Friday, May 10, 2013

The 3,000+ Year Old Analytics

Numbers. No way around it, lots and lots of numbers. Analytics have finally come to roost, but they were in fashion 3,000 years ago or so.
numbers torah

Want to know how many people to feed for a dinner? At sea? You need numbers.
Try to understand the latest viral video? You need to count very high numbers.
Why are numbers so important?

This week's parsha speaks about the numbers of people in each tribe, in each family and more. The quantity in this case is to prove a sizable nation was roaming the desert. When it would be time to settle the new country, the size of the tribe would make a difference obviously, but what else could we be learning from these numbers?

The numbers are not specific down to the last one, but rounded to a flat 10 or 100 or 1,000. In a similar way to how we would portray the details in an infographic. While the details are not perfect, the overall point is made, the numbers do not lie, in this case. 

In business, make your case with real data, but use general points of reference because that is how the people think. Aside from Pi, what other numbers come to mind that include parts of a number or even come as a 23,549 type answer?

Pricing gurus have known for years that a price of $.99 is better to say than $1.00 because it is about your purchasing dollars. However we also know memory works better with numbers they recognize and can relate to or are linear.

Next time you are doing a presentation or creating an infographic, keep in mind what you want people to remember about your numbers and you will go far.

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Parsha Bamidbar in the book of Bamidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20 It is said that the Torah or Bible could be interpreted in over 70 ways. More likely these days 100's of ways. In light of this idea, I am writing some posts that bring a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom