Why can't stats be in English?

So I was originally going to start an entry on a cool new “toy” that translates your XBOX 360 playing habits into a blog. This by itself is fun and kinda cool, but not very useful, but it got me thinking. All this toy is doing is translating your stats into a blog about what you are up to. Why can’t we do that with stats in general?

Let me give you an example. Being a stat junkie, I love Blogbeat. Right now it is telling me this about my blog’s traffic:

up 106.3% over the last 24 hours
up 0.7% over the last 7 days
up 19.7% over the last 30 days

Now imagine that written like so:

Your blog is doing much better today compared to yesterday, but in general, the past week hasn't seen much movement. However, over the last month your traffic has increased.

Wow. Now isn’t that a heck of a lot more simply then showing increases in percentiles? Can’t you imagine your clients just loving a stat report in that format? And since you have the original numbers, you could please both the “pointy-haired” manager as well as the stat addicts.

Now imagine this coming in via RSS to a client managing ten sites. Instead of seeing a bunch of numbers, they can instead see a nice, friendly, almost folksy description of his sites in a simple to read report.

Most of my audience are techs, but I’d like to try something. If you have a moment, show both examples above to non-techies and see which one they prefer.

p.s. I may consider something like this for BlogCFC, and if so, I’ll write more about it. I can imagine writing a UDF that translates stuff like 33% higher to “better” and 120% higher to “much better”.

Raymond Camden's Picture

About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a developer advocate looking for his next gig. He focuses on JavaScript, serverless and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support.

Lafayette, LA https://www.raymondcamden.com

Comments