What is an arithmophobe?
The fear of numbers.
You can spot this fear in a number of ways: Some don’t make the effort to share potentially valuable data, and others complain that the data is too difficult to access, understand, or use, so they ignore opportunities to include it when making important decisions.
Do you suffer (even mildly) from arithmophobia?
A lot of people say they don’t, but actually, they do.
I meet plenty of people who tell me they ‘love a good spreadsheet’ and they’re a ‘bit of numbers geek’, but when it comes down to it, they often find many reasons to not engage, either because they don’t believe the data or they don’t actually fully understand it. It’s just too hard.
There could be for a number of reasons, and actually, I blame our industry. I believe it’s a cultural thing. Not the hospitality industry but the M&E sector. Hotels are very good at data, M&E venues and businesses less so.
Now, full disclosure, for those of you who don’t know me and my business, it’s a numbers-based business. It’s all about data. But I’m constantly surprised by how people ‘talk’ about the need/desire to use the data but then either don’t use it or find reasons why they don’t believe it. Are they arithmophobics?
And then, of course, the recent vacuum has appeared that has meant that we’ve all been caught out because we don’t have any data in our industry. To enable the government to support us in troubled times, they need guess what?………Numbers…data, which we don’t have.
Of course, there is another way. Embrace the data and work with data providers to ensure that you are getting out of the data what you need.
It may take time (it almost certainly will), but that’s no reason to give up.
To quote one of my favourite sayings: ‘The comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there’.
Data always has a better idea.
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