Why do people think numbers have intrinsic meaning. In my work as a Quality Analyst I provide numerical expressions of the state of affairs in customer service. But all too often people look at the numbers as if the actual values were important. 85% is bad where 90% is good?
If I tell a company that their customer satisfaction is 85%, do they need to improve, or are they doing too much? The number is meaningless out of context, but so many people look at it as if it mattered.
A few years back I designed a quality assessment program for customer service where a baseline score was 60%. Managers were absolutely terrified when they saw Quality Scores of 70% being reported. They knew that quality was bad unless the score said 90%.