Those of you who regularly read this blog probably know that I’m skeptical of any of the statistics posted about who is #1 in LIMS, who has the greatest readership, which product is the most liked, and similar statistics.
Considering that many of the people who get their hands on numbers seem to think they can easily create meaningful statistics from them, it is no wonder that we hear so many contradictory claims.
Just now, I was looking at the raw numbers for my blog readership and noticed that the number of readers from the UK was five times higher than that of the US. If I had the urge to try to “make something” of those numbers, I could begin to make claims that my blog is five times more popular in the UK than the US. I could say that, being so well-read in the US, it was a shock to find that I’m yet five times more pored-over in the UK. I could start a new campaign in the UK to point-out that they should jump at the chance to immediately use my consulting services, as I’m obviously a household word there.
On the other hand, when I looked at my blog numbers, this morning, it was halfway through the work day for most people in the UK, while many in the US were just starting work. While I do not know this for a fact, I suspect the numbers were higher in the UK merely because more people had a chance to wake-up and read things. I could have made a huge blunder by making a lot of claims about these numbers, if I were the sort of person to do that.
Yet, these are the types of evaluations that are made on numbers in our industry on a daily basis. In some cases, by what people have told me, I know for a fact that they’ve jumped to wild conclusions about the raw numbers they have obtained. In other cases, merely by reading some of the claims, most of us can tell that they are rather silly claims. Yet, the people making them continue because, if they can convince just a single person with their claims, they can obtain a new customer. They’re getting results and they’re happy, so they’re not going to change what they’re doing to please the rest of us.
My own customers express frustration about this and ask me what they can do to get around these confusing numbers. I always tell them to just ignore every number they see. If they’re interested in a product or service, I tell them they should go look at it, talk to someone, do a little digging to find out the details behind it, but don’t read any marketing promotion without a grain of salt.
Or, if you do want to read some promotional material to believe, here it is: GeoMetrick Enterprises is #1 in LIMS. We’re the best at everything, doing 100% only what 10 out of every 10 customers needs. We believe so strongly in this that we give a total guarantee that we’re just so great that 15 out of 15 randomly-selected of our customers is almost certainly smiling right at this very moment. 😉