Posted by: A. C. Cockerill | May 19, 2020

Techie Corner – 2020 – Post #3 – Truth in Statistics

Techie Corner – 2020 – Post #3 – Truth in Statistics

What is the first thing to check for when examining someone else’s statistics?

My two cents, but please share yours:

The first thing to check for is whether you’ve been given a complete set or a partial set of statistics.

Results often come in two pieces, a total number and a corresponding percentage. If one piece is missing, the situation may look far worse than it actually is.

For example, a 100% increase in cases for a disease sounds horrible, until you learn the total number of cases has risen from one out of a trillion to two out of a trillion. Here, the percentage was given, but the total was initially omitted.

Those interested in truth will give you all the pieces. Those who give partial statistics may have a hidden agenda.

What are your thoughts on this subject?


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