Enlighten Statistical Darkness

When making a decision have your prospects ever been in ‘statistical darkness’?

I learn of this intriguing state given the life-and-death calls being made by authorities around the world against a threat for which they have pretty much no stats on which to lean.

The perilous state of resulting policy known worldwide as coronavirus is battled.

In the absence of data, it seems we tend to revert to the safest option.

A position termed the minimax; ‘a decision rule used to lessen the worst-case potential loss’.

The phrase ‘abundance of caution’ familiar to any recent newswatcher.

This also reminds me of the classic – and in Sales often required – putdown which meets dissenting, often misleading and largely unfounded, anecdotes with hard fact;

the plural of anecdote is not anecdotes, it is data.

Coincidentally, this place of prospect minimax often means them making a decision in favour of other than you.

No matter how compelling your case.

Sometimes, you may sense the answer to be that if they are making a buying call without data, then provide some.

Or at least, alert any insider ally as to where such data can be uncovered.

Yet that is easier said than done.

Then there is the counterpoint.

The dangers of becoming too reliant on the data. Or in modern-day vernacular, being ‘guided by the science’.

As those against you can always nastily defer to ‘we need more data’.

Does any decision ever have enough?

Savvy buyers often realise that if you want a seller to be set back from challenging you, one common tactic of the politically nefarious is to drown them in data.

Data for data’s sake is never a good move.

When searching for, collating or presenting any, there is a key pillar to keep in mind.

It is never the numbers alone.

The emotion to buy, will in large part come from the level of urgency brought to bear.

How you link this to outweighing the minimax will be what turns statistical darkness into light.

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