Earnings reports, profit margins, economic indicators, cost of living indexes, demographic data, manufacturing statistics, financial ratios, median home prices, supply and demand statistics, market share, market price, volume of units produced, share prices, and sales percentages are but a few of the numbers that drive business decisions. Numbers drive customers as well. Particularly in these recessionary times when consumers are becoming increasingly cost-conscious, they use numeric information to guide their buying decisions. Information professionals want to know the source of the numbers they encounter in newspaper, trade press, and journal articles. Although the proposal for a bibliographic standard for data sets will appeal to catalogers and indexers -- and the academic community is likely to embrace the concept -- the author's afraid it won't catch on with journalists. To be effective at retrieving, interpreting, and analyzing information, business researchers must improve their numeracy skills and understand the innumeracy that can pop up in published articles.
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