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Strange stats

March 18, 2011

So – apparently the average withdrawal from a cash machine owned by a bank or a building society is £67 (source: BBC, Link, Bank of England, and Barclays)


How on earth did they come up with that number?  I’d like to see this cash machine that gives out pound coins!

Wouldn’t it have made more sense as a figure to have a number that could be withdrawn?

Maybe using the median, or even the mode of the data set?

In fact, I’d be much more interested in the mode.  I have a hunch that it would probably be somewhere more around the £20 / £30 mark.

(This sage fact was contained within an equally nonsensical statement:

“After all, the average withdrawal from a bank or building society’s cash machine is £67 – which would soon drain an ATM if it only dispensed £5 notes.”

At what point was the article advocating cash machines that only dispense £5 notes.  It would be drained pretty fast if it only dispensed tenners as well.  There’s a reason they have £20’s in too…?)

Facts are brilliant, but this has reminded me that it is a good idea to make sure that they make sense in the context of what you are saying as well.  And that sometime you need to think a little more carefully about what you are trying to say in the first place.

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