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Hans Rosling on beauty of statistics

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(I came across this a couple of months back and moving my blog I discovered it sitting in draft! Well worth posting even if this late.)

Hans Rosling’s talks about numbers at the OECD World Forum in Istanbul. He is an amazing speaker, so the video is well worth watching.

Those who know me know that I am no friend of metrics and statistics as most mislead by omission. What doesn’t get measured, doesn’t get noticed and therefore understood etc etc. Even in his example, Hans Rosling says that people need to hear the music that the notes signify. Only a few musicians can tell it is a beautiful music. True, but the musician playing that music is important and there is no measurement for the beauty of the artist’s rendition, the joy of listening to a favourite version of a piece and for impact it has on our soul. You won’t find that embedded in the script. Similarly, this could apply to business – the numbers show revenue, profit or investments but in their current form they do not reflect the human aspect of the enterprise, the misery wrought on those crushed by the corporate systems, the souls sucked out by the mindless processes or the love that leads to innovation, collaboration and new ways of doing things.

via Tim O’Reilly

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One Response to “Hans Rosling on beauty of statistics”


  1. Tina Anderson
    on Feb 28th, 2008
    @ 21:51 pm

    I agree that statistics in business, no matter if they show profit or loss, can be cold and heartless and they don’t tell the whole story, not by a longshot. This was a very interesting speech by Hans Rosling.

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