The Data Analytics of Leap Year

February 29, 2012
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Leap Year Infographic photo (data analytics)

Leap Year Infographic photo (data analytics)

Today is Leap Day, which only happens every four years. This extra day has the ultimate purpose of keeping the calendar aligned with Earth’s revolutions around the sun. If we were to skip Leap Year, we’d lose six hours off our calendar each year, according to TimeandDate.com.

So, in celebration of saving time, we’re bringing you the data analytics of Leap Year.

Does Leap Year Make a Business Difference?

According to most sources, not really, unless you’re looking at it in the short term. For instance, Matthew Yglesias, a business and economics correspondent for Slate Magazine, discussed the economic impact of the extra day. He writes, “Anyone who’s subjected to monthly performance metrics of any kind will do a bit better than he would in a normal February.”

However, if you look at the impact on the average person – renters get a “free” day and anyone with parking or public transportation permits gets a “free pass.” But it’s also an extra day of fuel and utilities consumption, and eating.

While it doesn’t affect bigger businesses much, for a small business like Richard Dux’s Chicago Subway franchise, it means “about 90 more working hours and an additional $70 in utilities,” according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.

But Dux agrees with University of Chicago economics professor Sebastien Gay, in that “losses can be made up next month.”

Leap Year Birthdays – When to Celebrate?

Your chances of being born on February 29 are about 1 in 1,461 and about 4 million-5 million people around the world only celebrate their birthdays every four years.

The day can cause problems for people with the 2/29 birthday because many online systems don’t recognize it.

Most “leaplings” choose to celebrate on either February 28 or March 1. However, many states make them wait until March 1 to be considered “legal” to purchase alcohol or tobacco or to obtain drivers’ licenses.

Role Reversal

In Ireland, today is considered a permissible day for women to propose to men because of a deal St. Bridget made with St. Patrick “to bring some balance to the traditional roles of men and women.”

In some other European countries, if a man refuses a lass’ proposal, he must award the “jilted woman” a meal, a gift or “buy her a dozen gloves to cover up her ringless fingers,” according to an article from the Toronto Star.

Oh yeah, don’t get married in Greece today. It’s considered unlucky.

Next Steps: Tweet us if you have a Leap Day birthday. Also let us know what six hours less per year would mean to your business and subscribe to our blog for more on data analytics.