Mean means and modish modes
October 20, 2010 8:16 AM Subscribe
Statistics! I need to use them at work, but over the past few years numbers seem to make my head spin. Any tips for parsing them? Any recommended books for someone who only scraped a C at GCSE Maths?
posted by mippy to grab bag (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I often need to look at data - averages, percentages, sales figures, that kind of thing - to assess claims for my job. I think I've just stopped feeling confident with numbers - I struggle to add, my brain shuts down when I play boardgames that involve a lot of maths (Race for the Galaxy being a good example - the very similar San Juan is easy to me) and I even get nervous when I do crafts that involve counting rows or stitches. I have no idea why this is - I've struggled with a few cognitive tasks since a period of illness a few years ago - but I do worry when it affects my work.
I open a spreadsheet and it's like my brain flashes up a 'DOES NOT COMPUTE' message. Sometimes this is because the figures I need to see are necessarily complicated, but often I feel I should be able to comprehend this information as easily as text but just can't.
I have wondered about taking GCSE Statistics but this course doesn't seem to be available to adults who work full-time. I didn't enjoy maths at school which I think made competency all the harder, but I'm at the point now where my skills are becoming a sticking point. Accuracy is vital for my job so I want to improve and help myself as much as possible. Any advice?