Our World Statistics Day conversations have been a great reminder of how much statistics can inform our lives. Do you have an example of how statistics has made a difference in your life? Share your story with the Community!
As I looked over Monday morning’s news headlines, this story caught my eye:
Wow, I thought, the Windows phone system is really catching on. But then I looked at the numbers displayed in news article:
It’s true that the Windows numbers have significantly increased, from minuscule to small. But does that warrant the headline stating a “massive 52%” increase? And what about RIM, maker of the BlackBerry? Granted, RIM’s share of the market is also small, but losing 81% in one year is HUGE! Why did Windows merit a “massive,” and RIM get lumped with Android and iOS results – just “down”?
It makes me think that the author may be a fan of Windows, no?
Of course, I can use JMP to support the headline by graphing the percent increases from last year:
Windows does looks like the clear winner in that graph. But let’s look at the percent of the market graphically – because that is more meaningful:
While sales of smartphones running Windows systems have increased greatly over the last year, Windows still has only 4% of the market. Windows gained 1.4% over last year. Not something that other companies should ignore, but is it “massive”?
I’m not sure. I’m reminded of a quote from Naked Statistics by Charles Wheelan: “Percentages don’t lie, but they can exaggerate.”
Here’s all the data shown graphically. Decide for yourself. Do you think the headline was misleading?