If I say “Brazil,” what do you think of? The Girl from Ipanema? Pelé and 5 World Cup championships? Coffee? Sultry supermodels? How about statistics? Probably not, but that’s okay (I hope to change that). We Brazilians actually don’t mind being associated with fun, relaxation and other positive things. And yes, there is a connection with statistics as well – and it’s also positive!
First, some context: With about 200 million people and a $2 Trillion economy, Brazil has 34% of Latin America’s population, yet 40% of its GDP, which equates to extraordinary productivity. Yes, it leads the world in coffee, but Brazil also is the world leader in social network adoption and Twitter penetration in particular. It is also a top producer of automobiles and aircraft , steel, agriculture, media, communications and entertainment to name a few industries. Nearly 90% of all new cars in Brazil run on ethanol - all from domestic sugarcane production with enough left over to lead the world in sugar exports. So Brazilians know a thing or two about big business.
With all that going on, imagine what it takes to run that show! And yes, the leaders in this leading economy use statistics. Lots of statistics. The Brazilian government statistics office (IBGE) has to measure, report, explain and predict economic activity, demographics, and all the other information that government and corporations depend on for planning, investment and resource allocation. Any of the largest Brazilian corporations use predictive analytics to manage and improve their businesses, and the aggregate result is market efficiencies that magnify productivity.
So when World Statistics Day happens this Wednesday, October 20, what can we expect in Brazil? Customer segmentation? Econometric modeling? Demand forecasting? Supply chain optimization? Partying in the streets? Probably all of the above. Brazilians clearly work hard and party even harder, so they don’t need an excuse to throw a party. For a country that’s so busy getting work done, As far as Brazil is concerned, World Statistics Day is a great day for some samba.