The Secret Lies of Statistics

Don’t trust the numbers.

This is a very common advice that most people know but ignore. How many polls and ‘breakthroughs’ do you read or hear about? How many of that do you actually doubt or care enough to verify? Most probably the answer is a big ‘NONE’. This could either be because you’re too lazy to do so, do not have the time, or you just like to think that it is true.

One major industry that like to take advantage from the nature of statistics is the media. How many times have we heard that a religion is taking up the world? Or that people living close to a specific zone have more risk of dying with cancer?

It is the same thing as if one would pick a Peppa Pig with a claw machine and then state that it was the intentional prize. There are so random patterns that you can pick out when focusing on a particular zone that it does not make this a fact. There are far more variables that one has to consider. In fact you can get out the same statistics even from different zones. The problem however lies in the pleasure of people sharing shocking news. On top of that, the more shares these statistics get the more they are believed to be facts.

Accuracy mostly applies when statistics are generated for an organisation. It is of outmost importance to take all necessary variables into consideration when processing your data. Even analysing data by Country instead of City makes a huge difference. A population of one city is different than the other. Consequently extracting the average sale based on Country will return different result than the average based on City.

There is only one way on how you can avoid the lies, and that is by being as picky as you can when defining the framework or algorithms for your organisation. Make sure that the source data is correct, cleaned and verified. Also make sure that all required data is within reach and properly accessible. Persevere and refine your results so that at the end you will reveal the ultimate truth. Only at this stage can valid and effective decisions be taken to reach the goals of an organisation.

Your partners in Digital Transformation. Achieve a 360-degree view of your businesses through powerful insight for key strategic decisions.