NOV 9, 2010 10:27am ET

Related Links

Business Analytics Services Spending to Reach $89.6 billion in 2018
September 15, 2014
Artificial Intelligence Meets the C-suite
September 15, 2014
Mayo Clinic to Use Watson to Bolster Trial Enrollments
September 11, 2014

Web Seminars

Essential Guide to Using Data Virtualization for Big Data Analytics
September 24, 2014
Integrating Relational Database Data with NoSQL Database Data
October 23, 2014

The Flaw of Averages – Part 1, the Problem


The metaphor for the theme of the entertaining book, “The Flaw of Averages,” by Sam Savage, is a drunk attempting to cross a dangerous highway. The state of the drunk at his average position (i.e. the center line) is alive. However the average state of the drunk, wherever he is on the road at a given point of measurement, is dead! The dead drunk embodies Savage's Strong Form of the Flaw of Averages.

Get access to this article and thousands more...

All Information Management articles are archived after 7 days. REGISTER NOW for unlimited access to all recently archived articles, as well as thousands of searchable stories. Registered Members also gain access to:

  • Full access to including all searchable archived content
  • Exclusive E-Newsletters delivering the latest headlines to your inbox
  • Access to White Papers, Web Seminars, and Blog Discussions
  • Discounts to upcoming conferences & events
  • Uninterrupted access to all sponsored content, and MORE!

Already Registered?


Comments (4)

Thanks for one of the clearest and most cogent reviews of The Flaw of Averages to date. If you found parts if annoying to read, imagine how annoying it was to write.



Posted by Sam S | Wednesday, November 10 2010 at 1:04AM ET
fun and fascinating stuff - in a time when it is so easy to look at distributions and not just measures of central tendency it's quite astounding that it's not standard practice - but then, trying to get most decision-makers to focus on any more than 1 or 2 simple stats is the real challenge -

"No catalogue of techniques can convey a willingness to look for what can be seen, whether or not anticipated. Yet this is at the heart of exploratory data analysis. The graph paper - and transparencies - are there, not as a technique, but rather as recognition that the picture-examining eye is the best finder we have of the wholly unanticipated." - John Tukey

Posted by Charles P | Wednesday, November 10 2010 at 12:05PM ET
Add Your Comments:
You must be registered to post a comment.
Not Registered?
You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.
Already registered? Log in here
Please note you must now log in with your email address and password.
Login  |  My Account  |  White Papers  |  Web Seminars  |  Events |  Newsletters |  eBooks
Please note you must now log in with your email address and password.