Quality Thinking and Quantity Surveying

Jan 08 2011 Published by neilgains under insight

“Statistics are like bikinis.  What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.”  - Aaron Levenstein Read more »

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China’s Emerging Cities

Dec 18 2010 Published by neilgains under Asia trends

The Economist Intelligence Unit have published a fascinating report on China’s fastest growing cities (called CHAMPS), which predict some important trends in the urbanisation of China, and the increasing importance of a big population inland from China’s currently booming East Coast cities like Shanghai and Guangzhou.  You can download the report by registering here. Read more »

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The Distribution of Happiness

Nov 29 2010 Published by neilgains under Asia trends

Forbes have recently published an analysis of the world’s happiest countries, and it makes interesting reading, although I’m not convinced by some of the results. Read more »

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Looking for Clues

Nov 21 2010 Published by neilgains under insight

“Our observation of nature must be diligent, our reflection profound, and our experiments exact.  We rarely see these three means combined; and for this reason, creative geniuses are not common.”  - Denis Diderot Read more »

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Empathy, Identity and Word of Mouth

Oct 05 2010 Published by neilgains under empathy

“My object all sublime, I shall achieve in time, To let the punishment fit the crime.”  - W.S.Gilbert (The Mikado)

“One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.”  - Joseph Stalin

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Are Researchers Data Journalists?

Sep 29 2010 Published by neilgains under data

“The ability to take data - to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it - that’s going to be a hugely important skill in the next decades…Because now we really do have essentially free and ubiquitous data. So the complimentary scarce factor is the ability to understand that data and extract value from it.” - Hal Varian, Google
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All Research is Problem Solving

Sep 06 2010 Published by neilgains under data

“In our reasonings concerning matter of fact, there are all imaginable degrees of assurance, from the highest certainty to the lowest species of moral evidence.  A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence.”  - David Hume

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Have You Squeezed the Lemon?

Aug 13 2010 Published by admin under business

A recent Accenture study of senior marketing executives highlights the growing need for smarter use of data, creation of unique value propositions and squeezing more business impact from less budget.

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Numbers are Slippy, Stories are Sticky

Aug 05 2010 Published by admin under storytelling

“The story - from Rumplestiltskin to War and Peace - is one of the basic tools invented by the human mind for the purpose of understanding.  There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.”  - Ursula K. Le Guin

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Solace for England

Jun 21 2010 Published by admin under context

The World Cup Football 2010 has started. England fans and the British media are extremely unhappy with performance of their team. Two draws into the tournament and fans are booing the players off the pitch, newspapers are suggesting the coach must go, WaGs (Wives and Girlfriends) are being flown out to ‘boost the boy’s morale’. As the final group game approaches next week, a Sky News presenter offered a ray of hope, “England tend to perform better with their backs against the wall”. I noted the same media driven feeding frenzy happening at the recent congressional hearing for BP CEO Tony Hayward.

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