This lesson will help you brainstorm and estimate data, percentages and trends.
The previous lessons were about a wide variety of ways of describing data. This lesson will build on that language and help you use it to discuss and estimate big-picture ideas.
Guesstimates are a common aspect of the hiring process at many consulting firms. Have you done this before? Do you do it now?
A. Clarifying is important. Look at the following examples:
Question: How many people in your city do you think are wearing red today?
- How do you define “red”?
- Does that include all shades?
- Burgundy wouldn't be considered red, would it?
Now, use similar questions to define the question, "How many people will take public transportation in London on a typical Monday?"
B. When brainstorming, you may want to use vague language. Look at the following words or phrases, discuss anything new with your instructor, and practice using each one:
- A back-of-the-envelope calculation
- A ballpark figure/in the ballpark of
- In the neighborhood of
- In the region of
- In the vicinity of
C. After clarifying, typically follow these steps.
- First, break the problem into smaller pieces. You might try to be MECE (mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive).
- Then use estimation and judgment to solve each piece.
- Finally, consolidate all of those pieces into a final conclusion.
Let's practice a few guesstimate questions:
How many dogs are there in New York City?
- How many people in Tokyo will buy iced tea from a vending machine today?
- How much money do people in your country spend on chocolate in an average month?