Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dornfeld's Law

I was discussing presentations in general with Dr. Dave Dornfeld of UCB.   Dave is the:
  • Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Director, Laboratory for Manufacturing and Sustainability at University of California
In addition, Dave was one of the real drivers and leaders of MTConnect.  It was through Dave Patterson that I first met Dave Dornfeld when we were working on MTConnect.  Dave Dornfeld is one of the true thought leaders in the world on a number of topics.

Dave made a very interesting statement regarding slicing through the data of any presentation.   What Dave basically said was, "anytime you see 40% in a presentation you should be suspect.  The presenter likely did not want to put in 50% because it would be viewed too high and 30% would be viewed as not being significant."

I got a real chuckle out of that and said to Dave, "I think we need to call that "Dornfeld's Law".

To officially state Dornfeld's Law (until Dave corrects me :-)  
 "The statistical veracity of any presentation can be quickly determined by examining both the frequency and relative contextual importance of the number 40% in the presenters representation of supporting data."


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