Recently, I stumbled across the following note from my daughter’s math teacher:

Dear Parents,
Over the next couple of weeks, we will be studying Statistics and Probability. One of the goals for this unit is to make connections between the math curriculum and real world applications. I am asking you as parents, guardians and professionals to help your student. specifically, if you have time and this entreaty is applicable to you, would you please write me an email telling me your job title, a brief description of your job, and how you use either Statistics or probability in your job? Finally, if you are interested in a challenge, would you write a word problem that you would use in your career that we may be able to use in the classroom?

I appreciate your time and look forward to hearing from you soon….


Louise Wisner, M.A., M.A.T.

As a responsible parent (or so I keep telling myself) and being involved in my children’s education, I sat down with my iPad and penned the following description of my duties as a creative director:

Ms. Wisner,

My daughter, Taylor is in your 1st period class. Sorry to be so late getting to you. We just discovered the form in Taylor’s back pack.

I am a creative director for an advertising agency. My job is to supervise and participate in the creation of content for branded communications (i.e. advertising). I use statistics in the form of market data on a daily basis to develop communication strategies that, hopefully, have the highest probability of resonating with our intended market.

The vast majority of my creative judgements (that “green light” a creative concept to advance in the approval process) are based on qualitative analysis based on the underlying market data at my disposal.

As ongoing analysis, we constantly monitor human interaction with media through behavior analytics to measure the efficacy of our messaging (example: Google Analytics for web sites). Behavioral insight into user interfaces can help us identify problems and fix them or improve interaction to increase conversions.

On a more granular level, as a designer/art director, esthetic decisions such as color or type face are based on statistical models. Throughout my career, I have never met a “creative” (designer or writer) that achieved success without being disciplined by data or statistics. Rather than encumbering the creative process, data and analysis gives us a road map to a successful execution.

Best regards,

Dan Murray

I love my job. I come to work every day excited for the work ahead. Every payday, I grab my check and think back on what I got to do and that I was actually being paid for this and slyly say under my breath “suckers.” I often feel like I’m getting over on the world, like Bernie Madoff with Adobe Creative Suite. But when I state my job description in the terms above, it sounds pretty boring.

All kidding aside, I have yet to meet a successful creative that regards market data and analysis as the enemy. Those that aspire to do great things understand that it’s a roadmap to a successful concept and execution.