Pi Day Accuracy Reminder

3.14. In English, the fourteenth of March. Yet numerically, American, driven, it's π. Meaning, today is pi day, aka #PiDay.

The post shown above throws timely reminder about the depths we can be asked to plumb by prospects.

How forensic do we really need to be? There comes a point, when no further amount of analysis will get us anywhere. We've all seen prospects fall into the analysis paralysis trap too.

Dive deeper. Keep looking under the hood [bonnet]. Another drain needs pulling up.


As commentors on the above post mentioned, there's folly in extra work;

  • the gravitational parameter μ (product of mass and gravitational constant G) of the Earth that is needed for orbital mechanics calculations is only known to 10 significant digits
  • The use of 15 digits ensures that the calculated circumference of a circle with a radius of 30 billion miles would be off by less than one centimetre. This level of accuracy is more than sufficient for their purposes.
  • 15 digits is precise to one part per quadrillion. Jupiter is a billion miles away, so when you get there you might be off by a millionth of a mile, or about a tenth of an inch (2.5 mm). I could live with that.

As well as the inevitable, yet revealing;

  • one digit of pi is enough to fake the moonlanding

Then there's the age old tactic of tripping up someone by giving them evermore data to look into. About which I recall Rolf Dobelli cites an Information Bias sales tip.

Sure, we must deliver solid numbers, but not beyond the mark of irrelevant, unnecessary, diminishing returns.

In short, there's usually an obvious point reached where you (they) have all the info they need. Going beyond shows someone, somewhere, is not (and perhaps never will be) sold. Flush them out.

Move from figures to feelings?

If ɴᴀsᴀ find the sixteenth decimal point of pi and deeper redundant, then so ought the equivalent take hold in our prospect's business case.

Gently make them aware for the rewarding recipe to your own pie day.

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