Wuhan Virus Strikes Pareto Reminder

always like the pyramid-mountain style of pareto piecharting


“The data currently suggest that some 80 per cent of confirmed Covid-19 cases are mild, with 15 per cent severe and five per cent critical.”

As of the start of March 2020, these three levels of the new coronavirus severity were spookily Pareto.

The oft-cited principle‘s wikipedia page currently includes this wisdom; “It is an axiom of business management that “80% of sales come from 20% of clients”.

Whilst ‘it is likely that mild cases will grow as a proportion of the total as more asymptomatic cases are picked up through community testing’ over time, this present-day pathogen match to the rule derived from 19th century Roman property ownership (also an 80-20 with 95-5 split) could prove a useful selling angle.

Yet for how long, well, who knows. When most of us know someone who knows someone badly affected, things may well change.

For now though, everyone seems to be talking about it. Last week we were all constantly washing hands. This week we’re shunning handshakes for elbow pumps. Next week…?

So a chance at salesjacking a news event is upon us.

Although the measure to which you can equate a prospect’s most feared problem manifestation to ‘severe and critical’ disease outcomes is perhaps something you might want to take a long, considered judgment over.

The fact remains that many a selling data situation shows roughly this same 80/20 effect. Dare you suggest that you’re the vaccine to what plagues your prospect?


Information Is Beautiful data package update 11 Mar 20, showing 81-14-5 splits for nearly 45k mainland China confirmed cases:

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