Numbers Never Lie?

By Guest Blogger on May 24, 2016

I am in the process of updating our training curriculum for Lean Six Sigma Green and Black Belt.  As I was going over some Hypothesis material I started thinking about numbers.  More specifically, about some conversations that I have had over the years about numbers and the language that they speak to us. 

In my research, keep reading and learning, I’ve come to the conclusion that numbers never lie, but they don’t always tell the truth.  I want you to think of two words… “Sample Size”.  Understanding the importance of the sample size and knowing the history of a process are critical to us being able to accurately interpret what the data is telling us. 

We have found that every company has its own language, and it is spoken through data.  It’s up to us to be able to interpret the data.  This is where you need help, and this is where MAMTC excels.  It’s OK to not know the language of your company and it’s usually not your fault.  WHY???  Because it changes!!  With new technology, processes, and procedures, it is very probable that the language of your business has changed without you knowing.

What that means is that what you thought was true, can now be false.  In doing so, this can flip your error type, and cause you to make a bad decision, which is why we teach Fail Fast Fail Cheap; but I digress.

Bottom line, pay close attention to the sample size and mean of your data; it will tell you if your company language is changing.