Numbers I have loved

The joys and benefits of quantitative thinking and analysis

Numbers Gone Wild (the essay)

The presence of numbers does not guarantee insight, knowledge, or inspiration. On the other hand, the absence of numbers limits us to anecdotes, impressions, and hypotheses. So, we want numbers, and we want them not to drive us crazy.

Numbers Gone Wild (the workshop)

Upcoming programs from ACS: Webinars about business war games and strategic thinking, and a workshop at the 2010 SCIP Conference entitled Numbers Gone Wild: Or, Precision In, Garbage Out.

Fire! Or Maybe Not.

Firefighters in New Haven, CT, allege reverse discrimination in a case now before the U.S. Supreme Court. The data seem to support…not so fast, it’s not so clear. What can we learn about the case, what can we learn about using data?

Millions of Pricing Simulations

Have you ever seen 36,270 what-if’s on your strategy ideas? Have you ever seen your 36,270 what-if’s compared in a universe of 5,658,120 simulations? That’s what ACS did for over 150 strategists competing in a pricing tournament.

Marvelous Techniques

We know pretty well how to assess the financial impact of a product or service that purports to reduce costs. What about products or services that purport to improve the quality of our decisions? And how can we avoid the traps of streaks and slumps?

More Internet Users than People

We think extrapolation is self-evidently defensible, and it is merely on-the-surface defensible. It falls apart when things get interesting, which is precisely when we need help the most… and precisely when we are most vulnerable to bad advice.


Ceteris paribus isn’t easy. It’s the gold standard we use in double-blind clinical trials of drugs and medical treatments, but the business equivalent of clinical trials is difficult at best.

Exalted Numbers

One number stands out even in that exalted company. It is a number that we fear and venerate. It is a number that is fluid and then becomes stone. It is a number that defines the limits of what’s possible. That number is the budget.