trader

    @Todd and I have plans to provide some stats "over time." I cannot speculate on when it will be available. It is something we are working on though.
  31. Jacobier10

    Jacobier10 Poo-Bah (1,821) Feb 23, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Member

    Great update and thanks for listening to the feedback. I wasn't feeling the % liked but always appreciate the attempt to keep things new and fresh. The histograms are an awesome visual feature and I suspect they will only improve over time. I still liked the Average, World Class, etc. designations but can understand why they're gone. Love this update overall though.
    Todd and Mike like this.
  32. GetTheYayo

    GetTheYayo Devotee (458) Aug 26, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I miss the old system already.
    tmac likes this.
  33. dzan

    dzan Initiate (119) Aug 13, 2017 California
    Beer Trader

    Personally I like the score out of 100 the best still.
    Much easier to look at a beer and instantaneous tell how good the beer is based on everyones ranking. I'd still keep the fraction out of 5, but whole numbers are just easier.

    With that being said, what does a 4.79 beer equate to out of 100? Just double it right. Ok, so how long will it take the average person to quickly do this simple math. 4 seconds? 6 seconds? Longer? Just to find out that the beer is 95.8%. Keeping the 4.79/5 rating is perfectly fine. But why not add back in the number out of 100 for split second knowledge.

    Removing the numbers out of 100 with the titles so people could give it their own ranking wasn't handled properly in my opinion. If everyone rates a beer world class with a 98, I still have my judgment to say that beer is only outstanding with a rating of 91. Or just average at 78. Having the titles to influence peoples decision is the same with showing a beer is 4.79/5. If they rank it 4.2, they still see that everyone else ranked higher than them.

    I would also strongly be in favor of adding the titles again.
    Possibly create a poll on how the community wants this to be such as...

    100-97 World Class
    96-93 Superior
    93-90 Premier
    89-85 Outstanding
    84-80 Very Good
    79-75 Average
    and so on.

    Its just easier to look up a beer and see its a 94 rather than a 4.7/5.

    Just like everyone else, I love the histogram. But please consider adding back the ranking out of 100 with the titles. I don't think they alter peoples judgment when they rank beers as most people here have strong opinions.
    tmac likes this.
  34. Lone_Freighter

    Lone_Freighter Poo-Bah (5,382) Jun 4, 2017 Vermont

    My hat goes off to you for your fine work! This is cutting edge, dude! Keep on keeping on!
    VABA, Lucular, FBarber and 1 other person like this.
  35. DonicBoom

    DonicBoom Initiate (134) Mar 26, 2015 Virginia

    Regardless of the original intent, it became a useful point of reference for folks used to seeing professional wine ratings that were almost universally up to 100. Those ratings started with giving every wine 50 points simply for existing, leading to complications for a scale up to 100 that starts very differently...

    That's not how the site's old scores out of 100 were ever calculated. For multiple reasons, the old scores resulted in a significant number of beers rated in the high 90s (or 100). With the simpler conversion you demonstrated, that would practically never be the case for any beer with a significant number of ratings.

    With your 4.79 example, only the top 2 on the BA list of top rated beers have that average or higher. So the #2 ranked beer on the site would yield a rating under 96. What's the point of the scale going up to 100 if the highest points never get used? More importantly, a beverage that would clearly deserve a 100 in the scale drinkers are more exposed to (wine) would "only" be in the mid-90s. Casual browsers both of this site and of shelf talkers would tend to wrongly assume the 4.79/95.8 beer is rated outstanding but not among the true best.

    It's appropriate to either 1) have the current system that displays no score out of 100 or 2) use something like the old algorithm that made full use of all 100 points.
    drtth likes this.
  36. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,456) Aug 23, 1996 California

    No. If you're trying to recreate the old score, it wasn't that easy.
    The old score was 30-100, and it was an arbitrary and proprietary algorithm that pitted the beer against all other beers.

    Anyway. We won't be going backwards to a "100 point" system with titles (levels of good and bad) for ranges. Our intentions are clearly moving away from this.
    Mikexw, Lucular, drtth and 5 others like this.
  37. johnInLA

    johnInLA Crusader (743) Jun 12, 2005 California
    Premium Member

    Honestly, this not only the best system I've seen on BA, but the best I've seen online, period.

    No manipulation of the data, no attempts to skew the data, no attempts influence the ratings, no attempts to interpret the data for us, just the raw data. Which in my opinion, speaks for itself. This system allows me to see easily see where I stand verses my fellow BA's, as well as, understand where BA's are on a beer I haven't tried. This system is clear and unambiguous.

    This is the type of innovation that has kept many of us loyal to this site for decades.

    Side note: The histogram is great.

    "Well done" to the BA team that made this happen.
    DEdesings57, Sabtos, Lucular and 2 others like this.
  38. teromous

    teromous Poo-Bah (1,531) Mar 21, 2010 Virginia

    The histogram is a welcome addition. I am especially fond of the fact that mousing over a bar will give specific "count" data for the score.
    johnInLA, Mike and Todd like this.
  39. dzan

    dzan Initiate (119) Aug 13, 2017 California
    Beer Trader

    I'm sorry I could have been more clear with my example. I am aware the old number wasn't calculated that easy but now that each beer is out of 5, why not just double it and make it out of 100.

    Basically when I look at a beer now, I see 4.79/5 on the beers page. I read that beer as being an 95.8 out of 100. I didn't mean to say thats how the old way was calculated but if beers are only going to be x/5, it just makes sense to me to have it read 95.8 as well as 4.79/5.

    Then the community may be able to give input on the titles of world class etc.

    Again, this is just my opinion. I prefer to see a beer out of 100 in any way BA thinks best. As of now, KBBS is 4.83/5 = 96.6%. Maybe take this rating and have it be the start of grades on a curve. Anything over lets say 94% will get a 100 and so on.
  40. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,456) Aug 23, 1996 California

    I hate to beat a dead horse, but I think we've made it very clear that we're moving away from this.
    FBarber likes this.