Understand the numbers, relate them to a formula
Sir, In response to David Lang (Letters, May 15), we run an after-school science club for our local primary school. We plot numbers on to graphs, which reveals the underlying shape (geometry) of the relationship and then we get them to find the formula their numbers relate to.
The purpose of numbers is to reveal truth and allow predictions, Essential to that is some understanding of their relationship to a formula. Sellers go out of business if they do not understand how to calculate margin. Bookies go out of business if they cannot calculate odds. Modern big data allow more effective targeting of customers.
Numbers reveal geometric relationships (if there is one). Formula determine the underlying truth and allow you to make predictions. Accounts without geometry and algebra is an exercise in bookkeeping. It may keep fraud at bay, but it says nothing about how to maintain the health of the organisation, or the areas on which it should focus its efforts. It is a huge shame that so many people still think these are optional skills. Lesley Ellis Cromar Future Group Tarland, Aberdeenshire, UK