Stats Are B.S. 9 out of 10 Times.

Nowadays, every company and organization within a company has an agenda of some sort and has taken to throwing out statistics, all in an effort to convince naive people into embracing that agenda. Rarely are the statistics meaningful in a holistic sense. Rather they are meant to bolster an opinion that has no real depth or substance.  Indeed, it more dangerous than the “gut feel” information ethnographers are accused of practicing (by people lacking real knowledge of ethnography).  Why? Because they are absolutes grounded in a singular worldview – they lack any collaborative checks and balances.

The truth be told, statistics are absolutely worthless when it comes to proving anything at all. Statistics are only as good as the method used to come by them, and the way they are presented.  And they are only as good as the minds that construct and apply them.  When numbers are involved, arrogance becomes more dangerous because it holds a weapon the uninformed tend to fear.  In other words, stats are often more about the person talking than anything meaningful.

So the next time someone throws statistics at you, keep an open mind. You do not want to become a victim of misinformation by statistics.

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Published by gavinjohnston67

Take an ex-chef who’s now a full-fledge anthropologist and set him free to conduct qualitative research, ethnography, brand positioning, strategy and sociolinguistics studies and you have Gavin. He is committed to understand design and business problems by looking at them through an anthropological lens. He believes deeply in turning research findings into actionable results that provide solid business strategies and design ideas. It's not an insight until you do something with it. With over 18 years of experience in strategy, research, and communications, he has done research worldwide for a diverse set of clients within retail, legal, banking, automotive, telecommunications, health care and consumer products industries.

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