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Why Middle School Math, It Turns Out, Is Actually Useful. Who knew?

By February 11, 2014Data Management
Math

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I, as any passing conversation with either my mother or any of my childhood math teachers will quickly reveal, hate math. I spent the entirety of my childhood doodling, sleeping, daydreaming, and anything else that I could during anything that had even a passing resemblance to arithmetic. In a blaze of teenage stereotype, I reasoned that the only math I would ever truly need to know was how to add two paychecks together.

Turns out it isn’t quite that easy. Now I spend my days helping nonprofit organizations analyze and use their data effectively, with math.

What’s changed? Two things: One, the ability to gather, store, and have access to information easily has improved drastically in the past 5-10 years. Two, the careful and timely use and study of that information can unlock a stunning amount of potential improvements for an organization, nonprofit or otherwise.

Data helps you process and understand the organization going on around you, to inform you of ways to improve and to scale successes.  Ironically, more data can often present less clarity and you can quickly achieve such a mighty amount of collected data, that you will quickly render any chance you had of making sense of it to nil.

Which has left me in a tragic paradox of having to admit that many of the lessons that I so brazenly shrugged off years ago, actually have some merit. Check that, are critical to understanding exactly what’s going on around you.

Which brings me to the point, a series of blog posts on the same rudimentary math principles that I spent so long ignoring. Don’t want to miss a post? Sign up here to ensure you get a copy in your inbox when they come out!

Allan Huntley

Author Allan Huntley

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