It is actually quite baffling to see how many people feel uncomfortable with using data – or bluntly put, how many say they “hate” maths. Truth be told, some really do have a poor level in calculus, including the calculation of basic percentages.
It is a shame – and it doesn’t have to be that way. There are truly, very few principles to feel at ease with in order to critically analyse whether a product is producing the required return of investment, or calculate the year-on-year growth rate in the number of paying customers.
In some cases, as you will also discover in our workshops, not reading fairly simple data correctly can lead to disastrous, life-or-death scenarios.
The low temperatures on the launch day of the Challenger space shuttle were unusual: some engineers cautioned against the launch – but failed to convince the decision makers of the vital requirement not to launch. Reading and interpreting data correctly, drawing clear-cut conclusions, would have prevented this tragic accident.