Accuracy vs. precision in marketing analysis

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Accuracy and precision mean different things. They are not synonyms.

Suppose you have an archery target:


This is neither accurate nor precise:

not accurate not precise.png

This is precise, but not accurate:

Precise not accurate.png

This is precise and accurate:

accurate and precise.png

You can be precise without being accurate, but you cannot be accurate without being precise.

The next time we analyze our marketing data, we must consider accuracy and precision. Our analysis should be precise, with carefully chosen words, images, and graphs. Our analysis should be accurate, cleanly and clearly getting to the point.

We can also precisely describe the wrong thing and miss the point of the data – precision without accuracy.

In the worst case, we can aimlessly ramble and write an analysis that is neither precise nor accurate.

Be precise. Be accurate.

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