The Numbers Guy and NPD
Carl Bialik, "The Numbers Guy" at WSJ.com, takes a look this week at all those stats that get dropped into stories from NPD Group (the old National Purchase Diary) about consumer behavior.
Bialik comes away in part impressed with the company's frankness about its limitations, and in part skeptical -- and cautionary -- about how specific some of those numbers are.
By the way, the WSJ, which has come under some withering analysis lately for having a mostly subsciption Internet site (Michael Wolff and, picking up on that, Adam Penenberg, both have suggested the WSJ is becoming irrelevant in the digital world because its material is not easily linked to or accessed by search engines) has made Bialik's columns easier to find.
They always have been one of the free features on Fridays, but now there's an easy-to-remember permalink (http://WSJ.com/numbersguy) to all the back columns (it might have been here before, but I don't remember it).
(Also, a note on the Michael Wolff column referenced above. It comes from the Felix Salmon site, where it has been archived after it was taken down by I Want Media (note from Corante) after Wolff apparently objected.