October 20, 2020
Today is World Statistics Day 2020. The theme this year is “connecting the world with data we can trust.”
With the coronavirus pandemic, and the forthcoming presidential election in the United States, it seems like everyone in the world is more interested in statistics than ever. By and large, that’s a great thing — and a change from the not so distant past. It wasn’t so long ago that we were all too poorly-informed about the statistics that govern, drive, influence and affect our lives. This includes the efforts of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and all the other national statistics offices and not-for-profit organizations who work to further the cause of reliable data.
Here’s the thing, though: it seems to me that everyone always was interested in data. We just had less of it exposed to us, and – for obvious reasons – it was presented in a way which diminished the statistical basis. What is a weather forecast, except a set of probability models based on input parameters of barometric pressure and prevailing wind speed? It’s a long-standing trope of amateur (meaning: not very funny) comedians to bemoan the accuracy of weather forecasts – which itself reveals a cognitive bias which statisticians can easily debunk.
Keen runners have always kept statistics about their 5k pace, and their marathon PB. But with improved technology, even beginners are able to see whether their splits are negative or positive, and correlate performance with sleep data captured on their smartwatch. As a keen soccer fan, I remember when the only stats were goals scored – but now we have touches, and intercepts, and pass completion ratio. The game is richer because of it, and the viewer experience more fulfilling.
In the corporate world, statistics on performance have long been kept, and for public companies, published. The world can see if a public company is profitable – woe betide those who promise performance in plenary and are deficient in delivery.
As well as in other areas of life, statistics help you do your job. If you’re a pricing professional, you’ll want good information to use as inputs for decisions about pricing structure and policy – the macro decisions that fall to a center-led team. If you’re a seller and you need to arrive at selling prices that will secure the order, price optimization intelligence helps secure the highest prices (driving the highest commissions) while remaining in the sweet spot of win rate. You’ll want to be able to click into these recommendations and understand the how that drives the what, before making a decision.
Getting back to the theme of the day “connecting the world with the data we can trust.” Inside a commercial organization, it’s critical to have a high level of trust in the data on which decisions are made – that much is clear. At Vendavo, that’s long been the north star of our approach. Our software empowers users to make good decisions by entirely exposing the truth to users – the confidence scores, the residual variation, the underlying data. We even provide a mechanism for power users to modify the Euclidian distance in the models.
On World Statistics Day, we think that’s a positive differentiator and we’re delighted to brag about it on today of all days. For more on how data and the proactive steps that are taken as a result will bring your business benefit, join any of our Commercial Excellence Month virtual sessions.