I’m currently in DC, doing a little remote work from an Au Bon Pan, but had an interesting story to share from my flight.
Airports are concerned with how long it takes a person to get through security. It helps minimize complaints and also prevent delays in flights. Thus, they need to collect as much data as possible in order to measure their performance.
Today, while in line for security, I was handed a slip which I was to subsequently hand to the X-ray attendant. The time from which they handed me the slip to the time I handed the attendant the slip would give a rough estimate for how long it takes the average person at a given hour to get through the line. The problem is that I was halfway through the line already, even though the slip said it was designated for the person at the end of the line…the airport was only measuring how long it took an average person to get halfway through their line! And this certainly will lead to inaccurate analysis down the road. Further, bogus stats generate bogus managerial decisions.