This is a bit off my normal topics – however…
Yesterday I stopped at a store. I was near their clearance section and saw something I wanted to buy. It was 75% off the normal $9.99 price. I went to the register and it rang up as $4.25. I commented to the young cashier that it was 75% off of the $9.99 price (I was giving her the opportunity to realize there was an error). She said yes – $4.25! I think my lip hit the floor. She then asked what was wrong. I told her ok let’s simplify this – “let’s make the regular price $10 if it is 75% off how much should the price be?” She said “the register says it’s $4.25.” As a fellow human being my brain went into shock!
I finally did get the correct price but even the manager had to use a calculator! Don’t get me wrong I am not opposed to technology – but it seems to be favored instead of using your brain. That, blows my mind.
As someone who loves analytics and ROI for marketing campaigns – I do wonder sometimes if the next generation will really understand math, a deep intuitive understanding, something that rings bells and whistles when someone is wrong.
I don’t believe you need a deep understanding of calculus or differential equations to understand most business math, but a real good core of algebra and statistics is critical. Simple math is an absolute requirement.
Yes I use excel and yes I use formulas but I always double-check the answers initially to make sure they are valid and that my formula is correct as well. The ability to explain your results is also critical, it isn’t enough to say “that is what the formula said” – to me this is the same as “that is what the register said the price is.”
Come on be geeky, think with your head, if not you might become a drone!