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Can you use something like the Pareto Principle to predict expected frequency from frequency ranking?

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First off, minus ten points for having your relative listening frequencies not in alphabetical order.

Secondly, if you are doing a survey then you should be able to observe the actual relative frequency, rather than relying on a law. You could do a hypothesis test to answer a question like “Given the numbers I have observed, do I believe that relative frequency follows Zipf’s law?”  As the survey responses increases, your confidence in this answer will increase. With enough survey responses, you could just use the data as is, and not rely on any distribution assumptions at all.

Thirdly, I work as an actuary, and I dislike the Pareto Principal with my very soul. Usually because we build models that rely on data and sophisticated analysis, and then somebody that works in IT will be like “but if we just apply the 80/20 rule we get a much different answer.” But I digress.

Finally, I would say that if you have no data to work from, and no evidence to the contrary, then the Pareto Principle is probably as good a place as any to start from. Simplified analysis is better than none. However, once you have data to work with, see paragraph #2.

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