WTF is the “Numerate Choir”?

When I showed this site to my wife, she mostly liked what she saw. She’s kind of a skeptic, so that was a nice surprise.

But she did ask what the heck a nume-er-RAYTE choir is, and wondered why on earth I would call my blog that.

First off, let’s start with pronunciation. It’s NUME-er-it. Numerate is (in this context) an adjective, not a verb, and it doesn’t sound like enumerate.

Numerate means (roughly) mathematically literate — the opposite of innumerate. A numerate person is, among other things, able to tell the difference between fallacies and statistically sound conclusions. The world has too many innumerate people.

“Preaching to the choir” is telling something to people who likely already believe it. My usage of the word choir comes from this phrase.

Hence, the Numerate Choir: people who are using data, analytics, and science to build businesses and improve the world.

Mike Greenfield founded Bonafide, Circle of Moms, and Team Rankings, led LinkedIn's analytics team, and built much of PayPal's early fraud detection technology. Ping him at [first_name] at