Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Statistics and Ranking - Sky is the Limit for Interpretation

Every software company in the world would be in the top 10 of something or other criteria. (Don't take it literally, take it in the spirit.).

The criteria can be any of the following, and for every criteria, there would be some survey organization, news channel, or a magazine which publishes the top 10 for that, and the companies in that list will publish that as the big achievement for them.

  • Revenue
  • Profit
  • Profit Margin
  • Revenue Per Employee
  • Profit Per Employee
  • Absolute Growth in Revenue
  • Absolute Growth in Profit
  • Percentage Growth in Revenue
  • Precentage Growth in Profit
  • Increase in Profit Margin
  • No.of Employees
  • Absolute Increase in No.of Employees
  • Percentage Increase in No.of Employees
  • Cash Reserve
  • Cash Reserve Proportion to Revenue
  • Cash Reserve Proportion to Profit
  • Cash Reserve per Employee
  • Diversity in the no.of businesses
  • Diversity in the Employees (Male/Female Ratio)
  • Projected Growth
  • Most Innovative Idea
  • Most Promising Idea
  • Best Employer
  • Top Paying Company
  • Top Recruiter

If we come to politics, there is nothing better than the statistics of Telangana. I don't want to go deep into that. But, I am mentioning what prompted me to write this post. Few days back, Dr.Jayaprakash Narayan participated in a chat session on IBN Live. In that, one person asked on what factors, Telangana is growing much faster than Coastal districts. He answered with all the statistics from 1994-2007.

Since, No telangana supporter agrees that, Telangana is developed, they started their own campaign on this. They have prepared one document criticizing Dr.JP and they gave their own interpretations on this. I don't want to go deep in that either. But, want to mention just couple of points in that.

They have criticized Dr.JP for using growth which is a bigger number, where as the absolute value is much less than that. For that, they took an example of one district in Telangana which has very high value growth and less GDP, and another district of Coastal which has very less value growth and high GDP, and compared both. Then, he criticized Dr.JP for giving incorrect information.

In another section of the same document, they mentioned the GDP values for Telangana and Costal districts. The difference in the GDP for both the areas is around 4%. This clearly says that, their previous point is invalid. If both the areas have almost same GDP, and if one area has better growth, then the area that has better growth is in better position. From their logic only, Telangana is in better position, but, they never agreed to that.

From the overall GDP of Telangana, they removed the GDP of GHMC (which spans in four districts, and which has high GDP), and then calculated the average GDP. Then, they calculated average GDP of Coastal districts without removing GDP of Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada and came up with another number. Then, they declared that, since the average GDP of Coastal districts is more than the average GDP of Telangana, they need to have a separate state for Telangana. If Coastal area people also do the same, (removing GDP of Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada, and including Hyderabad), then the numbers will tell exactly the opposite.

We can draw whatever conclusion we want from the statistics. If we want to show, we are in the better position, we can find some criteria, in which we are at top position. If we want to show, we are in the worst position, we can find some other criteria, in which we are at bottom position.


  1. 4 months before the Satyam scandal Satyam was awarded the Golden Peacock Global Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance by the London-based World Council for Corporate Governance.

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  3. Don't worry. Seasoned economists can easily tell which is a phony statistic. Truth will prevail.

  4. There is a professor in the committee. She would know the standard procedures to evaluate development. She would be used to evaluating hundreds of answer sheets for the tests she conducts. Now, she will have to grade the all the reports and give marks out of 100. There will be a whole range of marks (0-100). ;)

  5. It is quite obvious Telangana has gained the most out of the merger and Rayalaseema the least(it lost Kurnool's capital status). Marri Chenna reddy and Ranga reddy toured Andhra before the merger and concluded that Telangana has things to gain from people-to-people co-operation. Even when he fought for Telangana, he knew the merger was good and never wanted the separation really. He wisely used it for his political gains only.

  6. That Telangana has developed more than other regions since 1952 has not surprised me but that there was no discrimination in fund allocation or river water sharing as Dr. JP has explained, has made me feel happy that the government is not taken over by lobbies completely after all. There is hardly any case for Telangana then. If Telangana insists on division, the only way, is to pay for the loss of opportunity for Seemandhra to develop their own capital. No question about it. I don't think anybody can compensate adequately for loss of Hyderabad. Not even the center.