Misleading Business Statistics

Statistics can be confusing, contradictory and difficult to comprehend.


Single-set figures and ratios can be, and often are, outright misleading.


Take for instance the recent national and state-based retail turnover data that was released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.


Retail sales for the past 12 months were reported to have increased by 4.3%. Very commendable, on the face of it.


However, that raw data belies the realities of the national, state, regional and local retail sectors. Increasing bankruptcies, store vacancies, widespread rent abatement and peppercorn rental payments are symptomatic of an industry under pressure and challenge.




Achieving growth in top-line statistics is relatively easy to achieve. Many retailers are implementing such strategies.


Discounting prices by 20%, 30%, 40$ and 50% can do wonders for turnover.


The disturbing downside consequences are evident in appalling margins, profits and financial viability.


Each of the four statistics so far mentioned are not the fundamentals required to be measured, monitored and optimised.


Many businesses, retailers in particular, do not recognise, respect and utilise the three sets of statistics which can, and do, materially influence and improve turnover, margins, profits and substantial finance viability.




Increasingly, astute business leaders are looking beyond accountants, advertising agencies and digital marketers to formulate, document and implement strategic marketing and business audits. Seven key statistics highlight the fact that we do not operative in a two-dimensional world or marketplace.


Barry Urquhart

Business Strategist and Analyst

Marketing Focus

M:   041 983 5555

E:   Urquhart@marketingfocus.net.au

W:    www.marketingfocus.net.au