Sunday, 8 February 2015

Numbers, statistics and Innumeracy

Innumeracy written by John Allen Paulos is an excellent book on the lack of number use in modern society. I recommend it.

More or Less is an excellent Radio program and podcast about statistics, again top of the list.

The updated Machan Consulting website, well it has even more and updated numbers and I think you might like that.

What do these three things have in common?

Not all problems or opportunities can be measured in numbers (accountants, please take a breath). But a lot of problems and discussions can be better informed and resolved more quickly with good numbers, well researched and founded. The book and radio program explain this well and with humour.

For the last few years the Machan website has been designed with graphics and numbers in a number of fields. For 2015 they have had a refresh. We look at:

  • Medical Devices
  • Nuclear Power
  • Medicines
  • Food
While you may not win all of your arguments by referring to our numbers, it may provide context or a significant leg up, either at work or in the bar.

For example did you know that in 2013 the top critical/major defect area in UK GMP Inspections was the investigation of anomalies, at 6.5% with Quality Management second at 5.5%. Investigation of anomalies-CAPA was third with 4.7%. And that the Investigation of anomalies was the top area for the fifth year in a row.

So if you were dropped blind into a new medicines site and wanted to audit, re-organise, challenge, or improve it where would you start?

Or, that Nuclear sites may experience unplanned events that can described as anomalies (level 1 on the International Nuclear Events Scale), incidents (levels 2 & 3 on the INES) or accidents (levels 4 to 7) depending on their severity and that there was only one event in the third quarter of 2014, which was classified at level 1 on the Scale.

In the Pub banter, work or planning your strategy, numbers give you context and direction. With some work they are almost always available. So for starters... what was the food linked to the most cases of UK food poisoning, with an estimated 244,000 cases every year? This one is easy, just click on Machan Consulting