Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

This well-known saying is part of a phrase attributed to Benjamin Disraeli and popularized in the U.S. by Mark Twain: There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. The semi-ironic statement refers to the persuasive power of numbers, and succinctly describes how even accurate statistics can be used to bolster inaccurate arguments. (From Wikipedia)

So here I stand before you with the results of my survey. A resounding beating of the accountants by the techies by 17:2. (No Pareto Principle here.)

So do these statistics mean that I should abandon my accounting blog with a technical undertone? Absolutely not, because the statistics lie. I received a number of e-mails from the respondents who state that the accounting view is what makes this blog different from most other technical blogs. So, on that note I will continue as is, unabated by the statistics.

Thanks to all those who took the survey and took the time to contact me directly, really appreciate it. I leave you with this parting comic strip from Dilbert. What a classic!


- Paul Steynberg

2 comments:

Nat Van Gulck said...

"[...] I received a number of e-mails from the respondents who state that the accounting view is what makes this blog different from most other technical blogs."

How many e-mails? ;)

Paul Steynberg said...

Well, that depends on who's asking? Just kidding, I received 3 comments from technical people (yourself included) and 4 e-mails directly. Add this to the 2 accountants=9 which is around bang in the middle. Now adjust the curve for external factors such as wind/rain/temp and you can see where my conclusion came from.