Statistically speaking

December 6, 2012

Tim Moore and Woody Caan (Letters, 25 October) describe statistics as a common language, invaluable for pooling knowledge and precise in a world of uncertainties. But if the world of organisations seems opaque, one frequently burdened by nagging doubts, then a common, quantitative language is unlikely to work because personnel employed in such places won't agree on what to add up.

Perhaps they'd have more success in constructing their own linguistic devices: notional statements whose logic helps to investigate and moderately improve unique organisational reality, not least a better understanding of its numerous missions and politics.

Debating such logical statements does not preclude the use of statistics (or other management techniques); however, for any experts and lay people involved, participative learning about the ongoing problem situation is prime.

Neil Richardson, Kirkheaton

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