Range vs. Average

This is a pet peeve of mine, but too often I’ll hear someone say something like: “The average age of our members is between 50 and 65.” Or “We average about 50 to 100 hits on our website each day.”

These are both nice thoughts, but what is being provided is not an average, but a range.

An average is ONE number. The average of 5, 10, and 30 is 15.

A range is, typically, two numbers. The range of these numbers is 5 to 30.

So think about what you’re saying. Are you providing an average, or a range?

About Wes Trochlil

For over 30 years, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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