Illuminate with Statistics…

One of my all-time favorite quotes from Andrew Lang (1844-1912), a poet, novelist, literary critic and anthropologist:

“He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts…for support rather than illumination.”

I think the reason I like this quote so much (besides the wonderful visual analogy this provides) is that it reinforces what I have always believed – that any metric or measure you can come up with is simply a tool for exploration and discussion. (more…)