The Evolution of Statistics

I wrote before how Bad Statistics Are Dangerous For Charities.

Here’s a great example of how a statistic evolves on-line…

Here’s the original statistic from the (questionable) research: “64% say that corporate social responsibility is core to their business rather than being a stand-alone programme”. Note that this is derived from asking CEOs “Which of these statements best describes your organisation today?” 

stat1

 

This is pulled in to a blog post and correctly used (although there’s no mention of the wishy-washy way the stat is derived):

stat2

But (presumably) the editor goes with a catchy headline, “64% of CEOs Are Increasing Investment in Corporate Social Responsibility in 2016 – Here’s Why”:

stat3

Although this same headline is used in the original blog – so there probably was no editor.

A Director of PWC UK then share’s the statistic, with a subtle but crucial change, “64% of CEOs increased investment into CSR in 2016”:

stat4

And forever now we’ll be reading that in 2016 the majority of CEOs increased investment in CSR.

The end.


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