May 23, 2007
Even in Radio Advertising, Statistics Skills are Vital
Stephen Baker had a great post yesterday titled - Necessary skills: typing, statistics -.
"...as more and more of our lives are interpreted through our data, our futures will be fed back to us as statistics. If we misunderstand those, we'll get played even more than we are today."
We rely on statistical concepts in radio advertising, typically inferential statistics, because we're constantly testing - it's part of the ongoing process of dialing in on what works and what doesn't for each and every campaign. If we don't apply statistical knowledge, we're likely to make errors in data gathering and/or data analysis and/or decisions based on the analysis.
Mr. Baker makes the case that statistics is a vital skill in all areas of life. And he makes the case well.
"...if you fundamentally misunderstand statistics and math, you plow along through life and perhaps never learn. You just make bad decisions, whether it's blowing savings on the state lottery or misreading actuarial statistics and buying an outsized life insurance package."
To this list, I'd add that you take at face value a lot of the "evidence" that drug companies and politicians - to name just a couple off of the top of my head - use to further their personal ends. And this "evidence" is often spun, incomplete or completely wrong. A knowledge of statistics, if nothing else, teaches us what questions to ask to know whether it's even possible to make conclusion Y based on information A, B and C.
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