The application of statistical analysis in professional baseball, known as sabermetrics, has noticeably changed the way the game is played the last decade. Whether or not those changes have been for the better remains a common rift among baseball fans.
It’s a wormhole debate for seamheads (like me), but I have no intention of diving into it for this post. I will say there’s little friction against sabermetrics on my end, only a word of caution to my baseball brethren to recognize statistics don’t tell the whole story–and that goes for entrepreneurship, too. As long as commerce and baseball are run by people there will always be a human element to the game; work ethic, determination and other intangibles that simply can’t be calculated. Thus, to get the whole picture you need light from both sides.
“People commonly use statistics like a drunk uses a lamp post; for support rather than illumination.”– Mark Twain
We already know statistical data provides loads of information to better position a defense on the diamond or a business in the market, but statistics can also be used to twist narratives into misleading directions, as Mike Templeman explains in his article on Entrepreneur.com “When You Focus on Failure Statistics, You May End Up One.”
It’s an article well worth reading, especially if someone’s ever given you the line about your new business having an 80-percent chance of failing.