## Monday, November 7, 2016

### Percents in Context.

We all teach percentages in our classes all under the category of mark-up, mark-down, etc but how often do we take time to help students determine if the percentage is good or bad.

For instance, if you get a 90% in a class we consider that great but if you look at a 2% discount on something, it might not be as good as a 10% discount.  I think its important to take time to help students understand percentages in context.

For instance, did you know the most successful professional sports betters only win 53 to 55% of the time.  Although that is just a bit over half the time but considered the best rates possible.  Yet if you look at basketball, good rates are a bit different.  If you look at team rates, the best rates I've seen for field goals is just over 50% while individual rates may seem impressive but you need to look at how far from the basket, the shooter is standing.

If you look at Tyson Chandler, he has a 68% shooting rate which sounds pretty good but if you look at the distance of his shots, you'll find 96% of those shots were made within a seven foot radius of the basket.  He only made 2 of 14 shots beyond the 7 foot range.

In baseball, a good slugging percent is between 41 and 44 % and anything over 50% is while a batting average of 27.5% is not bad.  However a 20% on base is bad while around a 35% is considered pretty good.

If you look at a different field such as sales you'll find the rates are different.  If a sales person uses cold calling as a way to set appointments, they will only manage a 1 to 3% rate which is horrible but if you make your living that way, you try for the 3%.  On the other hand, if a sales person uses a referral, the rate jumps to 40%

On the other hand certain jobs are paid via a commission which is based on a certain percent of the total amount sold.  In other words, the more you sell, the more you make.  This is usually the pay which sells people such as car sales people, some telemarketers and retail sales people.

Another area is mark-up of common items such as soda from a fountain.  Did you know the mark-up for that is usually in the 20 times range or several hundred percent?  Most things like tea have a 3 to 400 percent markup which means they make a killing on it.

A large cheese pizza often has a 600 to 800 % markup so its a good seller.  In addition, pasta is another item with a huge markup because the dried boxed pasta is a few cents per ounce and commercial sauce is only like 30 cents per ounce.

A wide range of percentages whose meaning changes based on the context of the situation.  I'd love some feedback on this idea. Tomorrow, I'm looking at what things do mark-up cover.