Nate Silver is the Kurt Cobain of statistics. Wait, bear with me! On Election Night 2008, Nate Silver went from just another political prognosticator – albeit one whose blog, Fivethirtyeight, was drawing million of page views a week – to a rock star. Many other analysts had, like Silver, predicted a big win for Obama; but Silver’s data-driven system had correctly called every state but Indiana, and had gotten all the Senate races right to boot.
Taking the analogy further--both Cobain and Silver were devoted to cultural practices that had previously been confined to a small, inward-looking cadre of true believers (for Silver, quantitative forecasting of sports and politics, for Cobain, punk rock.) And both proved that if you carried the practice out in public, with an approachable style but without compromising the source material, you could make it massively popular. (I think Fangraphs.com is Stone Temple Pilots in this analogy, but perhaps this goes too far.)