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Data without a scale for comparison is no use at all

In principle, each analysis is a comparison, because only classification in context provides useful conclusions.


What can a picture of Saturn tell us if we don’t have a relative idea of its size? How big is it? Bigger or smaller than…? What kind of scale of comparison would be helpful to us? The Earth? Now, how big might Saturn be in comparison to the Earth? Bigger? A lot bigger?

Saturn vs. Erde

I have to admit, it blew me away to see our little Earth (see that blue dot to the right of Saturn?) next to this gigantic mega-planet. As a matter of fact, Saturn, the second-largest planet in our solar system, has a diameter 10 times the size of the Earth and is 95 times heavier than our planet.

Comparisons are similarly effective and necessary for each form of economic analysis. The statement that “ACME, Inc. moves 10 million euro” is hardly useful if we know nothing else about the company. However, if we discover that ACME, Inc. increased their turnover by 30 % in comparison with the previous year, and as a result has moved up to second place in their branch while branch volumes fell by a total of 10 %, a very interesting story begins to develop.