Scary statistics

posted by Scott McKenzie

I had a great conversation with my friend Jason last night about how we communicators are rubbish with numbers.

We seem to be scared of numbers. Which I think is fine when you look at genuinely scary numbers like the headline in yesterday’s Daily Express. Or the fact that nearly 1 million people voted for the British National Party at the recent Eurpoean elections here in the UK.

But generally we’re talking about numbers related to budget, or return on investment, or employee engagement. All of which we should have a keen interest in, shouldn’t we? These numbers are key to us being able to do our jobs properly.

My theory is that a lot of communicators are arts or humanities students (like me) who have tried to avoid using a calculator since GCSE maths.

This has to change. As a discipline we need to demonstrate the business impact of what we do. We need to become more numerate.

Or we’re in danger of become another scary statistic.

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