Peter Zilahy Ingerman, PhD, FBCS - Consultant
Creating Computer, Human, & System Symbiosis...
making all of the parts work together for the benefit of all the parts!
It could be said that 3/4ths of all pregnant women are female and that would be true. However, all joking aside, Statistics can be a powerful tool when used properly.
An excellent example of this in my consulting was for a lawyer whose client claimed the most recent set of layoffs at her company were discriminatory. At issue was not the layoffs per se, but rather the rehiring of persons who had been laid off.
I evaluated the data, and could find no overt evidence of discrimination ... until I looked at the question of retirement eligibility. It then appeared statistically quite clear that persons who were laid off were not rehired if they were eligible for retirement. Since eligibility for retirement was a function of attained age and years of service, it was arguable that consideration of retirement eligibility was, in fact, age discrimination.
Once I made my report, the case settled without trial, to the benefit of my lawyer's clients.
We may not be sure what a box to think in is, but we are good at solving problems with a new point of view.