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Operational Research

PIN Analysis – a blog post by Data Genetics

I was fascinated to read this blog post by Data Genetics which analyses the most and least frequently used PIN numbers.  It’s a brilliant example of the insights that can be achieved by using the right techniques to analyse large quantities of data.

There are 10,000 possible combinations with which the digits 0-9 can be arranged to form a 4-digit pin code. Out of these ten thousand codes, the blog goes on to answer these questions (among others):

  • Which of the pin codes is the least predictable?
  • Which of the pin codes is the most predictable?
  • What triggers do people use to create and remember their PIN codes?

The conclusions are based on the analysis of millions of leaked PIN codes and, surprise, surprise, 1234 is the most popular PIN code! 11% of 3.4 million codes examined were 1234.  The least used was 8068, although now, presumably, lots of people will change their PINs to that number!

I won’t reveal all the other insights in the article, but it’s well worth reading to find out how predictable some PINs are and the patterns that emerge when large quantities of data are examined.

Read it here.




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