As Easy As 1-2-3. Or is it?

09 Apr 2015  |  by James Alty

Find out how, thanks to FastStats Discoverer, an informed ranking of customer spend enables businesses to gain valuable insights from their data


A question came through from a FastStats Discoverer user, "I want to rank my customers by spend in the last 12 months.  How can I do that?"

“Easy”, I said, use the Numeric Banding Wizard and choose the Ranking option, descending by spend.  There you go numbered 1-2-3 in rank order. 

For example:

Rank Value
1 150.00
2 120.00
3 120.00
4 100.00

(Ordinal Ranking 1-2-3-4)

"Ah but that's not quite good enough.  You see lots of our customers are on standard contracts so many of the spend totals are tied.  Those tied values should have the same rank."

I could see why that was important, in this case I wanted to give equal weighting to those with equal spend.

What the client wanted was actually:

Rank Value
1 150.00
2 120.00
2 120.00
3 100.00

(Dense Ranking 1-2-2-3)

But then I thought about a race.  If you're equal 2nd then the next guy is 4th, right?  So another ranking is:

Rank Value
1 150.00
2 120.00
2 120.00
4 100.00

(Competition Ranking 1-2-2-4)

There are actually a few more ranking methods (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranking) but these three seem the most useful for marketing analysis and are all options from the Q1 2015 FastStats software release.

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