Lies lies and damned statistics!

As I read the recent report that sledge sales had increased by 600% I was reminded again just how dangerous statistics can be for the inexperienced.  You see, when I read stats like that my mind instantly fills with questions like:

Over what period
In comparison with which period
Are measurements like-for-like (before and after)

Maybe I’m unusual – stats do represent a big chunk of my work after all, but lets’ face it, we all discredit statistics on a daily basis because they raise questions in our own minds.

Image

You could say that it makes no difference, it’s a big positive figure that is useful PR, however, sometimes those big positive figures can do as much damage as good, particularly to a reputation.

The reality is that the 600% increase in sledge sales reported was in comparison with the previous month when we were experiencing milder than average temperatures with no snow on the horizon – hardly surprising then.

Consumers and business associates are canny, they see through nonsense statistics and quite frankly, the damned lies.

DIY research is often the birthplace of these kinds of stats because they aren’t sense checked through experience, understanding and in context.  It’s the human element that has been largely underestimated in the drive towards Big Data and maximising customer, that is actually one of the most important.

Lisa Holt

3 words

What 3 words would you use to describe 2020 so far?  Here’s a few for starters … Unprecedented?  Challenging?  Chaotic?  Scary? Dystopian? Exciting? Uncertain? Tumultuous? Mindful?  Life-changing? Anxious?  The reality… Read more »

When a little insight can be just enough….

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, commissioning an insight project typically meant embarking on a long and often pretty expensive journey.  Projects routinely ran for 8+ weeks… Read more »

Coronavirus: leisure, tourism & events

Along with the rest of the UK (and many populations around the world) we’ve spent many weeks now at home under lockdown. However, with the weather warming up, people are… Read more »

Data isn’t insight alone

The marketing stream at this years’ AEO Forums included a brilliant session from Ben Smithwell from Comotion. Ben’s session titled ‘Demystifying Customer Insight for Marketing Professionals’ highlighted, that data alone… Read more »

Focus

Persona definition the aspect of someone’s character that is presented to or perceived by others Today, the more widely used definition of persona is a tool for understanding audience behaviours,… Read more »

Testing times

It’s safe to say everyone is feeling the effects of or worrying about the economic downturn resulting from the spread of Coronavirus. We hope that our friends, family and clients… Read more »

Our Clients

We have extensive experience working across a wide range of industry sectors for many leading brands.

Contact Details

Victory House
Chequers Road
Tharston
Norwich
NR15 2YA

t / +44 (0)844 800 9588

e / hello@zinginsights.com