Latest Online Edition  Read Here

Data Destroys Featured

Today's WSJ has a frontage story making an argument I've long advocated – statistics are ruining baseball. People don't want to see constant defensive shifts and pitcher changes. Chris Rock was essentially right when he said baseball isn't black enough, but what he really meant was aggressive enough. We no longer have Bob Gibson or Doc Ellis brushing back batters. Nor do we have Ricky Henderson and Lou Brock stealing more than 100 bases each season. Some people argue that statistics allow them to appreciate the game more, but this is a niche market and if you could make money appealing to a niche market, there would have been more than one feature film in Esperanto. So what does this have to do with the car business? The answer, of course, is that many dealers these days take a data-driven approach to stocking their lots. I'm not advocating that people go back to guessing what they should sell, because that leads to expensive mistakes. I am saying that you have to realize there are trade-offs to this approach. And so the process might not prove as automatic as we like to believe.
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Ted Craig

  • Boxed In
    A recent story in the WSJ details how GM wants to use carbon fiber in its pick-up trucks. Carbon fiber offers the strength of steel with the fuel-saving benefits of…
  • Maybe They're Just Jerks
    A few years ago, a female producer said many men in Hollywood view themselves like this. In reality, they're probably more like this. The recent focus on sexual harassment might…
  • Tax Wins
    The tax bill, as it stands now, seems pretty good for dealers. It keeps the floor plan interest deduction, thanks to Rand Paul. It allows credit unions to continue pretending…
  • What Went Wrong
    A few weeks ago, a former aide to Barney Frank penned an op-ed titled "What Went Wrong with the CFPB." I'll tell you what went wrong. First, the CFPB is…
  • Now You Know
    Education is seen as the answer for everything. The CFPB considers financial literacy the solution to consumers' problems. After the clashes in Charlottesville, there were calls for educating people to…
  • Kinda Disappointed
    It seems the situation concerning CFPB leadership is moving toward a quick resolution, with Leander English unable to stay in the director's office. For a while, I had visions of…
  • Situation Normal
    Starting in 1378, the Catholic Church had two popes. Urban VI was seated in Rome, Clement VII in Avignon, France. Apparently, somebody skipped over the part about two masters. The…
  • Bad News
    The other day, I wrote about the poor coverage of auto sales in the Wall Street Journal. Then, on Friday, I saw another junk article, this one about general retail…
  • No Solutions
    The older I get, the more I'm convinced people don't want solutions. They don't want their problems, but there is a difference between that and solutions. Solutions are hard. They…
  • No, They Didn't
    Yesterday's WSJ had an article on plans by Mahindra & Mahindra to start selling vehicles in the U.S. There was no mention that we've seen this show before and it…