A starter for 10

Well after much umming and aarhing I am finally writing my first blog post. I could list a batch of excuses as to why it has taken me until now to start a blog, but that seems like a glass is half empty approach to a first post. So instead I thought I’d start with what this blog is all about.

With a love of maths at school (I know what a geek!), a degree in economics and a chartered accountancy qualification it will come as no surprise that I love numbers. I have done for as long as I can remember. I love them not in a static one dimensional way, but because, like words, numbers can tell stories and paint pictures.

When I was trying to come up with a title for this blog I wanted something that had some personal element, related to numbers in some way and set the scene for the things I want to talk about. Oh and the domain had to be available too! I thought and thought without too much luck until my beautiful wife, Rebecca, came up with an inspired suggestion – “Show me numbers”. The words come from one of my favourite TV shows, The West Wing. In the episode “Two Cathedrals” at the end of Season Two the President uses the phrase in a flashback when he is at school:

“If you want to convince me of something, show me numbers!”

The phrase highlights the (fictional – aah if only…) President’s desire for fact and measurement when making decisions rather than anecdote and opinion. This will be my aim with this blog. To try and provide analysis, quantification and evidence to base opinions on and I invite you to join the debate and provide your own evidence and show me, and the other one or two readers who may frequent this place, why apparent “fact” should be questioned.

For example, one topical area that I will be looking at is the economy, where I am frequently frustrated by the scarcity and/or superficiality of figures and analysis that we are presented with in such an area of complexity.

As someone whose company provides services to the PR industry I also intend to deal with perennial issues of measurement and analysis that relate to this industry and to online communications in particular.

Finally I want to try and present some data at times that will come as a surprise to any that visit so if you have any suggestions I am listening.

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