4 thoughts on “Perfect Wrong Answer

  1. Jim Harris 9th January 2010 / 18:51

    Nice post Henrik,

    First, congratulations on remembering to always include Shakespeare in a blog. 🙂

    I definitely agree it is the shared understanding of the label attached to many business metrics that is the real data quality issue.

    I have seen this being the underlying cause of the confusion and contention surrounding the (often conflicting) answers to common business questions, such as:

    – How many customers do we have?
    – How many products did we sell?
    – How much revenue did we generate?

    And the list goes on and on…

    To paraphrase King Claudius:

    “Labels attached to great numbers must not unwatched go.”

    Best Regards,

    Jim

    • Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 10th January 2010 / 09:55

      Thanks for the comment Jim. Yet another great paraphrasing.

  2. Paul Boal 9th January 2010 / 22:37

    Similar situation here in St. Louis, MO.
    St. Louis City: 350,000
    St. Louis Metro: 2,800,000

    Early in its history, someone decided that there would be a fixed geographic boundary to the “city” of St. Louis. Now, the vast majority of the metro area is actually located outside that boundary and into two separate states (Missouri and Illinois).

    So, St. Louis City is not actually a very populous place. The metro region which includes more than a hundred independent municipalities, though, is among the top 20 in the U.S.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Louis,_Missouri

    • Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 10th January 2010 / 09:56

      Paul, thanks for the comment. I guess it is with state and nation borders like with organisational divisions in an enterprise that the historical reasons often counts more than current circumstances.

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